The group at Old Woman on the crossroads of the Pennine Way and the Doctor’s Gate path at the start of the walk, the first part is on the old Roman road which drops into the gorge with fine views of the open ground before crossing the stream for a break.
Here we started the climb up Ashton Clough passing wreckage of the first crash a C47 Skytrain, converted Dakota, transporting a jeep, the aircraft crashed on James’s Thorn and the wreckage has rolled down over the years
The climb gets steeper and above a waterfall there is more wreckage this time part of the undercarriage, lucky there was not a lot of water, parts of the fuselage can also be seen.
The climb gets even steeper to reach the top of James’s Thorn where we pass the actual crash site before heading to the spur and the crash site of a Lancaster, very little wreckage but a memorial to the two crews. Both these aircraft crashed in 1945 with the loss of 7 & 6 crew respectively.
After a lunch stop in the sunshine in the shelter of the Lower shelf stones, looking down on the earlier route, we traverse round to higher shelf stones and to the wreck site of the Superfortress, a large and impressive site with a memorial plaque.
This aircraft crashed in 1948 with the loss of 13 crew.
From here we crossed to the Hern Stones before picking up the Pennine Way, making sure we don’t go north as it’s a long way to Scotland, for the return to the start and retire to a local hostelry.
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