Tuesday, September 4 – Malham Tarn

This morning looked none too promising, but it brightened up as the morning wore on.  I started for Lancaster at 10.15, accompanied by my father on his motorcycle.  Reaching Lancaster we took the road to Halton (by the River Lune).  We then followed a winding and tortuous road by the Lune to Caton and Claughton, soon coming to Hornby.  After a few moments in the little village square the motor bike left me – and with it the sound!  By the Castle I glided and up the hill, until I had a grand view of Lunesdale towards Kirkby Lonsdale.  Through Melling to the turning for Kirkby Lonsdale and Ingleton, just across the old bridge over the River Greeta at Thurland Castle.  I turned for Ingleton, and after a glorious run through Burton-in-Lonsdale, I reached Ingleton, the land of waterfalls and rock scenery.

I had lunch here and then continued towards Settle.  A strong wind pushed me along, the gradient was favourable, the scenery stunning and I soon set Ingleborough Mountain behind, reaching Clapham and on again.  At Giggleswick Scar the wood and rock scenery made a fine scene, and after climbing 900ft I got a grand view of Settle below.  Down I swooped across the River Ribble until, just in Settle, I turned for Langcliffe.  I was now climbing, and beyond Langcliffe it approached pass-storming, rather than walking uphill!  All the while the view behind me was opening out until the whole of Ribblesdale lay before me.  Followed a fine moorland run for some miles until, as I reached the highest point, 1,463ft, Malham Tarn appeared.  The Tarn is a large sheet of water, the striking thing about it being the rock fault in the cliffs nearby.  After viewing the Tarn, I turned towards Malham.

Following a grass-grown track I was interested in the huge numbers of rabbits that ran away on my approach.  As the road reached a precipitous downhill gradient I jumped off and walked.  Soon Malham Cove appeared, a grand cliff which locks the valley, and before long I came to Malham.  Then Kirkby Malham and Airton, where I turned off for Hellifield.  In the latter place I met a Bolton CTC rider, and together we followed the byways through the Forest of Bowland to Bolton-by-Bowland, where lowland tea awaited us.

After tea we entered the old church, and the rector himself took us round.  The lid of the vault of one of the parishioners weighs two tons, and is dated 746 AD, on the top of which are figures of himself, his wife and their 24 children.  The rector deciphered the Latin inscriptions.  The font is unique as it contains eight coats of arms of the Pudsay family and other families connected to them. It all proved very interesting.  Taking a bylane we eventually reached Sawley where we crossed the River Ribble and took a peep at the old Sawley Abbey.

Then on to Grindleton and Waddington, a very pretty, flowery little village with a stream down the centre and a new hall raised on the site of an early English hall.  Continuing our way through Edisford we came to familiar Great Mitton and thus to Whalley, where my friend departed for Lower Hodder Bridge where he was staying the night.  The usual route was now taken in the dusk to Copster Green, where I had a light lunch at 9pm !  A run on a petrolised road followed in the blinding light of motor lamps until I reached Blackburn.  A rough road led me to Darwen, after which I had a grand moorland ride home for 11.30pm.

110 miles, 13 hours


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