Semer Water from Bainbridge

Posted by Swaledale Outdoor Club on 2010-11-18

A hardy group of 10 gathered at Bainbridge on a damp misty morning.  We set off up the old Roman road known as Cam High Road at a good pace and stopped for a coffee break before turning off left, up towards Marsett.  The ‘sett’ ending of Marsett and nearby Countersett is an old Norse word meaning ‘hill pasture’ and both hamlets remain classic examples of traditional Dales farming communities. Slightly further on, we stopped for our lunch break and some good ‘banter’. The path followed a fairly level course through a chain of stiles with Semer Water coming into view. We stopped at the ruins of a chapel which formerly served the population of Stalling Busk. This was built in 1772 but fell into disuse in 1909 when a replacement was built, more conveniently sited in the centre of the village.


We walked along the shores of Semer Water and eventually reached Semer Water Bridge. Semer Water is one of the few natural sheets of water in the Dales.  A glacial lake, formed around 8000 years ago, it now plays host to a variety of wildlife and watersports.  It is also the subject chosen by many artists, including Turner, whose painting of the lake in the 19th century remains one of his many masterpieces.

We then followed the banks of the River Bain and climbed upwards, leaving the river below in a wooded gorge and continued onwards to Bainbridge where we finished the day in the Rose & Crown.  A good walk in good company. Shame about the weather!

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