A Church Path to Knock

For the first time in months we drove to the start of a walk, albeit just a few miles. We are still not prepared to drive any great distance to walk, given that Cumbria has one of the worst Covid-19 outbreaks in Britain and that scientists believe it hasn’t yet peaked in our county.

DSCF1939
Dufton Church (c) John Bainbridge 2020

We drove to Dufton, on a hot and bright day, with the intention of following the church path to the parish church, which is someway out of the village, then on to the hamlet of Knock before doing a circuit of Knock Pike – one of the three great pikes that seem to guard the Eden Valley from the long heights of the North Pennines.

DSCF1931
On the Path to Church (c) John Bainbridge 2020

And how good it would be to see this whole area created a National Park…

It’s good to walk a church path. I can remember countless footpath inquiries over the decades where someone either wanted to close or divert such rights of way. “Oh, it’s only the way people used to walk to church in old times,” the proponents would bleat to the inquiry inspector.

DSCF1935
Church Way (c) John Bainbridge 2020

As if that wasn’t important – a hugely vital way of understanding a bit of our social history.

DSCF1938
The Path Through the Churchyard (c) John Bainbridge 2020

Happily, nobody has tried to close to path between Dufton and its parish church. This right of way is well used, by locals and ramblers from afar. And a lovely path as well, running through splendid countryside with great views and a rather lovely squeeze stile.

DSCF1937
Ancient Squeeze Stile (c) John Bainbridge 2020

And please let’s Save Our Stiles – ignore the rambling zealots who want them swept away. They are an iconic feature of our countryside’s history. Vandalism and cultural slaughter to do away with them! I know people with disabilities have difficulties with stiles. I do sometimes. I have severe arthritis in my feet. So I don’t mind alternative gates, but let’s keep the older stiles as well. The idea that future generations of walkers might never know what a stile is – outside the writings of Shakespeare, Richard Jefferies, John Clare, Wordsworth etc. – is horrifying.DSCF1936

Because of the Lockdown, the old church was shut, but it was pleasant to linger in the tree-shaded churchyard. We crossed the beck and wound our way up to the land leading through Knock. A pleasant and quiet byway.

DSCF1944
Knock Pike, with Dufton and Murton Pikes in the distance (c) John Bainbridge 2020

Beyond the hamlet we chatted to a cyclist who’d come up from Kendal and intended to bike the steep private road up to the golf ball radar station on Great Dun Fell, one of the highest summits of the Pennines. We admired his stamina on such a hot day.

DSCF1949
Mountain Pansies (c) John Bainbridge 2020

But we followed his route for a mile before taking the path circling Knock Pike. The Pennine side of Knock Pike was quarried away in previous times, though the old quarry isn’t visible until you come round to this side.

DSCF1952
The Glory of the Gorse (c) John Bainbridge 2020

The views are quite wonderful. Not just the Pennines, but across the Eden Valley to Wild Boar Fell, then the Lake District hills in the distance, dominated by mighty Blencathra.

DSCF1950
Another lovely old stile (c) John Bainbridge 2020

On the moorland beyond the Pike we saw purple mountain pansies – the Pennines are a good habitat.

DSCF1956
Looking back to the Pennines (c) John Bainbridge 2020

Beyond, a lovely stretch of gorse and a beck almost completely dry in this hot May weather.

There’s an enclosed path heading back down into the valley. Heavily vegetated at this lush moment, but pleasantly walkable.

DSCF1958
The Path Down (c) John Bainbridge 2020

We’ve done this walk before taking the circuit of Knock Pike in the other direction, but far better to do it this way, with all the views before you.

Published by John Bainbridge

Rambler, hillwalker, stravaiger and trespasser, access campaigner. Novelist writing historical and period crime fiction.

8 thoughts on “A Church Path to Knock

  1. We have lots of mountain pansies on Whittas Park next to Binsey – they’re starting to ail a bit now with the drought though 😦 Just the purple ones left now – they must be more drought-resistant than the purple and yellow ones.

    Glad you mentioned stiles – I was just going to while I read your post. I think it’s vital we keep stiles and deplore the efforts to rid us of them. I’ve been so thankful for stiles while this virus has been raging – far preferable to handling a gate – I bet the farmer thinks so too!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. A wonderful walk, John; thank you for the chance to see what you see. I love to find church walks, too. There is one near us that I hope to walk soon which becomes really obvious during dry spells in the summer. The grass is different on the path to that surrounding it. I am all for stiles as well, despite arthritis making it difficult to climb up and get down and, because of my short legs I find squash stiles extremely difficult to get through! It gives my husband a laugh every time we encounter them!

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Learning, Science and Society

blogging new ideas in science, business, learning

Northern Fell Wanderer

'I Can See Ingleborough From Here!' - The ramblings of a Northern Fell Wanderer: and wanderer of fells everywhere.

New Tales from an Old Forest

Exploring the New Forest with Joan Begbie

Stories by Patricia Furstenberg

Travel, History, Fiction and Dogs, Romania & South Africa ~ For what is wind, but the amassed power of words long ago uttered? (Patricia Furstenberg)

hiking-scotland.co.uk

Outdoor Adventures in Scotland

Walk the Old Ways

Rambling Journeys in Britain with John Bainbridge. Fighting for the Right to Roam. Campaigning to Protect Our Countryside.

COLONEL UNTHANK'S NORWICH

History, Decorative Arts, Buildings

Norfolk Tales, Myths & More!

Stories From Norfolk and Beyond - Be They Past, Present, Fact, Fiction, Mythological, Legend or Folklore.

Blaggers' Blog

Adventures from Dartmoor and beyond

Ban Bloodsports on Yorkshire's Moors

Campaigning to end grouse shooting on Yorkshire's moors.

sunshine and celandines

These are a few of my favourite things.

Lakeland Walking Tales

Walks, stories and musings from the Lake District Fells

Daniel Greenwood

Unlocking landscapes

Stonehenge Stone Circle News and Information

Stonehenge Visitors Guide www.Stonehenge.News

Know Your London

A good place to find out about the history of Inner London. There’s no fake-history on this Website.

a new nature blog

I write about politics, nature + the environment. Some posts are serious, some not. These are my views, I don't do any promotional stuff and these views are not being expressed for anyone who employs me.

Mick Canning

My Writings

Pam Lecky

Historical Fiction Author

A Suffolk Lane

A diary of my life in rural north Suffolk.

CampaignerKate

Campaigning for open spaces

Friends of the Ullswater Way Blog

Celebrating Our Heritage

heavywhalley.wordpress.com/

Just another WordPress.com site

Pathways to the Past

Exploring the legacy of Ethelburga - a community project focused on the Anglo-Saxon heritage of Lyminge, a village in the Elham Valley in East Kent.

Geraldine Evans's Books

Mystery Without Gore...Bio Historical with Love

Sophie Neville

Writer and Producer

Bee in the Moment

Taking time to notice nature.

The Journal Of Antiquities

Ancient Sites In Great Britain & Southern Ireland

John D Burns

Mountaineer, Storyteller and writer.

Musings on Life & Experience

Poetry, Fiction, & Non-Fiction Writings

A Literary Bent

All about books, the people who write them, sell them and read them...reviews and news, travel and photography.

setinthepast

Historical novels, films and TV programmes

AndyClarkWalks

When out walking a new route, I often think about how, when I have completed the walk, I should look up and find out more information about some of the places I have seen. This does not actually happen as often as it should. Hopefully, this site will go some way to redressing this.

Path Watch

Someone's got to do it.

Ratmobile Adventures

Family adventures around Britain in a small car

Ailish Sinclair

Stories and photos from Scotland

Welcome to the Beautiful North

Whimsical musings on my travels around the north of England and beyond

walkingisaacsteatrail

The short-distance approach to walking a long-distance footpath.

Zombie Salmon (the Horror Continues)

A blog about Horror fiction, Horror writing, and Horror criticism...a continuation of The Horror at Open Salon

The Dorset Rambler

Exploring the countryside and lanes of Dorset

treksandtors

A photographic record of walks on Dartmoor and the surrounding areas

bowlandclimber

Walks and climbs

The LongWalker

Long Walking, Long Thinking, and Deep Nature Connection

Down by the Dougie

“Beware those men, the jokers and the tricksters and the clowns. They will laugh us into hell.”

%d bloggers like this: