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A while back I was asked by a friend to offer some decent drives around the Dales for relations from Suffolk who were touring the Dales. I was told they couldn’t walk very far but loved scenic routes and enjoyed stopping for the views and a cuppa. No problem I said, and rattled them off half a dozen drives which included some of the best roads to be found in the Dales. I received a very polite response this week from the couple saying how kind I was but they’d only completed one of the routes because the driver had found the journey too stressful! They’d never been up one-in-fours, or unfenced roads with stray sheep roaming all over the place, or with sheer drops falling away down one side. For those living here, using the passes between the Dales just seems the natural thing to do… even this morning, needing to get to Clapham from Gisburn I took the route over tops rather than go along the Ribble valley. What a delight it was driving up the steep-sided Hodder valley and down Tatham Fells from where you could see the distant mountains of the Lake District. All of the Three Peaks and Gragareth were laid out in front of me. I just had to stop at the Great Stone of Fourstone, climb it and soak up the panorama. The more romantic believe that the giant Finn McCool hurled the stone across the Irish Sea in a fit of peak – he can’t have been that angry as it seems he carved out a set of steps on it for us to climb to the top and admire the view.
Photo shows part of the Great Stone of Fourstone looking towards Whernside and Gragareth.

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