Meadow near Hardraw
Great Shunner Fell
I myself was stopping at Keld, a place I knew quite well having stayed there before on two previous occasions while doing the Coast to Coast walk. The village is a tiny, remote outpost at the head of Swaledale and as the Pennine Way and the Coast to Coast both pass through, is something of a crossroads. In past years, finding somewhere to sleep and eat could present a problem because of the limited accommodation. This is still an issue but there is at least a small hotel in what used to be the Youth Hostel, so a beer and a meal is now available in the village. I also noticed that the campsite that I and my friend Alan had stayed at in 2011 has now entered the 'glamping' market with three large 'yurts' where tents used to be pitched and also a 'luxury' bunkhouse in what was a basic barn for campers to eat in the when the weather was wet. As I bade the friendly walker 'goodbye' and continued descending, the sun broke through the cloud and magnificent views opened out of Upper Swaledale.
Soon, Keld came into view and I made my way to the hotel in the village where I purchased a pint of Black Sheep bitter and enquired about the buses from the barman who informed me that there was no longer any service in the village. Due to the lack of people using it, the service had been terminated the month before so I would now be forced to review my plans once more. For the time being, I wasn't worried though and I took my beer outside into the sunshine and had a friendly conversation with three people also enjoying their drinks in the sun.
Later, I crossed the road and checked into my room at the Butt House guesthouse and that evening, had another communal meal with numerous friendly and chatty people, who it transpired were from America and Tasmania, making me the only English person in the room. The meal was in stark contrast to how I had started the day and after an interesting conversation and some great food, I retired to my room fairly early as usual to contemplate my options for the following day.