Our party of 25 returned to the Kings Head, Masham for our 32nd weekend away, on Saturday April 30th – Monday May 1st. This was our 3rd consecutive year at the Kings Head and our 6th visit in 10 years! (we obviously enjoy this venue!).
The weather leading up to the weekend had been cold and wet so we were all prepared for this with warm water proof clothing a top priority. Most of us arrived during the afternoon and were met by friendly staff and after perusing the menu and choosing our evening meal, unpacked and relaxed for a few hours. The evening meal was good and 3 courses were the order of the day – choice was varied and meals were served promptly and efficiently. We were able to use the tables in the restaurant all evening which was good and enabled lots of chat and catching up with everyone.
An excellent breakfast was served on the Sunday morning following which we drove to Leyburn for the start of our walk. Doreen Elliff kindly offered to drive John Coates and Peter Webster on a road trip around the Dales – stopping off for a coffee (or two) during the day.
Peter and Joan had been up to Leyburn the previous week to try out the walk and came up with an idea that we drive to Leyburn then do the walk instead of the familiar variations from Masham. They had a beautiful sunny, warm day and it was a brilliant walk though decided it was better done in the opposite direction, which Peter thought we did in 2009. Peter came up with the following schedule:
10.10am Drive to Leyburn
10.30am Begin the walk. Initially 45 minutes along the Shawl…all could walk this(?)
2.00pm Arrive Bolton Arms, Redmire
5.30pm Arrive back at Masham
So we all set off (in the rain) and walked along the Shawl which despite the rain was excellent with views of the surrounding countryside. At the turnoff to Redmire 7 of our party decided to walk back along the Shawl to Leyburn and the other 14 carried on across the fields to Bolton Castle and then on to the Bolton Arms at Redmire for lunch. Another split then as 5 of our keen walkers set off to walk back to Leyburn down the valley – they enjoyed their walk and arrived back in Masham at 5.10pm – earlier than
scheduled!. The remaining 9 set off up the hill to the train station where they caught the 4.15pm train from Redmire to Leyburn – a wonderful journey!!
All in all a great day for all and many thanks to Peter and Joan for pre-planning our day!
On the Monday we all set off home – some to drive round the Dales, others to set off home and a group of us decided to call at West Tanfield for a coffee and a look around the Art Show – always on at this Bank Holiday weekend! Following this we went to Thorp Perrow Arboretum (near Bedale) for a very interesting afternoon!. Thorp Perrow is the most important Arboretum in the North of England and is unique to Britain, if not Europe, in that it was the creation of one man, Colonel Sir Leonard Ropner!!!! It was an amazing place with so much to see, including the Spring blossom, bluebells and wildflowers, as well as the meerkats, wallabies, wild birds etc……and the sun came out which was a onus!.