Embsay Crag is a hill in North Yorkshire. It’s not a big hill, and it doesn’t have a trig point or a summit cairn, but it’s a nice climb and there’s good views from the top. It’s part of Barden Moor, which is part of the Bolton Abbey Estate. The estate stretches pretty far beyond the sort of main, central bit. I think Embsay Crag and Reservoir are towards the edge of it, I’m not entirely sure where exactly the borders are.
Anyway. Barden Moor is used for grouse hunting, and walking is restricted during the grouse hunting season. I’m not sure if the entire moor is closed off, but it’s something to be careful about. Oh, and there’s some bits of it you’re not allowed to take dogs on. Basically, it’s privately owned land, so it can be subject to restrictions, so if you’re planning to go walking there it’s a good idea to check if you’re OK to first.
Brimham Rocks must be one of the most remarkable places in the UK. I don’t say that lightly. For the most part, the places I go walking are very pretty, but pretty is about it. Some places get more impressive if you research them, but stuff that makes you go “Wow” on first sight is rare – definitely not unheard of, but it is a treat to stumble upon these places.
Brimham Rocks is very much a wow place. It is a patch on Brimham Moor which is covered in big rock formations. The rocks are formed from millstone grit, and you can see rocks like them in various parts of the British Isles, but not loads of them packed into one patch like here. Basically, if you saw one of these rocks just stood on its own somewhere, you’d be impressed, but instead you’re bombarded with them. It’s pretty awesome.
It’s also a lot lusher than you’d expect such a rocky area to be. It’s as green as anywhere else around here, and there’s lots of trees. The place would be amazing whatever, but all the green adds a level of prettiness that just makes it that bit more special.
This is a walk at Bolton Abbey, which is one of my favourite places, and one reason for that is all the little walks you can put together around the estate. So this is one of them.
This walk starts in the village, at the hole in the wall, which is a hole in the wall with a gate in it. I don’t know if they made the hole specifically for the gate, or if they widened an existing hole. But there is a hole, and through the hole is a path leading down to the priory ruins and the river.
The Bolton Abbey Estate is a very popular place, and this area tends to get extremely busy on nice days. We’re nowhere near the seaside, so this is where people go in lieu of a beach. This was a very nice day, and I’m glad I got there early before it started to get busy.
This is a walk I did in mid-April. It’s only a little walk – though it can be done as part of a longer walk – but it’s very charming. It’s a little trail around Tarn Moss, a boggy area near Malham Tarn.
Tarn Moss is a nature reserve, because apparently the plant life there is quite special. You’re not allowed to walk on the ground, there’s a wooden walkway to go on instead, and signs telling you not to step off it. I don’t think a sensible person would anyway. Some bits of the bog are straight out pools of water, and while I don’t know what the drier looking bits are like, I wouldn’t want to test it. It must be relatively firm in some bits because we saw some deer, but still. Best to stick to the walkway regardless of conservation efforts, bogs are not to be trusted.
For some reason, I have a real liking for walkways like this one. I just like the way they look against the landscape, so I enjoyed walking around here.
So there’s not much directions I can give, you just follow the walkway. There’s two ways onto it, one very close to the tarn, one off the road further away. We went through the latter. From here, there’s a little loop around what seemed like the wettest area. I admit, I didn’t see anything that particularly interested me in this bit. I believe that the plant life is important, but it all just looked like a load of brown. It was pretty, but as I’ve said before, I’m spoilt when it comes to countryside, so I find it hard to express my appreciation. But I do appreciate it.
While we were staying in Settle we went for a walk up to Victoria Cave. We didn’t actually go from Settle – you can, but we didn’t. We went from Langcliffe, a village some way down the road from Settle. It’s one of those villages that’s all on one side of a road, other than the odd outlying building. There’s a little car park in front of what used to be the village school, and is still recognisable as such, and to the right of this car park is a road leading up and out of Langcliffe.
You go up this road. You can park in the car park and walk up, or park further up. Depends on how far you want to walk. It is quite some way up the road, and it does climb. What you’re looking for is a bit where the road bends and there’s a track going off to the right, where there is space for parking. You go along this track.
And it’s a very clear path from here. Just go along the track, through a gate, and then along the edge of a large field.
There’s not really a lot I can say. You’re just following the track. I think the field is quite interesting to look at, as far as fields go. This is an area with a lot of limestone, and it’s very visible as you’re walking along. It adds a lot of character to the landscape.
Spent a couple of nights away a few weeks back, in the village of Grinton. It’s in Richmondshire, eleven miles from Richmond. The only things we really did were hang around Richmond and go for a walk from Grinton to Reeth, but I can do a walking post about that.
I don’t have much to say about Grinton. It was very nice from what I saw, but I didn’t see very much of it. It was just part of the walk.
So you go out of Grinton on a road that sort of follows the river – the river Swale, for this is Swaledale. You walk along until you come within sight of a farm, and there’s a stream running down the field on your left. On your right is a gate leading to a path. You go through here.
I’ve actually been here twice in the last couple of months, and took different paths both times, which gives me a bit more to talk about. So that’s good.
So, Skipton Woods, also called Skipton Castle Woods, are some woods in Skipton near the castle, as you could probably gather. They’re owned by the castle, but leased to the Woodland Trust. Going through them isn’t a long walk, even if you take the longest route. It’s just a nice place to wander about in for a bit.
There are three entrances, and I took the same one both times, the main one. This one is in the town centre. You get to it by walking along the Leeds-Liverpool canal, which runs through Skipton. You don’t go along the main body of the canal, it’s called either the Springs branch or Thanet canal, and it, as the first name implies, branches off it. It takes you round the back of the castle, onto this sort of walkway. You’re not in the woods by this point, but it is probably my favourite part of the walk. I really like castles, and it is pretty cool around there. I’m very familiar with Skipton, but I’d never actually been in this part before – not that I can remember – and I was honestly astonished by that fact. I love that little bit of the walk.