A Walk Along The River Wharfe

Spring is often shy as it approaches, but today it was impossible to ignore the greenness suddenly thrust across our waning winter landscape. Simultaneously the birds have swelled in number and the air is again buoyed by their busy music. The wild calls of geese rouse the early mornings, and when hummingbirds return in three weeks time the orchestra will be complete.

Complementing all this bounty is my bright anticipation of a trip to England’s Yorkshire Dales country in May, when my wife and I will hike the delightful eighty-mile length of the Dales Way, from Ilkley up into the Lake District near Windermere. On our previous visit to the UK we hired a car and drove through England, Wales, and Scotland: not as nerve-wracking as I’d supposed, but as on any trip by car one sees a lot but misses nearly as much in the process. So, this time, we’re on foot, or train, or bus.

We’ve been asked several times “Are you going with a group? Which tour are you taking?” The truth is, we’ve done the planning ourselves: the information we required was all to be found online, from the bed-and-breakfasts where we’ll overnight to the train and bus schedules, and all the information…and more…one needs about Local Attractions. I doubt we’ll run out of Ancient Historic Buildings anywhere we visit.

Because this will be a walking trip I searched early-on for Web sites about the Dales Way, and of special above-and-beyond note is Mike Brockhurst’s The Walking Englishman. True to the name, Mike is to be found out-and-about most weeks, and has now taken to writing about it in a regional magazine, Yorkshire Today. We’re anticipating a meet-up with him early in the walk, when we’ll go up Simon’s Seat for the view down into Troller’s Gill.

All this, and hummingbirds. Splendid.

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