Day 40 – Hawes to Tan Hill

Important Info

Planned kilometres: 26 (cummulative 886)

Kilometres walked: 26 (cummulative 942)

% Completed (based on 1800km trip): 52.3%

Weather: Overcaast, Windy, Rain

Pubs visited: Tan Hill Inn

Pints: 4 (cummulative 121)

Kms per pint: 7.8

Blisters: 0 (cummulative 4)


Hawes to Tan Hill

The beautiful sunny weather that I have been enjoying had to finish sometime and today was the day. The last day it rained was on Day 12 of my walk, so I have had an amazing run weather and hope that I get another 27 days of sunshine after today. The weather forecast late yesterday was for rain all day today, but overnight we had a bit of a reprieve as rain was delayed until the afternoon.


My first job of the day was to go to the post office (which was inside the public library) to post four-pint glasses back to London. I had bubble wrapped all the glasses, packed then in a box with paper padding and sealed up the box for shipping only to find when I got to the Post Office that the box weighed 2.004 kg. The price for over 2 kg was more than 13 quid, but if under 2kg it was just 3 quid, so I had to undo the box, just a couple of small strips of carboard off the edges and then reseal. The ladies at the Hawes post office/library were great and lent me scissors and tape to enable me to open, cut up and reseal the box.


Today’s walk includes 2 big climbs, the first being up Great Shunner Fell to a height of 716 metres and second to Tan Hill Inn at 528 metres, so I was expecting a very tiring walk. My first target for the day was to get to the top of Great Shunner fell before the rain hit.


There was a fierce wind blowing sideways on the way up the hill and in some places, I had to lean into the wind to stay upright. There were quite a few people on the trail today and at the top of the first section of the hill I caught up with George (the Geordie) and Sue and Martin (who we shared dinner with in Hawes last night). Part of the Way today is paved with large flagstones which have been laid to protect the peat bog and help walkers not get bogged in winter and they certainly make walking easier.




This is at the Trig point at the top of Great Shunner Fell, where we took a break out of the wind.




After getting to the top of Great Shunner Fell, it is a long trek down very rocky path/road to the town of Thwaite and this certainly gave the knees a workout. We all had a break at a cafe in the village and while there, the rain started. The other walkers (George & Sue/Martin) were finishing at Keld today which was only 3 miles away and as I had 7 miles to Tan Hill, we parted ways as they continued walking the Pennine Way and I walked the road to Keld as this cut a couple of miles and hills off todays walk. In the café we all donned out wet weather gear as the forecast rain looked like it had settled in for the day.


The walk from Keld to Tan Hill was very remote and weather on the Pennine Way was good but deteriorated significantly the further I got through the walk. The photos show the stream in the valley and the road to Tan Hill on the opposite side of the valley.



I can see how people can get lost in the Pennines as during the last 2 miles of my walk in the rain, the mist descended, and visibility dropped to less than 30 metres. I was very glad that the path was easy to follow.


As I was walking along I decided to take a picture to show the limited visibility, After I took the first photo, I walked for another ten metres or so and saw a vehicle. Another ten metres on a building appeared out of the mist and I have arrived at The Tan Hill Inn.


The Tan Hill is Britain’s highest pub at 528 metres. I will take some photos of the pub tomorrow as not much point taking them when I arrived, and I was more interested in getting inside and get out of my wet walking gear.

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