|Angry Skies Over the Moor|
|Setting Off From the Cafe|
|Leaving the Woods|
The path flirted with the moors briefly but we didn't actually leave the cultivated lower slopes. After leaving our initial path our onward route took us across a field full of inquisitive bullocks and through a small wood. The clouds above us had billowed up at this point and none of us much liked the look of them. They rather took the colour out of the landscape too, such that the odd straggly bluebell still clinging on to spring and the various pink flowers of campion and ragged robin were the only break from an otherwise green landscape. We passed through a small wood and the inevitable spots of rain started to come but thankfully these didn't amount to anything and we headed out into another field.
The woods line the valley of the Little Beck and many years ago there was quarrying activity along the banks of the stream. The shale that was extracted was a source of Alum, a chemical used for various things but probably for wool dying at that time. Alum is used for the production of antiperspirants these days but not from this part of the country. Any quarrying activity that went on is now masked by the trees and to be fair nature has largely healed the area once again.
Around this part of the walk we started to get glimpses back cross the valley over the tops of the trees on the other side. We could also see where we had already walked and our immediate impression was that it seemed to be more than 3.5 miles all the way around! Our route took us along the top of the valley for a short way until we came to a point where we had to choose between descending to Falling Foss or going straight to the car. We decided on the latter although in truth it wasn't as easy to get a good view of the waterfall. We did feel complete though. The activity surrounding the café had subsided when we got back & the whole area felt completely different without the throngs of people.