Sunday, 12th January 2013

Walk: Valley of Desolation, Barden Fell, Simon’s Seat, Barden Bridge & the Strid.
Start Point: Pavilion Car Park at Bolton Abbey Grid Reference: SE 078 552
Distance: 8.7 miles Ascent: 1,560 feet
Time: 5.25 hours    
Weather: Fine and sunny to start, but turned dull, and misty at Simon’s Seat. Lost the mist as we descended to the River Wharfe, but remained dull.
Comments: Our group of 17 set off from the car park with frost on the ground but quite sunny. Once over the wooden bridge we followed the River Wharfe for a short distance before climbing up to the road and turned off at Waterfall Cottage to follow the good track that took us to the Valley of Desolation and the long steady climb through the Laund Pasture Plantation and out onto Barden Fell. Coffee at a convenient stone shelter and table, and it was still nice and sunny. As we continued climbing it became misty, and this became thicker and the Hen Stones disappeared and also Simon’s Seat. It did clear a little so that Simon’s Seat was discernable, just, as we approached it. We were able to climb to the Trig Point, but no chance to see the wonderful view. We will have to leave that for another time. Too windy and damp for lunch there, so we dropped down to the track between the Upper & Lower Fell Plantations for a bit of shelter. Down through Howgill and on to Stangs Lane to pick up on the Dales Way along the R. Wharfe to Barden Bridge, and return on the other side back to the Pavilion via the Strid, in time for a coffee and tea.

Scroll down to see photos of the walk

Setting off over the wooden bridge

 

The Pavilion across the River Wharfe . . .

 

which has lots of water today . . .

 

and looking back to the bridge

 

A lonely tree stands out in the frost . . .

 

on a beautiful start to the day

 

Closing in on gnarled branches

 

Studying an information board

 

The Group passes a frozen pond . . .

 

in a frosty valley . . .

 

as we continue towards Simon's Seat

 

A good solid bridge . . .

 

into the Valley of Desolation . . .

 

and looking back as we climb out

 

Through the Laund Pasture Plantation . . .

 

and up onto Barden fell

 

A grouse keeps an eye on us

 

A convenient spot for a coffee break

 

Looking rather misty now

 

Heading towards . . .

 

Simon's Seat, now in the mist . . .

 

with the trig point, 485 mtrs

 

John has made it, recognise the gloves!

 

Cleared a bit now

 

Gathering before . . .

 

leaving Simon's Seat

 

A taste of the view from the moor

 

Time for lunch

 

Howgill

 

Local cockerel . . .

 

and friends

 

A moss covered wall

 

Good job we don't need the stepping stones

 

What a silly sheep

 

Barden Bridge

 

The Strid . . .

 

and again

 

Phil enjoys a cup of tea at the end of a good day . . .

 

with Bill and Gina

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