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Rombalds Stride - A legend of a day out

The Rombalds Stride is a Yorkshire Long Distance Walkers Association event. Ably organised by the 15th Airedale Scout group, this winter challenge of 22 miles is both tough and beautiful in equal measures.

Starting and finishing in Guiseley, West Yorkshire, the route takes in some impressive stretches of moorland as well as woodland, passing through Esholt, Baildon, Burley Woodhead and Menston.

The name Rombalds Stride comes from the legend of Rombald, a giant who once lived up above Ilkley on the moor. Local folklore suggests that one day Rombald was arguing with his wife. She was chasing him across the valley when he stamped on a huge rock, smashing it in two, which separated to form the famous Cow and Calf rocks.

This year the event took place on the 3rd of February 2024. After a fairly miserable January, with plenty of rain and high winds, the day dawned with a fresh breeze and bright skies.

The going was certainly boggy up on the moor but the views out over the Wharfe Valley were spectacular.

The cut off times are generous at the check points, as the timings allow for the route to be walked or run and the marshals are friendly, encouraging and ready to fill up your supplies of snacks and hydration.

At the finish all participants are able to have a truly delicious pie, along with some peas and 'trapped potatoes' (the type Bob Mortimer says come out of a can). After several hours and plenty of miles out on the rugged Yorkshire hills, you will almost certainly never taste anything finer.

You can watch the video that Pretty Gritty Emma made here, and enjoy the scenery for yourself, but if you want to taste the pie, you will need to enter the event yourself next year!

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