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Walking Land's End to John o'Groats with Mark Moxon

Lothersdale to Kirkby Malham

St Andrews Church in Gargrave
St Andrews Church in pretty little Gargrave

To be honest, I really don't know what to think. One minute I'm effing and blinding about the bloody Pennine Way, screaming at the weather, the bleak landscape and the relentless effort of it all, and the next I'm enjoying a pleasant pint in another beautiful Yorkshire village and wondering why on earth I keep getting so stressed. My mind is an optimist and only wants to remember the good parts, so as I sit down to type this outside the Victoria Inn in Kirkby Malham, with a pint of Black Sheep ale and the bells of St Michael the Archangel for company, I can't quite understand why this morning's walk got me so worked up. But it did, and I'd better get it down on paper before the filtering effect of nostalgia turns it all too rosy.

Tantalising Glimpse

The double-decker bridge, East Marton
The double-decker bridge, East Marton

It was a pity the weather didn't want to play ball, because I'd probably have enjoyed this day a whole lot more in pleasant weather. Instead of depressing moors and endless climbs, this easy Pennine stroll is more like an average day in Devon, and after four days of bog, heather and grouse, I was definitely in the mood for a change. If you ignore the short climb up Pinhaw, today consisted of an easy farmland stroll through Thornton-in-Craven and East Marton to Gargrave, before joining the River Aire just shy of Airton for some easy riverbank strolling to Kirkby Malham. Most people continue to Malham, a mile and a half further north, but I couldn't find anywhere with vacancies in Malham, so instead I stopped early, a good move given the quality of the Victoria Inn's Black Sheep ale.

The Leeds and Liverpool Canal at East Marton
The welcoming Leeds and Liverpool Canal at East Marton

Kirkby Malham

Stocks in the church of St Michael the Archangel, Kirkby Malham
Stocks in the church of St Michael the Archangel, Kirkby Malham

As with the whole of the Pennine Way so far, I found the walking today to be less than inspiring but the destination utterly charming. Kirkby Malham is a very small village with a church, a pub and precious little else except houses, but even in the chilly wind I found enough to keep me occupied for hours.

Friends of Kirkby Malham School
Invite you
"Back to School"
At Bolton Abbey Village Hall

7.30pm – 12.00
A strictly ADULTS ONLY disco!!
School Uniform to be Worn
A night of Fantastic Music
Fabulous Food
Frivolous Fun
Licensed Bar
Tickets £12.50

As I stood there lamenting the fact that school disco, like karaoke, seems to have infected the entire country, a couple of kids wandered past, kicking a football.

Kirkby Malham
Kirkby Malham