Jo’s Monday walk : Gargrave in the rain


I did tell you last week that my skies aren’t always blue?  Sometimes you just have to carry on and do it.  August in England- you never can tell what’s in store!  My companion’s still smiling, so grab a mac and come with me to Gargrave.  What’s a little rain between friends?

It’s a lovely village, but I’m not staying long.  I hop over a stile in a stone wall and off across the field, even though that sky does look a bit ominous. I have a date with a canal.  I expect it will appreciate a little more water!  The sheep don’t seem terribly bothered, so why should we?


I do seem to have encountered a lot of sheep this summer.  You might remember that I spent an anniversary weekend in the village of Skipton, on the edge of the Yorkshire Dales.  Gargrave is situated just 4 miles north west of Skipton, and I had in mind a 3 and a half mile walk to take in a few locks. The Leeds and Liverpool canal and the River Aire both pass through the village, as does the Pennine Way, so perhaps you can understand my enthusiasm, despite the dreary weather.

Halfway across the field the mild drizzle turns to a downpour.  Nothing for it but to plod on, hoping to reach the shelter of a few trees.  I always seem to get the giggles at such moments. Not so the other half, whose frown was growing deeper by the minute.  With some relief, I spot the first lock, through the trees.  A cheery lock keeper bids us “good morning!”.  “I’m paid to get wet” he says, stoically.


Fortunately the rain has eased again and I stop to admire the lock keeper’s cottage. Imagine, if you will, a bright Summer’s day.


We cross over an old stone bridge and a pop of colour from a patch of tiny thistles catches my grey-weary eyes.  These are Bank Newton locks.


Can you see what lies ahead?  I will try not to bore you rigid with houseboats, but I do have a bit of a fascination with them.


One of the highlights of this walk was a small aqueduct, carrying the canal over the river. It was a first for me.  Not very spectacular to look at but an experience in itself.  I am full of admiration for the people who made these canals.


Happily, at this point a glimmer of sunshine appears in the sky.  I don’t suppose you’ll be able to see it, but it puts a smile back on the husband’s face.  And then we come upon a very strange craft!


One of the things I love about houseboats is the creativity of the people who live on, or near, them.  We’re almost at the end of our walk so I’ll spare you any more lock details. You might want to observe a stately swan though, and I’m pretty sure I have an irresistible dog for you.

Gargrave has a very charming website with a choice of walks around the village.  You could do much worse than follow one of them, and hopefully you’ll stay dry.  This is the walk that I did.

‘What!  No cream tea?’ I hear your outraged cry!  We drove onwards to Malham, where the rain was once again a deluge, and huddled in the corner of a cramped cafe.  Determined to see something of the mighty limestone crags, I persuaded the long suffering one to a short walk to Janet’s Foss. No need to feel sorry for him.  We were homeward bound and, as we crested the valley, sun beamed down upon us.   The scarecrow festival at Kettlewell more than made up for any disappointments.  Time to put the kettle on?

walking logo

I know time is a little tight right now, but please do visit the new folks on here, or at least bookmark them for later?  So much work goes into these posts.  I’d hate you to miss them. Huge thanks to all you for walking with me each week.  Details are, as always, on my Jo’s Monday walk page.  Just click on the logo above.


I have some great mates around here!  Thanks, Jude, for reminding me how very lovely Norwich is :

Norwich Part 1 : History and Architecture

Amy joins us with an extremely elegant walk this week :

A Walk of an Urban Garden

Geoff usually comes up with something different, and you’ll enjoy this :

Thomas Hardy and why he was miserable # walking

Next, a shout out for my birthplace, from Lady Lee :

Coventry Transport Museum

A dent in the head for poor Woolly?  Oh, dear!


Something all too familiar to some of us.  Thanks, Jesh!

Rainy Seasons

Can we have a big welcome please for Lisa, from Israel?  She’s new to my walks :

The Jerusalem Model  (you may need to scroll down a little)

“I read the news today, oh boy!… ”  Those Beatles again, or my friend Drake?

A day in the life

Enjoy some beautiful frosty leaf patterns with Denzil :

Shapes and patterns in nature

Jaspa has a rare find this week.  Seeing’s believing!

Walk on the Ocean Floor at Hopewell Rocks, Canada

Here’s value for money.  Two walks for the price of one, from Peta :

Morning walk ; Afternoon walk

And I’d like to share a very beautiful post I found.  Please say hello to Vanessa :

Sandankyo Gorge, Hiroshima- Wandering off the Beaten Track in the Mountains of Western Japan

And another great find!  I love sharing walkers that are new to me.  Happy to introduce Ostend Nomad :

Walking the Vintnar Gorge

And one more for luck!  Sophie makes Siena look absolutely stunning!

Night walk in Siena

And, getting the Christmas walks rolling, who could be better than Becky?

Beginning to feel like Christmas

That’s it for another week.  Maybe I’ll be in Christmas mode next week.  Take good care of each other!



  1. For a brief moment while the snow theme fell across that first photograph I was wondering if my computer had managed to turn a static image into a magical video! Love the capture of that gorgeous white swan on your rainy perambulation, though like many readers, I too am missing a hot cuppa and some jam covered goodies. Have a wonderful holiday season and the best to you and yours!

    1. We do avidly watch ‘Strictly’, AG, so a twirl or two might have been on the cards (but it would more likely have come from me 🙂 He’s no showman, but he does have a lovely smile). Thank you for your festive visit. Wishing you peace and love this Christmas.

  2. Oh, how wonderful! This takes me right back… I did one of my Duke of Edinburgh Award hikes around Malham, ahem, quite a few years ago! Thank you for the lovely welcome. The link is perfect and takes you straight to my day in Jerusalem.

  3. Canals are so dreamy, even in the rain! A delight to see this walk here and the photos of the locks bring back wonderful memories of canal trips. Isn’t there something so idyllic about lock keepers cottages, it’s the location I guess. Glad your husband cheered up with the sun!

  4. I love that you are obsessed with houseboats Jo, as I love them too and get to see all your wonderful photos of them…and that brown wooden one, well, that is something! Rain or shine, I love walking with you…but glad the sun came out for you as you headed home 🙂 xxx

    1. Hi Sherri 🙂 Are you ‘on track’ for Christmas? I’m sauntering towards it with no great conviction but the tree’s up 🙂 And I took a wreath to the cemetery today for Dad. Hugs, sweetheart!

      1. Ahh…bless you, lovely for your dad. I am getting there, need to with everyone coming home for 5 days and doing all the Christmas cooking, ha! Like you, the tree is now up so that must mean I’m on track. We’ll be missing our dads…thinking of those happy times…love & hugs to you dear Jo… 🙂 ❤

  5. Jo, you have really turned a grey day into something beautiful … you’re both really good sports .. out in that drizzle!!! FAB images again … you and that little camera really create some magic .. every time. Some stunning surroundings … and the locks plus the boats of course .. from where I’m sitting that houseboat (strange craft) doesn’t even look watertight to me. My favourite pick is the one with the little sign on the gate and the farmhouse and that dark sky. Beautiful … Once again … a great walk .. but I feel a bit wet! *smile

    1. It’s pouring here, and I was going to the cemetery with a wreath for Dad. Haven’t finished decorating the tree yet so I’ll do that first. Very damp hugs, sweetheart, and thanks for your lovely company. 🙂 🙂

  6. Well done you for going out on such a grey day and even M looks cheerful. I love walking beside water, imagine living in that pretty lock keepers cottage. Is that odd houseboat supposed to be steampunk? i can’t work out how the aqueduct is going over the river, it looks like it’s straight ahead???How are you doing this week, getting that Christmas thing sorted now?
    Tuesday hugs my lovely 🙂

    1. Hiya darlin 🙂 Sitting beside a sparkly half decorated Christmas tree. When it gets a bit lighter this morning I’ll finish it off but for now tree lighting is sufficient. Yesterday we bought the tree and wreaths and took 2 of them to the cemetery for my Mam and Mick’s. I had another pre-Christmas lunch so didn’t have time to finish decorating it yesterday but the house is starting to look pretty. Taking the other wreath to Middlesbrough for Dad this morning. A whole new Christmas routine now. 😦 I bet you’re looking wonderfully festive. I need photos! 🙂 🙂
      Sorry about the aqueduct shot. It isn’t at all helpful and I’d never make an engineer 🙂 Have a good week, Gilly. Hope you’re ok with working fulltime now. Are you off all Christmas?

  7. I love that first man-with-umbrella shot! And then the locks: I’ve been hearing about locks forever – the Murray River has many of them and J has lock stories from rowing up the Murray – but I’ve only just figured out how they work – in Warsaw! Your lock photos are great, and I like the grey day atmospherics, with the odd flash of flower-colour. You can show as many houseboats as you like: one time when “seen one, seen ’em all” definitely doesn’t work. I didn’t realise it was so common to live on them. They only featured for me in murder scenarios until I met an artist in Australia who lived on a barge (same thing or not?) on the Thames in her youth. It seems that calls have managed to preserve waterside despite their industrial beginnings. -6° here today so I’m wrapping warm hugs in ice!

    1. I don’t take many good photos of him, Meg, so I was rather pleased with that one. He’s lovely when he smiles. Not often enough these days 🙂 How’s J coping with cold? Got the grandbabies to keep you warm 🙂 🙂 Did you have wonderful birthday celebrations and did your head ache? Mine always did after James’. 🙂 I’ve always been fascinated by locks and wish we lived a bit nearer to some because there are heaps in the UK. But I do have beach so musn’t be greedy. 🙂 Still dark as I sit typing by Christmas tree lighting. Got to finish the tree off properly when it gets light then take a wreath to Middlesbrough for Dad. Hugs wrapped in 6 layers of jumpers for you. 🙂 Have a great week! What’s in store?

      1. Puddles thickly iced this morning. I wimped out – head and chest cold again. He must’ve brought it back from Australia. J’s learning how to rug up. Birthday celebrations were low-key – photos in the December summary. Maja went semi-mental at the thought of happy birthday being sung to her. J made a policeman hat for each of them, and today a paper Christmas tree – we’re still waiting for real choinka on sale in the street. Is this the first time you’ve visited your dad? This Christmas will be hard with his absence. The hugs arrived cosy, thank you. You think of everything!

      2. Paper Christmas trees… I remember making cut outs 🙂 Yes, the first time. And James has just had a bombshell dropped jobwise. Not going to be a great Christmas, but then there are people much worse off. Keep snug, love and get fit for the main event. 🙂

  8. Ooooh…houseboats. Now we’re talking. I, too, have quite a fascination for them. I’d live on one if I could. It’s one of the things I like most about Amsterdam…where I rented a boat a couple of times when I visited. You seem to find some wonderful walks, this one intrigues me. Can I put a houseboat on this canal?

    1. I don’t see why not. Should we go shares? I’ve always wanted a houseboat. I mean a caravan would be fine but then I’d have to feed the horse. I don’t steer very well so that might be your job. Come to think of it I’m not the best cook either. Could you live on bacon butties and chilli? Oh, what the heck, we’ll split the chores! I’m not bad with a boat hook for when we get stuck. ‘A houseboat in old Amsterdam… I saw a mouse. Where? There on the stair. Right there!’ Oh sorry, that’s ‘living in a windmill’, isn’t it? Do excuse me- Christmas tree lights send me a bit barmy. 🙂 🙂 And there’s a wonderful thought… festive decorating a houseboat 🙂 Did you get the pingback? Never can fathom if they work nowadays…

      1. Thanks for raising a smile on a doom-ridden UK morning. 🙂 Don’t even ask! Personal not political, but at least we have pretty pink skies. Wishing you a satisfying festive season and much joy.

  9. Ooh, that is grey! Still, needs must – as Elaine says sometimes we’d never go out if we waited for the rain to stop. It looks lovely, despite the weather. We often wander our own local canal and I started putting a post together about it this afternoon, some day it might turn up as a Monday walk.

      1. In 30 years of living near the canal I’ve only once seen boats going through the local locks! It wasn’t even navigable till a millennium project reopened it – it’s definitely looked up a lot in the last few years but mostly seems popular with walkers and cyclists, not boats.

      1. I am nearly winning the Christmas challenge -but it is made easier this year by us going away for the first time in about 20 years! Yes, I am enjoying Strictly and am going to be bereft when it is finished. There have been some great dances this year.

  10. Today is my seventh day in the Netherlands and I hardly saw blue 🙂 Thank you for the walking tour, Joe. The strange craft is intriguing, I always wonder how people live inside the boat, especially during the winter time!

    1. Home for Christmas, Indah? Well, what passes for home 🙂 Yes, I think winters on the water might be a challenge. Need a boat down on the Canal du Midi 🙂 Have a wonderful festive season!

  11. Even in the rain, it looked like a beautiful walk. Like you I love the canal boats and I would love to rent one for a week of slow travel floating down a beautiful canal enjoying the peaceful contryside. Thanks Jo😄

  12. I am full of admiration for you and the hub for getting out in the rain. I don’t think I know this area, but I do know Malham! I am still puzzled why you don’t actually own a narrow boat. You could then wander all over the country in your own time, visiting lots of lovely canal-side pubs and villages and towns. I can just imagine you sailing(?) along….
    And I would rather walk through a field full of sheep than a field full of cows/bullocks!

    1. I’m puzzled too, Jude. I’ve suggested it a time or two. 🙂 I think it might not be such a great option in the winter. We didn’t have a lot of choice about the weather that weekend. I was determined to make the best of it and we did have a lovely time. Just a bit damp in places 🙂

      1. I know when we are away we tend to go out each day despite the weather as we never know when we will be back in the area again. Whereas at home it is easy to stay indoors as there is always tomorrow – or at least I hope there is!!

  13. Good for you to take us on a wander in the rain Jo. I have made a firm commitment that this winter I will not let the weather get me down and it will not stop us from getting outside.

      1. Another lifetime dream about to be fulfilled, Sue, and you made it all happen. Wishing you much joy this Christmas (and lots of cuddling with the little one 🙂 )

      2. This has been a roller coaster of a year, Sue. Took a wreath to the cemetery for Dad yesterday. Just when we thought that all was smooth sailing with our son his boss tells him that there are no jobs local to his home in Leeds (after training him and putting him through uni). Not his best ever Christmas present.

      3. Oh dear that’s such rotten news for your son. What a year it has been and I can imagine this time of year really has your heart tugging with memories of your sweet Dad. Sending big virtual hugs your way my friend. xo

  14. I had no idea dreary could have so much charm! Such narrow locks. I guess they are in place for the house boats – an intriguing life; I can see the attraction. And, the dog is keeping a cute eye in you, Jo! I hope the sun peeks out this week. Not much chance for that here, unfortunately.

    1. No sunshine, Liesbet? It’s a proper mixed bag here, and very mild for the time of year. These were taken in Summer so it just goes to show… can’t rely on the weather. 🙂 Wishing you a great week!

  15. Tnanks, Jo, for taking me along the canal. You know how I love the British canals. I was wondering, though: do they really have a lock keeper there? Normally you do those locks on the canals yourself, don’t you?
    Have a wonderful week,

    1. Some stretches do have resident keepers, Pit. I don’t know that he actually lived in that cottage but he was definitely there to help with any problems. It was school holidays so maybe that makes a difference. Thanks, hon. Have a happy week too 🙂

      1. Thanks for the explanation, Jo. 🙂 I really loved the lock-keepers’ cottages [most of them privately owned] on the Stratford-on-Avon Canal. They had distinct roofs: all round, like a barrel.

  16. Although the skies were grey, everything looks so nice and green. I always love your shots of the sheep, Jo. They seem so curious when you’re around. Thanks for the terrific walk. Your photographs are lovely as always!

  17. Stone walls, house of bricks, vintage boats with vintage lettering … It’s like a walk back in time. I’d definitely talk that walk with you. Those boats are cool, cool, cool. A date with a canal … Ahihihihi 😀

  18. You are quite determined to go soldiering on through such a deluge, Jo! And Mick is such a great companion, indulging you and your whimsical walks. I’m sure he loves being pushed to come along on your adventures, though. I like the rainy-day photos, and especially the houseboats. They’re so unusual and full of character. Did you see any signs of life on them?

    1. The boats where the dog was were almost all occupied, Cathy. It’s a great spot because it’s near to the village for all amenities. It was school hols so probably much quieter there now. The walk to the waterfall was lovely too but I’ll keep that for another day. 🙂

      1. What a life, living on a houseboat. I wonder if it’s cold? I used to work on a boat (Management Systems International had its offices on 13 boats at one time) and it always seemed cold. Can’t wait to see your waterfall walk. 🙂

      2. I’m sure you’ll get to it soon enough, Jo. I’m doing blogging stuff between Christmas decorating and shopping. I need to go on a walk today, but I’m in no hurry because it’s ultra cold: -6C right now. Brr.

        Happy holidays, Jo! I know it will be hard and you’ll be missing your dad. But I’m sure you’ll find plenty to be joyful about as well. Love and hugs. xxx 🙂

      3. -6!!! Have you got snow, Cathy? We’re going to Leedstomorrow for a Magic Lantern Festival and it’s forecast +6. That’s cold enough for me 🙂 Hope you have a lovely Christmas. Have you heard from Adam lately?

      4. No snow, Jo! Isn’t that a rip-off for it to be so cold and to have no snow? The Magic Lantern Festival sounds marvelous, and you’re right +6 is cold enough! Stay warm.

        We talked to Adam on his birthday, December 7, but I haven’t talked to him since then. He’s still in Hawaii; though he always sounds like he’s having a grand time, I suspect it’s not as grand as all that. Thanks for the Christmas wishes! Same to you, and Happy New Year too. 🙂

  19. It doesn’t matter how many times I see photos like these, I always marvel at how green England is. It’s so beautiful and lush. I guess the rain will do that for grass!! 🙂 We’ve thought many times about having a canal boat holiday and did some research before our trip in September but a week on a canal boat was so expensive – we decided not to bother. But I would love to stay on one some day.

    1. Unless you’re a party of 4-6 it’s an expensive option, Carol, and you don’t always want to share that space. You could end up parting friends 😦 But I’ve always wanted to do the Canal du Midi. Think I could talk Jude and Gilly into it? 🙂

      1. My parents hired a canal boat for a week in Wales about 10 years ago and it wasn’t anywhere near the price they are now. I think we missed the boat on that one. Ha ha!
        I once saw a segment on a television travel show about boating on the Canal du Midi. It looked fantastic. Perhaps I could pop across on my magic carpet and join you.

  20. Admirable stoicism in the face of the elements Jo! Beautiful set of photos despite the weather and I love the houseboats too (to look at not to live on them!). Wishing you a lovely festive season and happy blogging adventures for 2017! xx 🙂

  21. I think your grey day is a real treat. Those house boats! I have the sudden urge to downsize and go drifting. I wonder if they acquire the same amount of dust as stay-at-home houses. We have a real gunky grey day on the Edge this a.m.

  22. Some lovely narrowboats there Jo, although some of them would not make it to Carcassonne! Love that first photo of your companion lurking under the umbrella, especially when you adjust your mouse so that the snowflakes are coming right down on him! Very realistic! Thanks for including my link, much appreciated.

  23. Born and bred in Skipton so I really enjoyed this walk. I would often walk up Sharp Haw dropping down to Flasby and into Gargrave, lunch at The Swan and then back onto Skipton via the canal and Stirton. I always dreamed of living on the canal, the pace of the barges always suited me.
    Some lovely picks and memories rekindled, thank you!

  24. There is no bad weather if you’ve got a lovely company. I think you had. I enjoyed canals, they look terrific. How do boats swim through them? They are so narrow, it must be challenging. There is a particular atmosphere there. Calm admiration. Your thoughts are drifting. Well, mine for sure! I enjoyed this walk so much, dear Jo!

  25. I recognise that lovely smile 🙂 hope you both sang singing in the rain as you walked along the tow path! And as for that wooden house boat, rather like a shed on a raft. Quite extraordinary.

Leave a Reply

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

You are commenting using your 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 )

Google+ photo

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

Connecting to %s