Hot, Quiet Moors

From Chop Gate to Blakey Ridge: The Lion Inn
14.14 km
8:23 to 12:05 PM 25 minutes stopped
279 metres up, 140 metres down
Monday, June 6, 2016


We arrived early in the sprawling Lion Inn. The restaurant bar area is many connected rooms all with low beamed ceilings. The many signs cautioning us to mind our head are justified. The restaurant is busy with noon day traffic. The parking lot is filling up. People are eating and drinking at picnic tables outdoors as well as in. There are four servers behind the bar. The first one we talked to told us our room was ready and directed us up six steps to room number one. Our double bed under a beamed ceiling with small window awaits. The long tub is appealing. Brian is already soaking.

Our three by one foot window looks out on the roof of the inn and the tip of the hill from which we came. I can see two sheep lounging at the base of a tall memorial stone. Although there is not the whisper of wind from this window, there is a lovely breeze wafting in the small window above the tub. Also rising are conversations from the picnic tables. I listened to snippets as I soaked. I relaxed in the tub longer than usual hoping that our Sherpavan driver would arrive. This is the first day we arrived before our supply bag. Brian dressed in his stinky clothes and headed to the pub for a brew. I would prefer clean clothes. I don’t think a towel is acceptable attire in the pub. Brian just came to inform me that Sherpavan won’t arrive for an hour and a half. Stinky it is.

The Lion Inn is Blakey Ridge, the fourth highest inn in England.

We had lunch with Dave and Sue. Their prawn filled buns and salad looked great but huge; so, we ordered just one and a Stilton soup to share.

Today we climbed three moors: Urra, Farndale and High Blakey. Really the first was the steepest and the other two fairly gradual slopes. We were more on top of the moors and in the middle most of the time; so, our views were predominantly of the moors and less of valleys until the last hour.

We contented ourselves with a leisurely, albeit hot stroll. No trees shade the moors. The heather would easily hide a dead body. You can see why murder mysteries might be situated here. One person remarked though that the peat would preserve the corpse then a found body would be good for a cold case.


Do you see the face in the rock

Only four people passed us coming in the opposite direction. One cyclist crossed the moors on a trail perpendicular to ours. Two couples were microscopic in the distance behind us. A much quieter day than yesterday. Plus we were driven to our starting point in less than ten minutes compared to fifty minutes of perilous road walking yesterday afternoon.

The birds provided the only sound. We saw a grouse with chicks but they did not pose for us. We saw many other grouse. They clucked as we approached, giving away their hiding places. We heard but did not see one pheasant. Finches, I think, zoomed back and forth across our path usually in pairs. The curlews swooped, dove and shrieked to divert us from their nests.

A two foot long black diamond on light green snake slithered in front of our boots. We have since been told that was a poisonous adder.

We only saw one bunny and the usual sheep dotting the moors, often mom and one or two lambs. I don’t know how a shepherd gathers his flock. It would be difficult even for a dog to run through the heather. The sheep are spread far and wide.

We did not see water on the moors yesterday, but today we saw a few pools and a stream ran, or rather sat, alongside the old rail bed we walked.


There used to be an iron mine on the moors. This explains the former rail line. No hamlets sprang up along its route. Yesterday we saw the remains of an alum mine.

I counted half a dozen butterflies yesterday and again today which brings my total for thirteen days to nineteen. I included a fat golden bronze caterpillar because eventually she will be a butterfly or moth. Most of the butterflies were white with greyish blue spots. A few were yellow and one tiny one today was bright orange with a broad black border on the wings. One white one almost landed on my nose as if to say, “You want butterflies? Here I am!” None posed.

Our bag arrived. We changed into shorts and are enjoying this restful day.

We shared a warm dark chocolate fudge cake with a scoop of chocolate orange ice cream last night. I do not think I have lost any weight on this trip.




  1. I missed you not being here when I. Got back today. I wonder what the story is behind that face on the rock? Jim says it is very hot in Cumbria. The greens in your pictures are so vibrant. How are Brian’s knees? Love to both, you are nearly there!!!!

    1. Hot again this morning. Breakfast isn’t until 8. It would be better to start earlier. Knees are holding up, but it was good to have a shorter day yesterday.

  2. It’s been lovely reading your accounts of the days. We were in Donegal last weekend and I was thinking of you two and hoping you were having good weather. Glad to see that was the case, though perhaps it was a little too hot. I hope you missed the thunderstorms!
    I loved hearing about the grouse chicks. When we were walking, there were no chicks. But we were entertained by the ‘grousing’ adults trying to draw us away from their nesting areas.
    Happy hiking!

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