Lady Anne's Way
Total distance covered; 102 miles (164kms)
7 days walking, based in Hawes
Lady Anne’s Way is a 100 mile (160kms) route based around the journeys made by the formidable Lady Anne Clifford (1590-1676) in the course of overseeing the restoration of Skipton Castle, Barden Tower, Pendragon Castle, Brough Castle, Appleby Castle, Brougham Castle and Brougham Hall. Lady Anne Clifford spent most of her adulthood fighting for her inheritance through the courts, and it was only in her 50s, when she came into that inheritance, that she was able to start the process of extending and improving the castles, and restoring the associated churches, on her vast estates. As High Sheriff of Westmorland she was known as a generous benefactor and landlord, which was reflected in the building of almshouses for the poor.
©Andrew Findlay / Age Fotostock
Lady Anne Clifford's estate included large swathes of Westmorland (now Cumbria) and Yorkshire and Lady Anne's Way starts from Skipton Castle in North Yorkshire (where she was born) and finishes at Penrith, and Brougham Castle in Westmoreland (where she died). The route passes through Wharfedale, Wensleydale, the Mallerstang Edge, and the Upper Eden Valley; a landscape of great beauty and, in parts, remote and largely unvisited. The timing of the holiday should see the heather on the high moors at its best.
Highlights of the holiday include the wonderful riverside scenery between Burnsall and Buckden; the dry-stone walls and flower meadows of Wensleydale; the views up onto Wild Boar Fell and Great Shunner Fell from The Mallerstang valley; the bustling market towns of Hawes, Kirkby Stephen and Appleby-in-Westmoreland; the ornate tombs of Lady Anne Clifford and her mother in St Lawrence Church in Appleby; the almshouses at Appleby; the Countess Pillar (built by Lady Anne to make the spot where she last parted from her mother before her mother's death), and the remains of the various Clifford estate castles and towers which she sought to preserve for her heirs.
Day 1: Skipton to Grassington 15 miles (24kms)
Day 2: Grassington to Buckden 13 miles (21kms)
Day 3: Buckden to Askrigg 12 miles (19kms)
Day 4: Askrigg to Outhgill (The Thrang) 16 miles (26kms)
Day 5: The Thrang to Brough 14 miles (23kms)
Day 6: Brough to Kirkby Thore 16 miles (26kms)
Day 7: Kirkby Thore to Penrith 16 miles (26kms)
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