Monday 10 December 2018

Wild and beautiful......the two bridges run

All Friday night a raging westerly rocked the house and roared in the chimney affording us very little sleep. Driving back to the Dales on Saturday morning a double rainbow arced across a gunmetal sky ahead of us.  We drove through it into gale force torrential rain that continued all day and well into the night.
The path had become a stream   (Click to enlarge pictures)
By Sunday morning things had calmed down, the sun came out and our minds clicked into running mode.  At 10.30 we donned suitably studded footwear and squelched our way by soddened fields and flooded lanes towards Grassington where the last of the Dickensian events was taking place.
Wait for me...high water down High Lane
Goodness knows how many inches of rain had fallen but for much of the way we were paddling through water over the tops of our shoes.  But hey, we're fell runners, we can cope...
Wallowing in a few moments of warmth at one of the drier parts
 The forecast had been for wall to wall sunshine but, as is often the case, they didn't get it quite right.  There were welcome sunny spells that gave warm respite from the bitterly cold cloudier conditions, but they didn't last long.
That bearded falsetto.
Strange wailing noises assailed our ears approaching the flesh pots of Grassington.  The entertainment had begun - for some.  A little later, wandering down the busy street past well stocked stalls, we arrived at the source of those weird high pitched sounds to discover it wasn't a lady, as we'd thought, but a bearded falsetto gentleman.  We didn't stay!
What the Dickens?  Kids dressed for the occasion
In early days it was considered de rigueur to dress appropriately for  Dickensian weekends, not just  stall holders and active participants but most visitors too.  It was a glorious, colourful sight that added greatly to the atmosphere of the event.
Morris dancers
Sadly, that seems to be no more.  Very few people nowadays dress for the occasion though one group of people, the Morris dancers, might seem to take it to extremes.  The black faced, gaudily dressed flag-crackers were stood around awaiting their turn to clatter their clogs.  It was too cold for us to hang around so we missed their performance.
We left the gathering crowds and tootled down to the raging River Wharfe.  Roaring under the bridge it was quite a sight after all the hours of heavy rain.  Some people who'd parked in Linton to walk into Grassington were quite concerned about crossing the bridge and raced across rather quickly.
Nip across quick before that pillar gets washed way..
We always find it quite fascinating when the water is high and invariably stop for the obligatory photograph before heading on our way.  Sunday was no exception and, to be honest, I found it more interesting than anything that was going on in the streets of Grassington.   
But don't tell the organisers!
Hebden Suspension Bridge.,
We dragged ourselves away and trotted off down river, heading for home.  With very little running over the past few weeks yours truly was beginning to feel the strain.  Forward progress was little more than a gentle jog. interspersed with walks, for the next two miles to Hebden Suspension Bridge..  A guy in shorts admitted "I always hate crossing this bridge" and, like people at Linton Falls, was rushing to get it over with..  I nipped over to take a photograph before trailing up the road into the village, trying to keep up with my wonderful partner who seems to be taking over the reins.
For the time being..


  1. Strangely enough Old Runningfox we have got in Ilkley the two bridges run as well , although our two bridges are not so challenging as yours , I would have been a bit afraid to cross that one in Linton as well .Saturday we did West Yorkshire in Cliffe Castle and we had heavy rain through the race that made the ground like a soft spongy mud that it was hard not to fall. I liked the pics with the raging rivers below the two bridges . Antonio .

    1. Yes, I've run a X-country at Cliffe Castle and was sliding all over the place. But the Cliffe Castle Parkrun is OK, all on good paths.

  2. Wild and beautiful describes it well …
    Enjoy your weekend.

    All the best Jan

    1. Thanks Jan.. I'll try and enjoy it but the weather is appalling.