Hetchell Woods circular


Myself, Mike and Tetley did this walk last Friday.  A fifteen minute drive from home starting in Bardsey a small village that apparently has the oldest inn in Britain,


Cross over the A58 Wetherby road and into the woods.  The bluebells were out in abundance and the wild garlic accosted the senses.


Ramsgill to Lofthouse Circular

This walk joins up with the previous walk in Nidderdale.  Again on part of the Nidderdale Way.  Although only 4 and a half miles there’s a pretty strenuous climb between 3 and 4.  Be good to try and join the two together but don’t think I’m quite ready for that yet.


Mawwdach Trail Circular

I recently spent a few days with some friends in a cabin near Lake Bala in Wales.  It is a truly beautiful area.  We are so lucky in the UK to have such a variety of gorgeous country side on such a small island.  We found this lovely walk beside the Mawddach estuary between Barmouth and Dollgelau.  You can do a complete circuit of the estuary from Barmouth or Dollgellau along this trail which is both a cycleway and a walkway.  This is 9.5 miles and I wish now we had done that – but another time.  We opted for a slightly shorter route off piste so to speak!  Unfortunately this meant walking along the road for a mile or so at the end.  We went back the next day and walked from the same car park at Arthog into Barmouth across the estuary bridge.



Below is the official trail map.



Nidderdale walk via Scar Dale Reservoir

Lovely walk, lovely weather.  We did intend to go further by taking the path over In Moor, down to Middlesmoor or Lofthouse, but we were hot and a little short of time.  We actually parked the car on the Waterways road by way mark 7.  The road is private but public are allowed for access to the reservoir.  The road is just after Lofthouse on the right coming from Patley Bridge.

Starting the way by the 7 way mark you go through fields and cross the river by the side of Limely Farm.  The dogs are noisy but tied up! (poor things).  there’s a climb up to way mark1 and a straight forward walk with lovely views down the Nidd Valley, then another climb up to way mark 3.   From here you get good views of the reservoir.  The walk is nearly all on the the Nidderdale Way.  You cross over the dam and reach the end of the Waterways road.  There is a car park and information area and thankfully a little cafe for a welcome cup of tea.  We then walked back along the road to the car.

If you take a dog along you should keep it on an extending lead. Lots of nesting birds and sheep.

Ripley Circular

87043468-5A43-4E08-9380-DB8507C73E5CLovely walk from Ripley N. York’s .  Cold but mostly sunny.  A few stretches on quiet country lanes and a short stretch on road but with fairly wide verge.  Ripley village is beautiful.  You can visit the castle, which isn’t a castle and visit cafe with very yummy food.  There’s a few little shops and a good butchers if that floats your boat.


From my front door – Eccup circular

F3E42FB4-C7F1-4394-AA00-2FAFE6E3FB70I decided I would like to catalogue the walks that I can do from my front door.  Today was a 7.6 mile walk via Paul’s Pond, Bramhope, the Ebor Way the New Inn at Eccup then back via theLeeds Country Way, Golden Acre, Cocker Farm back to Paul’s Pond and home.

One of the longest walk I’ve done recently and couldn’t of walked much further.



Had a fabulous day out at Howe Stean Gorge near Pately Bridge in Nidderdale, N. Yorkshire, easier this month.  The cafe hangs out over the gorge and has glass in the floor so you can gaze down at the gorge below, whilst drinking your coffee.

Theres activities that you can book but we just did the gorge walk which was great fun.  Its narrow and can be slippery – theres ropes to help you – theres caves and tunnels – you have to be reasonably fit.  The photos below help tell the story.  The scratch marks you can see on the rocks on one of the photos are made by otters-unfortunately we didn’t see any.





On Wednesday I visited Coldstones Cut near Pately Bridge Yorkshire.  What a very interesting place.  Its Yorkshires biggest and highest public artwork.



It was so windy and wild and quite exhilarating.  Below are the explanation boards and a link to the website.


Below the sculpture and quarry is the original site of the Toft Gate Lime Kiln


Nidderdale is one of my favourite dales.  If you love walking, history, rivers, wildlife, nature, picturesque towns and villages its the place to be.

Fountains Abbey


Had a lovely afternoon at Fountains Abbey, near Ripon.  Really nice cafe/restaurant.  Typical National Trust shop and entry price!  I thought £13.50 was rather steep for entry to say the least.  Very keen to get you to join the Trust but I will not ever do so whilst they allow FOX HUNTING on their land.  It disgusts me!


In 1132, 13 monks came here to start a simpler life. Over 400 years later, when Henry VIII demanded the closure of the Abbey, the monks left behind the most complete Cistercian abbey remains in the country.

The abbey’s beginnings

The abbey was founded in 1132 by 13 Benedictine monks from St Mary’s in York. They’d grown fed up of the extravagant and rowdy way that the monks lived in York and so they escaped seeking to live a devout and simple lifestyle elsewhere. This was how they came to Fountains. 

By the time three years had passed the monks had become settled into their new way of life and had been admitted to the austere Cistercian Order and with that came an important development – the introduction of the Cistercian system of lay brothers.

Introduction of the lay brothers

The lay brothers (what we would now call labourer) relieved the monks from routine jobs, giving them more time to dedicate to God rather than farming the land to get by. It was because of the help of the lay brothers that Fountains became so wealthy through wool production, lead mining, cattle rearing, horse breeding and stone quarrying.

Idleness is the enemy of the soul. For this reason the brethren should be occupied at certain times in manual labour and at other times in sacred reading.

– From St Benedicts Rule

It wasn’t all plain sailing

Bad harvests hit the monks hard and they also had to deal with raids from the Scots throughout the 14th-century, which led to economic collapse. This was only made worse by the Black Death which struck the country in 1348.  

Despite its financial problems, the Abbey remained important. The abbacy of Marmaduke Huby (1495 – 1526) marked a period of revival and the great tower built by Huby symbolises his hope for the Abbey’s future.  

The Dissolution

The Abbey was abruptly closed down in 1539 in the Dissolution of the Monasteries ordered by Henry VIII, and the abbot, prior and monks were sent away with pensions.



Fountains Abbey today

The estate was sold by the Crown to a merchant, Sir Richard Gresham. It remained in private hands until the 1960s, including William and John Aislabie who designed Studley Royal water garden of which the abbey became an integral part of. The National Trust bought the estate from the West Riding County Council in 1983.

The information here was taken from the National Trust website

Studley Royal Deer Park

Had an absolutely fabulous day at Studley Royal Deer Park.  The weather was perfect.  Cool and autumnal but brilliant sunshine.  Did a four mile circular walk taking in beautiful views, plenty of deer, birds, water and awesome trees.

I originally went hoping to see some rutting deer, but all was quiet.  It looked like all the herds were already established.  I think rutting is at its height in October, so maybe I was too late.  I did get some nice photos though, including a white hart.

Saint Mary’s church.


The deer .

 The Trees.


Ripon Cathedral in the distance.

Some shots around the park.


And my walk.


My soul has been filled again until next time.