Posted in Walks

Strid Wood

I’m going to write about one of my favourite places to go, Strid Wood. It is a great place, it’s a nice, easy walk, and it’s beautiful in there.

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A random bit of the woods, to give a general idea of what they’re like.

Strid Wood is part of Bolton Abbey, and yeah, that sounds odd to me to write. There is an old priory, but Bolton Abbey is actually the estate on which it is situated (also the name of the village near it), and Strid Wood is also situated on that estate. The whole thing is lovely, really, but Strid Wood is the part I know best, and the part I like best.

The River Wharfe runs through Strid Wood, and the wood gets its name from a stretch of the river known as the Strid. The Strid is a very narrow part of the river, and something people like to do is jump across it. This is something sensible people do not do, because the reason people like to jump it is because it dangerous. It’s narrow, and most people could probably make the jump, but if you don’t then you’re going to die. The Strid is narrow, but all that water is still there, after all. It’s incredibly deep, and very fast flowing. If you fall in then you’ll get sucked down, dragged into caves that hide beneath the water. So, overall, not really worth it.

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Not a good picture, but even though I know it’s not going to attack me, I just can’t go too close.

This all sounds very morbid. This is not why I love this place, just so we’re clear. It is beautiful there, and provided you don’t do anything stupid, it’s a very pleasant place to be. The Strid isn’t going to reach out and pull you in, after all. It’s a nice walk along the river, paths on both sides you can walk back the way you came without it being exactly the same. I wouldn’t call it peaceful, not by countryside standards. It’s a popular place, you always pass a good few other people, and sometimes there can be quite a lot of people there. But it is, in my opinion, such a nice place that this doesn’t matter.

The woods on their own are lovely enough, it’s not dark in there, but enough light is blotted out to give it a sort of fairytale atmosphere. I think so anyway. One side is denser, a narrow path quite far above the river, while the other is down at the same level as the river, and has multiple paths you can choose to go along, although personally I like to stay close to the river.

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I’m not sure how to bring this to a close, so I’ll just end it here. I hope to write more posts about the beautiful places in this area, because that’s something I have plenty to write about. I think pretty much everywhere has lovely places you can go to not too far away, but we may have more than our fair share.

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