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A Walk in Dentdale

February 14, 2015

After several walking days in bright sunny weather, snow and frost and cloud inversions, Tuesday was British weather back on form; mist on the tops, a feel of damp in the air, though the ice still lingered deep and hard on the puddles.

Flintergill Track and Dent (c) John Bainbridge 2015

Flintergill Track and Dent (c) John Bainbridge 2015

In Dentdale – through which

The Wishing Tree at Dent (c) John Bainbridge 2015

The Wishing Tree at Dent (c) John Bainbridge 2015

flows the Other River Dee – the dale was clear but the cloud was low higher up.

We set out from Dent.

On the Occy (c) John Bainbridge 2015

On the Occy (c) John Bainbridge 2015

We took the steep and rocky path up Flintergill, the gill itself is an increasingly deep chasm, its waters running in part over beds of absolutely flat rock. The track is lined with some interesting trees, particularly the Wishing Tree – a particularly fascinating example of root growth and erosion – almost as though it is standing on wooden legs.

By the time we reached the top we were in cloud. Here is the junction with the Occupation Road – or Occy as it’s popularly known. A track that is said to date back to the Enclosure Acts of the 1850s. It runs from Barbondale to Kingsdale and served the farmers responsible for enclosing the moorland here.

The Occy more or less contours the hillside until the lane to Barbondale is reached. Then we walked over the slopes of Stone Rigg, following a public footpath marked to Underwood. Easy grassy going at first, then a stretch of boggier ground alongside a half-fallen wall, until a stony path leads down to Combe – a restored farmhouse – and the neighbouring property of Tofts.

An old Path near Combe House (c) John Bainbridge 2015

An old Path near Combe House (c) John Bainbridge 2015

This in turn leads past Bower Bank until the hamlet of Gawthrop is reached. An attractive settlement on the side of the dale.

Just past Mill Dam Farm we followed a path past some very pretty waterfalls down to Barth Bridge, and then took the Dales Way back into Dent.

And if you are in that village do please visit the church with its Jacobean pulpit and boxed pews, marked with the initials of the families that owned them, either carved into the woodwork or impressed with nails.

A Box Pew in Dent Church (c) John Bainbridge 2015

A Box Pew in Dent Church (c) John Bainbridge 2015

The clouds robbed us of the otherwise spectacular views, but it was still worth doing. Walking in a mist can be a very atmospheric experience.

Dent Village Street (c) John Bainbridge 2015

Dent Village Street (c) John Bainbridge 2015

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. February 14, 2015 10:25 pm

    Haven’t done that walk up the gill to the Occupation Road yet but was rereading my Wainwrights on the area and thinking it was time I did! Thanks for the reminder 🙂
    Carol.

  2. February 15, 2015 7:25 am

    Need a clear day really as the views must be quite something.

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