The Pennine Way – Day 4 – Top Withens to Gargrave

The wind was howling, the rain was lashing down and the grouse were making a racket. I was glad that we decided to stay in Withens Bothy, simply because the conditions outside were terrible. A relatively good nights sleep was had by both of us and we were ready for another day on the Pennine Way.

Thankfully the rain had stopped when we set off but the wind was still as strong as ever. At times it made it hard to walk and the gusts almost swept me off my feet on many occasions today. We dropped down to Ponden Reservoir and in no time at all we were climbing back out of the valley again through muddy farmland…. Muddy farmland became a very frequent sight today.

We climbed up, walked along the road for a short time and then crossed Ickornshaw Moor. It was while crossing the moor that the rain cloud started to gather behind us, thankfully they waited until we were dropping down towards Cowling but they opened with furious anger πŸ™‚

The rain fell, it fell some more and then just for good measure it fell a little harder. We decided to seek refuge in a pub but it was clearly a local pub for local people and they didn’t want any walkers there. We had a quick drink at the pub (which will remain nameless) then headed to the shop, we purchased lots of treats and then sought refuge in a bus stop to get out of the worst of the rain. It chucked it down solidly for a good couple of hours before it gave way to drizzle. We packed away our bus stop picnic and headed off towards Gill Top Farm.

Muddy farmland…. What can I say, after trudging, slipping, sliding, sinking, squelching through many miles of it today I have about had my fill (Que the comments telling me there is more to come) πŸ™‚ I was greatfull when we climbed up on to Elslack Moor so we could get out of the quagmire.


On Elslack Moor we were met with some stunning views to the west and north which made the farmland struggle worth while. The rain had died down, the sun had returned, the PowerMonkeys Solar Panels were back out so all was well with the world.


Even though our feet were beginning to ache a little the final few miles in to Gargrave rekindled my liking of farmland… It was the lambs jumping, playing and chasing that made me smile through my discomfort. How can you not smile at the sight of new born lambs πŸ™‚

We made it in to Gargrave and the first thing we did was head for a pint… A pint of Timothy Taylors Landlord at the Masons Arms to be precise. After the drink we hobbled round to the Eshton Road campsite where we had planned to spend one of our few none wild camping nights.

So thats the end of day 4, once again i’m posting this from the warmth of my tent. We are fed, watered and I have had the best shower ever… 4-5 days of washing in rivers just can’t compete with hot running water πŸ™‚

3 thoughts on “The Pennine Way – Day 4 – Top Withens to Gargrave

  1. I think you should name the pub, that way walkers can give it a wide berth. What the hell is that about anyway, a country pub that doesn’t welcome walkers?


    1. It was the Bay Horse Inn at Cowling. They couldn’t have made me feel more unwelcome if they had tried. Chris was un fazed but I felt totally uncomfortable and headed back out in to the rain πŸ™‚ the experience there was a low point, everyone else we met along the way was welcoming and I’ll never forget their kindness. In particular the gentlemen also called Chris at Holme Farm campsite in Horton, he was one of the nicest, most interesting people I’ve ever met.


      1. Thankfully there relatively few negative experiences though I had one too at the Commando Bar, Spean Bridge hotel. Two women in the wrong bar, it went deadly still, the tumbleweed blew threw and we felt as if we were aliens from outer space! Well, sod the Bay Horse Inn!


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