Bolton Abbey to Otley Chevin
I drove over to Rick’s at the unearthly hour of stupid o’clock in the morning in a fairly successful attempt at beating the worst of the rush hour traffic. I transferred to Rick’s rather more luxurious motor for the journey to darkest Yorkshire – it was his turn to drive. Bella, Stuart and Peter met us at Otley Chevin and they all piled into Rick’s car for the drive to Bolton Abbey.
It was a wee bit fresh, although not too cold to deter other walkers – obviously Tuesdays are walking days around these parts. We headed off south on the west bank of the River Wharfe – first stop Ilkley. We were moving at a fair pace, I needed to be back in Timperley for 6.30pm and we had a fair distance to cover.
Lunch was taken at the start / finish of the Dales Way, on the outskirts of Ilkley.
Scones, butties and hot drinks were demolished in double quick time. A rare one-legged heron waiting for lunch to arrive:
After lunch we turned away from the River Wharfe to walk through the centre of Ilkley to gain the heady heights of Ilkley Moor. We were now off the Dales Way proper and on one of the Dales Way link routes partially shared with the Ebor Way. This one goes as far as Leeds – but not today.
The Moody Cow:
I’ll say nowt, it’ll only be wrong.
Looking at the 1:25k OS map it’s clear that this moorland area has a lot of history, there are loads of ancient cairns, cup and ring marked stones shown. I’ll be back to explore the area when time is less pressing, if nothing else it will make an interesting navigational exercise.
We followed a footpath around the edge of the moor rather than across the moor itself, quinciquontly we had interesting views to the north east.
Cow & Calf rocks
Leaving the moor by Burley Woodhead, our next target was Menston. Light was failing and it was getting cold. We still had plenty of time to get back to Timperley for 6.30pm but we didn’t have time to waste. Paths and lanes were good and easy to follow which made for fast progress. I felt a bit mean pushing the party on, we weren’t even going to manage a pint after this leg of the route.
We arrived back at Bella’s Tardis of a Jeep in the dark. When sheep and traffic allowed, we sped back to Bolton Abbey and Rick’s car. We were still okay for time – provided there were no hold-ups on the journey home.
A long hold up around Skipton followed by a virtually closed M66 buggered up the plan big time. A mega multi-vehicle shunt meant that the traffic was going nowhere fast. Hours later we got back…and I got it in the neck.
Oh well, at least it didn’t rain.
Where we jolly-well went:
Length: 15.4 miles 24.8 km
Ascent: +539m -464m
Start: 2014-12-02 10:21:02 GMT
End: 2014-12-02 16:45:10 GMT
A great day out….just a shame about the collateral damage,