LEJOG Virtual Challenge-Mile Marker 565.6: Bradford/Leeds with a jaunt through the Peak District

This post is in memoriam of Banita’s dear friend Steve Wright, who passed away this time last year. We were fortunate to be able to visit with him briefly in his home, near Leeds, in May 2019 during my 50th birthday trip. Upon his passing were were able to travel back to celebrate his life with his lovely son and grandchildren and a variety of friends with whom we’ve been able to stay in touch. I hope you are testing the limits of the great beyond, Steve! Remember to remove your sim card so you can’t be traced!

Peak District

As always my real time mileage is the combination of short bike commutes and some short walks around the neighborhood. But I’m over the half way point in my virtual adventure and another post card has come to my inbox.

The Peak District is Britain’s first national park but it was a long battle by the common folk to get access to walk Britain’s countryside as much of it was privately owned. In 1932, a mass walking excursion of said common folk upon the open moorlands of Kinder Scout in the Peak District took place and eventually in 1951, the Peak District became a National Park. A place highly recommended that I visit by the aforementioned Steve Wright, so visit it we will one day!

File:Pennine Way, Edale from Kinder Scout, Peak District, Derbyshire  (8120126842).jpg - Wikimedia Commons
Pennine Way, Edale from Kinder Scout, Peak District, Derbyshire. Photo by Andrew Bone from Weymouth, England.

In the Peak District itself are some lovely hostels to stay at and you could even plan some hostel to hostels walks. Don’t dismiss youth hostels. Many have private rooms and are very solo traveler (of all ages!) and family friendly with a lot of history to them, especially in the countryside. For example, check out the private rooms at YHA Hartington Hall. Not your typical hostel bunk bed is it?

The Pennine Way, Britain’s oldest National Trail begins in the Peaks and ends at the Scottish border and includes Yorkshire Dales National Park (a highlight of our May trip!) and Northumberland National Park. The entire walk is 267 miles and takes 6 (!!) to 22 (a tad more doable at a mere average of 15 miles per day) days. Better be lots of pubs along the route!

File:TanHillInn.jpg
Why yes, yes there is a great pub! Britain’s highest pub, the Tan Hill Inn is over 500 years old and located on the moors of North Yorkshire. Again, life goals! Photo by Dave Dunford. CC-BY-SA-2.5

Leeds

But we aren’t at that northern point yet in my virtual travels. I’m virtually in the city of Bradford which is just east of the old industrial city of Leeds. As I had mentioned, Banita and I spent three days in Leeds during our May 2019 trip so we could visit Steve and rest up after doing a couple walking days in the Yorkshire Dales; though I did take an overnight side trip to Whitby via steam train to visit the ruins of Whitby Abby on the east coast while Banita relaxed in our hotel. Leeds has rough industrial past but seems to be getting quite swanky as the hotel we stayed at, 42 The Calls is currently being upgraded and you can now choose to arrive by Rolls Royce or picked up at the train station and arrive by the river on a Riva boat! Damn, we had to walk from the train station.

Must not have been all that impressed with Leeds because I couldn’t find a single photo that I took! Sorry, Leeds! You did give birth to one of my favorite 80’s bands, The Sisters of Mercy, however.

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