A short way below Ilam Rock, we said goodbye to the Dove and turned up a small side valley, heading towards Stanshope.
Although the sun was still shining brightly, the bottom of the dale was firmly in shadow because the autumn sun was too low in the sky to overcome the steepness of the dale sides.
Outcrops of limestone protruding from the grass give this place a lot of character and the path twists its way along the dale bottom; which, in places, is quite narrow.
Finally, as we reached the upper dale, the sun began to finger its way down the hillsides and brighten up an already pretty place. We got the sense of the countryside opening out and began to wonder what was waiting for us in the sunshine just around the bend.