|Walk:||Barden Bridge, The Strid, Valley of Desolation, Barden Fell, Simons Seat, Trollers Gill, Kail Lane, Dales Way|
|Start Point:||Barden Bridge||Grid Ref:||SE 052 574|
|Distance:||13 miles||Ascent:||2,440 feet|
|Weather:||Very windy with intermittent rain, clearing later in the afternoon|
11 members of the group, led by John
|Comments:||A great walk with lots of variety and
interest. A walk along The Strid section of the River Wharfe took us to
Posforth Bridge and the Valley of Desolation. Climbing over Barden Fell
the weather closed in and by the time we got to Simons Seat we were
feeling the full force of the wind. The steep descent over wet rocks was
a little tricky but eventually we were able to concentrate less on the
feet and more on the great views. After crossing a few fields and the
entrance to Parcevall Hall we reached the entrance to Trollers Gill
where John gave the option of tackling the Gill or detouring around it
(Health and Safety and all that!). Being an intrepid bunch we all
navigated the gill successfully - Legend has it that this narrow
limestone gorge is the haunt of the "Barquest" or "Barguest" - the
terrifying spectral hound of Craven (which is said to have "eyes as big
as saucers", and which may have even been the inspiration for Sir Arthur
Conan Doyle's Sherlock Holmes story "The Hound of the Baskervilles").
The next section of the walk, along Kail Lane to the banks of the River Wharfe, saw us battling the wind head on but at least the rain seemed to have cleared. A pleasant walk then took us along the Dales Way, beside the River Wharfe, and back to the cars.
Scroll down to see photos of the walk
The starting point at Barden Bridge
Marie checks out the stone seat by the River Wharfe
Looking upstream as the River Wharfe . . .
is compressed into narrow channels by the limestone . . .
and forced to make its way downstream . . .
and over waterfalls in an area known as The Strid
There seems to be a lot of interest in this tree trunk . . .
which has countless coins hammered into it
A great shelter for a coffee stop - but too early in the walk
The path takes us across pleasant pastures before reaching . . .
The Valley of Desolation
Still too early to take advantage of these logs . . .
as we head into the valley . . .
which couldn't be described as 'Desolate'!
The weather closes in as we head up onto Barden Moor . . .
which does look desolate
Approaching Simons Seat . . .
in very windy conditions . . .
Looking back to Simons Seat . . .
and down to Trollers Gill
Another view of Simons Seat with the trig point just visible . . .
and an easier path . . .
takes us down into the valley
How many men does it take to replace a gate!!
Lush grassland . . .
and a field of buttercups make pleasant walking
An unusual BBQ . . .
with accompanying stone seats. The owner informed us that they had already baked some bread and were now cooking the sausages - but unfortunately he didn't need anyone to test his products!
A colourful bank attracts attention as we pass . . .
the entrance to Parcevall Hall
A sunny spot for lunch . . .
beside a bank of blubells
Skyreholme Beck leads to . . .
Trollers Gill where it is said that . . .
the trolls hurl rocks down on passers-by walking through the ravine!
Fortunately we escaped before the trolls saw us . . .
and were pleased that there was no water flowing down the Gill
Any Trolls in here?
No, just a disused mine entrance
Continuing out of the Gill . . .
Phil braves the stream while others head for the bridge
Simons Seat remains in sight for much of the day . . .
while a couple of lambs sensibly shelter from the wind
Zooming in on Hartlington Hall, a magnificent manor house standing in its own extensive grounds and dating back to 1611. Having been refurbished it is now a Youth Hostel offering high quality accommodation.
A sunny spell as we return alongside the River Wharfe
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