Sunday, 22nd May 2011

   

            

 

Walk: River Wharfe, Valley of Desolation, Barden Fells, Simons Seat, Trollers Gill and return via River Wharfe.
Start Point: Road side car park at Barden Bridge Grid Reference: SD 052 574
Distance: 13.1 miles Ascent: 2,193 feet
Time: 7 hours    
Weather: Strong winds with showers, some heavy, then clearing in afternoon with a further shower at car park
 
Comments: Following the east bank of the river gave us excellent views over the rapids and the Strid. This was followed by easy paths through the Valley of Desolation which is anything but desolate. With showers arriving rain gear was donned for the fell walk up to Simons Seat. Strong winds forced us on and down via a steep rocky slope which eventually led us through fields for High Skyreholme. Before turning for Trollers Gill, a local land owner was seen baking in an outdoor oven. Trollers Gill is a rocky stream bed but unusually was dry due to lack of rain. The remaining 4/5 miles was over farm tracks and again along the river Wharfe.

Scroll down to see photos of the walk

Leaving the car park at Barden Bridge . . .

 

Marie soon takes the opportunity to rest her feet

 

Heading into the woodland . . .

 

an upstream view shows the River Wharfe . . .

 

being compressed into narrow channels by the limestone . . .

 

and forced to make its way downstream . . .

 

and over waterfalls in an area known as The Strid

 

I wonder what has grabbed the group's attention?

 

Thoughts of getting rich if they could remove all these coins??!!

 

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

 

Another good spot for a coffee stop - but not yet!

 

A rather lush 'Valley of Desolation'!

 

The weather closes in as we head up Barden Fells . . .

 

to the rocky summit of. . .

 

 Simons Seat . . .

 

where Eric braves the wind by the trig point

 

Looking back to Simons Seat . . .

 

and down to Trollers Gill

 

Another view of Simons Seat and the trig point is just visible . . .

 

and the sun has reached the valley of Skyredale

 

Light and shade enhance the tree . . .

 

as an improving path leads down the hillside

 

How many Ramblers are needed to replace a gate?

 

Lush grassland . . .

 

and a field of buttercups make pleasant walking

 

Quite a set-up, with a stone & brick seat . . .

 

facing an unusual BBQ - being used for the first time, to bake bread and cook sausages (but no samples available)

 

Ian admires the colourful bank before we leave the road . . .

 

on our way to . . .

 

Skyreholme Beck which leads into . . .

 

Trollers Gill where it is said that . . .

 

the trolls hurl rocks on passers-by walking through the ravine!

 

Local folklore has it that a spectral hound, called Barguest, once inhabited Trollers Gill

 

It is believed that Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, who had strong links with the Dales may have based his Hound of the Baskervilles on such a creature

 

Could this be the Barguest's lair?

 

No, just a disused mine entrance

 

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.

 

Pleasant walking as we return . . .

 

alongside the River Wharfe

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