A Walk From Burnsall To Grassington

On June 29th I had my long term illness review (or LTC as it’s called now – Long Term Care) which I’m supposed to have annually, if not more frequently.

The fact that it’s not always annually is down to me as I tend to ignore the appointment letters as over the years I’ve found it’s a bit of a waste of time. When it started I was seen by a doctor but as the years have passed, it’s been “downgraded” to a nurse and this time I was seen by a young healthcare assistant.

Next time I fully expect to be seen by one of the receptionists.

These days, during the review, I’m asked questions from a checklist and the healthcare assistant was straight in with “do you ever find yourself sad or depressed ?”

You mean apart from right now“, I felt like replying.

So she took my bp, weighed me and took my height……all things I could do myself at home. Then she took my blood which, fair enough, I’m not great at doing myself at home unless I’m running with scissors, which I try to avoid.

Looking at the results online a few days later (I’m jumping a bit ahead here so will get back on track asap), I could see all my answers to the questions. So I was a bit surprised to see “Does not complain of erectile dysfunction” !!

I was surprised because I was never asked about it and I assumed this was due to the healthcare assistant being a young girl who was too embarrassed to ask. Maybe next time she’ll have had more experience and be ready with the tape measure.

Right, back on track.

I won’t go into the other disturbing aspects of the review and go straight to the results. I was never told them. I went online a few days later and found them on my medical records and was horrified to see my Haemoglobin A1c level had gone from 47 mmol/mol to 69 mmol/mol.

As a level of 48 and over is classed as being type 2 diabetic rather than the borderline diabetic I was before, I was naturally concerned to say the least.

So I made an appointment to see the specialist nurse to discuss these results and also complain about not being told about them (to be fair that had NEVER happened before) and what a wonderful 65 minute session I had. I told her I’d been walking 3-7 miles a day since seeing the results and eating a bit healthier (come on……I’m only human) and after some discussion, she recommended I go onto Metformin to help with reducing the 69 score way back below 48 as quickly as possible considering my heart disease history.

The meds were delivered today and I took the first one after breakfast.

I really hope I can discontinue taking them and I’m encouraged by a snapshot reading taken last Friday with my friend’s blood glucose meter which showed a level of 6.1mmol/L which equates to 36mmol/mol.

Much better than 69 so I seem to be on the right path.

Anyway all this medical stuff is to explain why, yesterday, I took myself off to Burnsall for my favourite walk along the banks of the River Wharfe. I planned on a gentle walk to Grassington and back which I reckoned could end up being 6-7 miles on yet another lovely summer’s day.

It’s a stunning 1 hr drive from my house to Burnsall and I got there at 11:30. My first port of call was to the village cafe for some fuel for my walk and so at 12:11, after putting on my bluetooth headphones and lining up some tunes and starting the MapMyWalk app, I was off.

I’d parked on the road by the bridge and this was the view back to the cafe which you can see between the 2 biggest trees and behind that blue car. A delightful location and a highly recommended cafe which is under new ownership.


I only had my phone with me as I’ve taken many photos of the walk already and didn’t want to bring my heavy main Lumix bridge camera.

And yes, don’t let the name fool you….it doesn’t only take photos of bridges !

It was soon obvious that the continuing heatwave we’re experiencing in the UK had given the landscape a huge contrast between public grass which only gets watered by nature and grass in private hands, so to speak.

This was a typical view looking back the way I’d come……..


….compared to a view across the river to a house with a well watered garden.


After a couple of miles I was delighted to come upon Linton Falls from a different direction than on previous walks as I’d really only ever seen the turbine building and the weir that still powers it.

I’d never seen the falls themselves and actually thought the weir WAS the falls by another name !

Despite not quite being on a par with Angel, Victoria or Niagara Falls, Linton Falls is still a pretty location despite the low water levels as a result of the aforementioned heatwave.




Then it was on to Grassington which was as busy a Dales town as you can get. To add insult to injury, the last 1/4 mile to the town involves a very steep road to climb followed by an even steeper main street once you’ve got there.

Right at the top is a quirky shop called Ashton House selling hand carved furniture and all things crafty. I needed a rest after the climbs so spent some time exploring the shop and admiring the many items on display outside.



The shops and houses in Grassington are very pleasing to the eye and obviously play their part in making the town a very popular stopping point for Dales walkers, cyclists and general looky lookers like me.



My less than speedy walking and the numerous stops to enjoy the views and take the occasional photo meant that despite completing almost 4 miles, I’d taken nearly 2.5hrs to do it.  It was time to return to Burnsall.

Having already seen the falls, I approached Linton the way I always did before and that meant going through the graveyard of St. Michael & All Angels parish church.

Now if, after death, you’re going to be buried, and I’m not, it would be hard to find a prettier location for your earthly remains. I did come across a stunning one in Ireland when on my Wild Atlantic Way road trip a few years ago as it bordered a lake which helps any graveyard, but this one near Linton was still a nice place to rest your weary bones.



And speaking of weary bones, as I was, my living bones were starting to realise I’d walked 5 miles already with the prospect of another 3 to go to get back to the car !

Ay caramba !!

It had been a bit overcast to this point but suddenly the skies brightened and the sun broke through, making me even more sweaty.

The up side was that with partly blue skies, the scenery went up a few notches and I took a lot more piccies on the return trip.

Here are a few……..





I particularly like the last two as one shows how the path is so close to the river edge and the other one is just a nice composition, if I do say so myself.

Still on the path and approaching the road bridge at Burnsall, I couldn’t resist taking a photo of it from a location that has become a favourite of mine over the years. The colours change with the time of year but the view itself is timeless.

It was my final photo of the day.


As I approached the end of the path by the bridge, I took my phone out of my pocket to check how far I had walked and how close I was to 8 miles and it showed 7.88 miles. Looking up along the bridge I could see the top of my car and though that if I wanted to be a saddo and walk exactly 8 miles, I might have to walk past the car and come back to it.

At the start of the bridge it was 7.92 miles and I couldn’t believe it when it ticked over to 8 miles as I got to the car boot. Walking around the front to get out of the way of passing cars registered another 0.1 miles before I stopped it recording and saved the route and stats for my records.




So it had been another great, if leisurely, walk along the River Wharfe in the glorious Yorkshire Dales and best of all, it should help towards lowering my blood/glucose level so that I can come off these damn Metformin pills asap.

And then when I have my next review, the receptionist won’t have to ask me about any  erectile dysfunction issues !


2 thoughts on “A Walk From Burnsall To Grassington

  1. Jenny Aspin

    You certainly find some lovely places to walk. I do hope the surgery was intending to call you back to discuss your rise in a1c level! Anyone not as well informed as you might well not have seen that as any cause for concern if nothing had been said at the time. This is the trouble with having less qualified people doing the interviews. They don’t have the knowledge and training to pick up on things or refer them on. You are the second person I’ve heard of recently who has been told they are diabetic, despite following a healthy diet, not being overweight and being very active.

    1. silverback69 Post author

      Well you know me, Jen, so I ‘fail” in all those categories ! However that 69 reading really scared me and as it may have contributed to the start of my cataracts, I have upped the daily walking (from basically zero over the winter/spring) to 3-8 miles and if that snapshot meter reading a week ago was any indication, it’s working. I just need to keep it going which has always been my problem.


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