An early breakfast saw us hit the road before 8:30, it felt strange to be warm in shorts and t-shirt so early on the last day of September. We began with a lovely undulating ride along Mewith Lane with views of Ingleborough and through beautiful dales scenery and then through the fascinating village of Clapham and up through tunnels built by the owners of Ingleborough Hall to lower the lane so it passed underneath their estate. We rode along this rough lane to reach tarmac again and on to Settle where we had cake and some disappointingly weak coffee at the Naked Man Cafe, to be avoided if you’re in need of caffeine.
It was a tough three mile climb out of the town, but we lost the hard won height rapidly to plunge down to the river where we crossed the Pennine Way. We baked on the bridge while eating our sandwiches then pressed on across the hills, pausing for a chat with a roadie from Hellifield out for the day. We stopped for ice cream at Burnsall, it felt more like an August weekend with people spread out with picnics on the green by the river. Until now we’d seen barely any motor traffic but it became busier from here to Pateley Bridge. I was almost out of water so it was a relief to be able to buy a cold bottle at the Stump Cross Caverns cafe. We rode through the village to Foxfield, our B&B for the night, showered and walked back in search of food. We headed for Olley’s, an Italian restaurant, and were surprised to be told that we couldn’t get a table until 9:15, even though it was only 7:15. I gazed wistfully at the Timothy Taylor’s Landlord handpump and Christine sensibly pointed out that we needed somewhere to eat. We ate well at the Indian restaurant, which also became very busy while we were there.