WONDERFUL WENSLEYDALE - PDF Document

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  1. Y O R K S H I R E D A L E S G R E E N L A N I N G WONDERFUL WENSLEYDALE When it comes to scenery, nothing beats a clean, crisp winter’s day of greenlaning on the Yorkshire Dales W O R D S A N D P I C T U R E S B Y P A T R I C K C R U Y W A G E N 52LAND ROVER MONTHLY 052_LRM_APR20_GREENLANING.indd 52 052_LRM_APR20_GREENLANING.indd 52 19/02/2020 12:54 19/02/2020 12:54

  2. B I L L I N G O F F R O A D S H O W . C O . U K LAND ROVER MONTHLY 53 I N A S S O C I A T I O N W I T H 052_LRM_APR20_GREENLANING.indd 53 052_LRM_APR20_GREENLANING.indd 53 19/02/2020 12:54 19/02/2020 12:54

  3. Y O R K S H I R E G R E E N L A N E S I and Andy Mosley are in a black Defender 90 while Phil Gibbons is in a grey Defender 90. It’s also called the coffee truck as Phil actually uses it as a mobile coffee bar at events. I hope to do a trip with him again in the future as he makes mighty fine coffee. Finally, Kevin Gascoigne and his wife Sophie are in a Range Rover L322 V8. He is definitely in the most comfortable vehicle of us all. The first half of the lanes for the day are in northern Wensleydale while Russ promises that in the afternoon we will do some of the lanes found in the south. To get to our first lane we pass through what Russ calls one of the largest military training areas in all of Europe. Soon it will only be one of the largest military areas in the UK. I notice several rifle ranges to the left and right of us. Our first lane is on classic grouse moor. All around us are F I can give you one tip only for when you go greenlaning on the Yorkshire Dales, then that would be to make sure that you are not in the co- driver’s seat of the first vehicle. Why do I say this? Well, you will open and close more gates than the busiest gatekeeper in the world. I was in the gatekeeper’s seat of Russ Dykes D4. Russ is the highly experienced guide from Ardventures. He is a local lad and I would describe him as your average grumpy Yorkshireman who has an above average knowledge of the lay of the land. Russ also does guided trips to Europe and Morocco. You won’t go wrong if you acquire his services. After spending a comfortable night at Leyburn’s Golden Lion Hotel, it was only a mile or two to the start of our first lane. We have four vehicles in our convoy. As mentioned Russ is in a bright red tricked up D4. Rob O’ Neill “The rocks are sharp and jagged but thankfully the L322 has decent wheels and off-road tyres” Recent fmash fmoods made things wet 54LAND ROVER MONTHLY 052_LRM_APR20_GREENLANING.indd 54 052_LRM_APR20_GREENLANING.indd 54 19/02/2020 15:38 19/02/2020 15:38

  4. Sharp and jagged rocks test the tyres signs that this used to be a tin mining area. The lane is not technical though the recent rains have made a few puddles. God rewards us for the early start and the sun’s golden rays start to paint the landscape yellow all around us. What was dull and dark a minute ago now becomes bright and beautiful. The lane has been well maintained by the local council and we drive over thousands of golf ball sized rocks. Russ slows down to let a pair of grouse pass in front of us. To get to our second lane we pass through Reeth, a town badly affected by recent flash floods. Things must be getting serious because Russ puts his D4 into low range. The lane is best described as one long climb with a couple of gates. After the first gate Russ tells the Defenders to engage their centre- diffs. The rocks are sharp and jagged, thankfully the L322 has decent wheels and off-road tyres. Once at the crest of the climb the lane becomes easier to negotiate. Far in the S F 1 B I L L I N G O F F R O A D S H O W . C O . U K LAND ROVER MONTHLY 55 I N A S S O C I A T I O N W I T H 052_LRM_APR20_GREENLANING.indd 55 052_LRM_APR20_GREENLANING.indd 55 19/02/2020 16:46 19/02/2020 16:46

  5. Y O R K S H I R E G R E E N L A N E S Owner of coff ee bar Phil can come again distance to our right is Rutland Rigg and the North Yorkshire Moors. As we make our way down to the end of the lane the rocks get a little bigger. The D4 is just awesome on terrain like this and seems to take it all in its stride. After a short transit we start lane 3 (Schoolmaster Pasture). As someone originally from another continent, I still smile when driving in a 4x4 past an ‘unsuitable for motors’ sign. The lane is another classic for off-roading, lots of deep ruts so the Defenders need to take the correct line to save their diffs. There are a few tight switchbacks to negotiate as we make our way down. Some Welsh idiots on dirt bikes are tearing up a poor farmer’s hill. We stop and tell them what they are doing is illegal but they argue with us. We push on along the boulder-strewn climb. According to Russ Lane 4 has become somewhat ‘sanitised’ over the years. There is a water crossing to negotiate after passing through the farm at Helwith. Then we start the climb along the sanitised road. Russ starts to reminisce. “During the Nissan Navara launch here three years ago this track was almost impassable and very dangerous. They had to close it for a week to do some repairs. Now it is like the M1 for Land Rovers.” Once we reach the top of the climb I can literally see why he still does this lane. The views are spectacular. As we make our way down the rocky decline it feels as if we are driving a drone and not in a Land Rover. This is Yorkshire laning at its very best. To get to our fifth and final lane before lunch we pass through the village of Marske. The tree-lined lane starts with a rocky decline and it also has some ruts. As with many UK lanes the highlight is without a doubt the river crossing. For lunch we head back to Leyburn for a generous serving of soup and thick slices of fresh bread at a local tea shop. After lunch we head to the southern part of Wensleydale for our final four lanes of the day. It’s as if God has flipped the weather switch for the afternoon session. Sunshine is replaced by wind, sideways rain and mist. We pass through the villages of Bainbridge and Hawes to get to our sixth lane, the Cam High Road. It’s a bumpy and rocky track but we stay in high range. Russ remises about when it still had big rocky steps. There are still some smaller and slippery steps to 3 F S S F 4 2 F S 56LAND ROVER MONTHLY 052_LRM_APR20_GREENLANING.indd 56 052_LRM_APR20_GREENLANING.indd 56 19/02/2020 15:39 19/02/2020 15:39

  6. S 5 F “The views are spectacular. This is Yorkshire laning at its very best” B I L L I N G O F F R O A D S H O W . C O . U K LAND ROVER MONTHLY 57 I N A S S O C I A T I O N W I T H 052_LRM_APR20_GREENLANING.indd 57 052_LRM_APR20_GREENLANING.indd 57 19/02/2020 12:54 19/02/2020 12:54