I’m in the UK for New Year and visiting Yorkshire where I grew up. The Yorkshire Dales and nearby Lakeland are my playground for running. First run was up Ingleborough, out of Ingleton and up the Fell Lane route. The trail begins just above the village of Ingleton, and climbs gently at first along a track bordered by stone walls up to the first plateau.
From here onwards the surface varies from almost lawn-like turf path, through gravel track to gnarly lumps of limestone littering the way. The elevation increases in bursts which punctuate the plateaus at each level. Towards the top things become much steeper, with some craggy rock steps taking you over numerous false summits until finally the top plateau is reached. The top is perfectly flat and riddled with chunks of millstone grit, and incredible views over the Dales and out towards Morecambe Bay.
Here’s a great place to stay : The Linthwaite Hotel in Bowness by Windermere. We were after a night away and a proper good meal and wine, and this did not disappoint. They are super relaxed and the dinner and breakfast were really fantastic. The following day we set off to Grizedale to do a short trail run there – there’s a marked trail around the Tarns, which at 5.5km and a bit hilly is perfect for my Mrs who usually runs 5km flat trails. The trail is a real mixture of gravel path, logging roads and forest floor, passing through streams on the way and climbing up above the visitor centre to Grizedale Tarn at the top.
From there it’s downhill on a fairly technical rocky path with small streams running down it and back to the car park. We continued to the Drunken Duck Inn – a little off the beaten track between Hawkshead and Ambleside.
This pub is lovely, and to my great delight has its own microbrewery attached. So I tried 3 of their brews – the Pale Ale, the Westmorland Gold, and the Stout. While all were lovely, the Gold was something else – quite probably the best beer I ever tasted. It was that good.
So that’s the warm-up out of the way. While I’m up here I’ll try to run every day and fancy another shot at Ingleborough now that I’m familiar with the trail. Would be nice to hit it a bit harder next time round.