Last month Kathy from Living in a Rapid City posted about a walk round her neighbourhood, I thought it was a lovely idea, it always helps when you can picture someone in their own surroundings. So thanks Kathy for the inspiration, I thought I’d take you on one of my dog walks.
To set the scene, I live on the edge of a market town called Otley, it’s about 12 miles out of Leeds. When I say edge, there’s nothing but green fields and Otley Chevin behind us and it’s about a 20 minute walk into town.
Behind our garden is an old railway line, Otley lost it’s railway station in the Beeching cuts of 1965 and our section has been turned into a footpath, perfect for walking our dogs. This photo is from just outside our gate, with Rosie disappearing into the distance as usual!
A short distance along is what we call The Hump, it’s obviously where there used to be a bridge for the farmer, rather than maintaining a bridge they’ve filled in the cutting and we walk over the top. From the top of the hump there’s a lovely view through a 5 bar gate into the fields beyond, I love this view, with all the wild flowers in front.
Beyond the hump is a long straight path with sycamores, elderflowers, hawthorns and silverbirches to give a dappled shade from the sunshine, always useful with a golden retriever!
Half way down is The Bench, as you can see we are original in our naming of places! Unfortunately it won’t make sense to anyone now as the picnic bench fell apart about 15 years ago!! I always stand here for a short while as just occasionally we see deer in this field. I’m pretty sure they are roe deer, there’s meant to be several hundred on the Chevin, but it’s a special treat when we see one. I was walking here a couple of weeks ago with my OH when I thought I spotted one very near next to the wall, ‘There’s a deer!’ ‘No it’s not, it’s a log!’ says my OH. It was so well camouflaged with the wall that it took a while to see it’s face, before it ran up to the top, showing it’s white bottom!
It’s about a half mile walk to the other end of the railway line, at the end it’s just a short distance up to the road up the Chevin, unfortunately there’s no way through so instead we have to go down to the main road, cross a dual carriageway and walk up West Chevin Road from the bottom. It’s quite a climb up West Chevin Road but that does mean you get the views…
This is near the bottom, you can just see a fence at the bottom of the field, that’s the railway line we’ve just walked along. You can just see Denton Moor behind, last time I walked across there it was so windy we saw a duck flying backwards, literally!!!
Half way up and the views across to Burley and Ilkley are opening up. The moor on the left as a land mass is called Rombolds Moor, but Ilkley moor is the more famous part of it due to the song On Ilkla Moor Baht’at. The song is a lot of fun but actually quite gruesome, it’s all about catching a death of cold from going up on Ilkley Moor without a hat on and how through the natural food chain, we all end up eating them!! My southern friends were quite shocked when I explained the dialect lyrics!
From the top we can just about make out the corner of our house, right in the left hand corner with solar panels on the roof!
Half way up there’s a footpath to the right, it’s just been re-routed slightly and it’s much easier to navigate with dogs now. From there it’s a pleasant meander down through what is probably best described as wooded meadow.
There’s a big marsh here, you can just see the yellow flag irises. Last time Rosie was up here with my daughter she decided it looked a nice cool place to wallow in, luckily this time she walked straight past, maybe she felt eau de cowpat from the field before was sufficient!
We meander down to the old railway bridge, cross it and then drop down the side to get down to the path.
From there it’s a short walk back home, passed a huge mock orange blossom which fills our garden with scent and down the path into our garden. Hope you enjoyed the walk, it’s just over two miles, time for a cup of tea in the garden I think!