Bolton Abbey; Barden Moor Circular

Posted by Swaledale Outdoor Club on 2010-03-21

The group met at The Strid car park at Bolton Abbey, Wharfedale.  After paying our £6.00 car park money, Trevor, the walk co-ordinator, summoned all nine other members for a briefing of our 13 mile Barden Moor circular walk.

After rain the day before and frost overnight, we experienced a clearing sky and fresh and windy weather when walking up to the second reservoir.  It was an exhilarating experience with a smell of newly burnt heather in our nostrils and the sound of bird species reclaiming their spring habitats.

With a view of Burnsall Crags ahead, we double-backed along the contours on a path marked ‘To Burnsall’.  Over the valley, a view of Simon’s Seat Crag was afforded as we took a breather at a tarn favoured by black headed gulls as a shore-side nesting site.  Uphill again, we passed, what looked like, a lead mining chimney up to the moor escarpment, where down below we could see the lower Wharfedale villages of Grassington and Burnsall. The millstone grit out crops provided good shelter for our lunchtime stop.

Onwards to Cracoe War Memorial with the Craven Fault limestone quarry below in the valley which was pointed out by our leader.  After negotiating a peaty potholed patch, we eventually reached the Rylstone Cross refurbished in 1995.  The hamlet, as we were reminded, will be forever remembered for its WI ladies calendar.  Turning the corner with views of Pendle Hill and Lower Wharfedale behind us, we again viewed the landscape vista with a wind turbine farm over to the Bolton Abbey area.  Coming down off the moor we looked back and saw many of the land marks we passed.  A moor very similar to the heather-clad, grouse rich North Yorkshire Moors, but minus any sheep. On returning to the car park Trevor then recommended that we have a look at the famous narrowing of the River Wharfe named “The Strid”.

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