Day 48: Marsden – Airton – Gargrave – East Marton – Thornton-in-Craven – Lothersdale

15.5 miles – floury-blue sky, molten steel sunshine, oozing, viscous heat (27 Centigrade)

The lane to Airton, shortly after leaving Malham; the temperature is still comfortable.

It was already soldering hot before 9:00. I melted along, the clammy, humid day clinging to my clothes.

The cafe at Gargrave was shut and it was too early for the pubs; the pub at East Marton had closed down three years ago (although irritatingly still marked on the maps) and the cafe nearby was shut. Thornton-in-Craven offers the traveller no refreshment of any kind. the next two miles, without the help of tea or beer exhaust the hiker on a hot day, and all for the pleasure of a couple of miles of yet more eventless, flattish moorland.

WHY?

I had briefly been on a pretty canal after East Marton; that’s the terrain needed on what may prove the hottest day of the year…

…So you can imagine what hopes the pub at Lothersadale held for me, and after such disappointment they were fulfilled: fabulously kept beer and an invitation to camp in the pub garden.

One of the hardest days of the walk with one of the best endings!

The lock on the Leeds and Liverpool Canal at Gargrave.
The remarkable double bridge over the canal at East Marton
Yorkshire shimmering in the heat.
Chris builds and repairs dry stone walls. He told me that the profession is well paid, and yet with far too few young people take it up. An opportunity for some of our Hastings unemployed?

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