Pennine Way Stage 7 – Horton in Ribblesdale to Hawes
Pennine Way Stage 7 runs 14 miles from Horton in Ribblesdale to the famous Yorkshire town of Hawes. On a clear day you’ll have stunning panoramic views over the Ribble Valley. Additionally, the Pennine Way briefly meets other famous walking routes in the area including the Yorkshire 3 Peaks and Dalesway. Day 7 highlights include a panoramic view of the famous Ribblehead Viaduct. However, although today is rather flat it involves a lot walking on paved tracks which you’ll feel under your feet as the day goes on.
How to Survive a Wet Day on the Pennine Way
Before we start day 7 of the Pennine Way, I must share what to wear on a wet day. It’s inevitable that you’ll have several rainy days when you do the Pennine Way route and day 7 was the day I experienced the worst weather. I would describe the weather as sideways rain, high winds as well as low visibility. This weather is common in the Pennines even when it’s sunny in the surrounding valleys. So what should you wear to keep you, your clothes, your bag and your shoes dry?
Waterproof raincoat, over trousers, gaiters, bag cover and poncho are all required. The poncho is incredibly useful because even with a raincoat and bag cover, water can still get through to your bag. I experienced sideways rain being blown at me for hours and without my extra poncho cover I’m sure my bag would have got wet. You don’t want to arrive at your destination with everything in you bag wet! Finally, maybe even your Gore-Tex shoes will get wet therefore you need to dry them overnight (to avoid blisters the following day). Screwing up pieces of old newspaper and stuffing them in your shoes is an effective way to quickly dry them.
Ascent From Horton in Ribblesdale
The day starts with an ascent from Horton in Ribblesdale. After ascending, the route is relatively flat until you descend into Hawes around 10 miles later. You’ll pass over Cam Fell which is home to Ling Gill National Nature Reserve. Perhaps you’ll see some wildlife if the weather is clear.
Yesterday, we saw one of Yorkshire’s natural wonders, Malham Cove. Today, we’ll see one of Yorkshire’s man made wonders albeit from a distance. Enjoy a panoramic view of Ribblehead Viaduct from the Pennine Way trail. As a matter of fact, those who take the train over the viaduct don’t see it therefore we have a better view than them.
Dalesway, Yorkshire 3 Peaks
As you make your way across Cam Fell and Dodd Fell be sure to take the correct route to Hawes. Fortunately, it’s all easy to navigate with clear signs and clear paths (even in bad weather!). Other routes you’ll see signposts for are the Dalesway and Yorkshire 3 Peaks. It’s worth mentioning that most of today’s paths are paved therefore hard on the bottom of the feet. If you need an excuse to stop an extra day in Hawes, how about to relax your feet?
Descent to Hawes
As I descended towards Hawes I looked back at what I had just walked through. Because of the weather I couldn’t appreciate the panoramic views from Dodd Fell. In fact, where I was walking on the hills edge, rain was blowing up into me! Something which struck me while I was walking through the wind and rain was the curlews would still fly past to guard their nests. Every now and again I’d hear and see a silhouette of a curlew.
As I descended into Hawes, the weather became more tolerable. Once you’re in the Pennines it’s a completely different weather system to the rest of the world so always be prepared. Hawes is a popular tourist town in the Yorkshire Dales full of bakeries, cafes, tea rooms, pubs and of course supermarkets. As a result, Hawes an excellent place to stock up on food and the last place until Middleton in Teesdale.
Where to Stay in Hawes
Hawes is a top tourist destination in the Yorkshire Dales therefore you’ll find plenty of sleeping options. If you’re camping, staying in a B&B or high end accommodation, Hawes has something for everyone. Relax and enjoy your evening in Hawes. Tomorrow we’re heading to Tan Hill Inn, the highest Inn in England.