Sunday, 9th November 2014

Walk: Pinhaw Beacon, Little Pinhaw,Elslack Moor, Standrise Plantation, Elslack Hall.
Start Point: Railway bridge on Old Road, Thornton in Craven Grid Reference: SD 912 486
Distance: 8 miles Ascent: 1,110 feet
Time: 5 hours
Weather: A  beautiful sunny day.

12 walkers set out from Old Road Thornton in Craven following the Pennine Way along the continuing lane for Brown House Farm. We passed the former bridge abutments all that remain of a railway line that once linked Colne and Skipton. On through Brown House farm buildings and over a simple footbridge spanning a tributary of Brown House beck. Onwards and upwards through pasture land, following the Pennine Way. The pathway is set with boardwalks but we decided against using these as they were slippery following Saturdays rain. Eventually we reached a spot for coffee on Stone Pit Hill.

Continuing on our way we joined Clogger Lane a short burst of tarmac, crossing aT junction we made our way along a track leading to the summit of Pinhaw Beacon. Leaving the Beacon heading East we reached an intersection where an inset slab at ground level reminded walkers in pre- access land days to keep to the Pennine Way. Just North of this junction a path leads on for about 200m to a spot marked as Robert Wilsons grave (we never found the grave despite guidance from a local man).  Robert Wilson was chief beacon guard in 1805, the beacons were set up as part of a national system to warn of imminent invasion by Napoleon. We arrived at Kirk Sykes Farm taking a sharp turn left for Ransable Hill and a lunch stop.

Setting for the homeward route we covered Ransable Hill and down to a spot to eventually  access Standrise Plantation. Through the plantation we edged to a junction on Elslack Reservoir following a lane down to Elslack a charming hamlet. On through Elslack Hall we crossed pasture land drifting gradually towards a point where we reached a trackbed of a disused railway. This used to run through the Roman site of Burwen Castle nearby, which once would have been a bustle with the activities of Legionnaires marching between Ilkley and Ribchester Forts . The track took us back to our start point on Old Road.

Indian file over Ransable Hill

Great Wall over Elslack Moor

Entering Standrise Plantation

Bill leading the pack

David takes a turn

Elslack Reservoir

Heading down into Elslack

An old timer at Elslack Hall

6 Geese a laying, Christmas is near

Almost home

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