We’ve had a very dry spring so far and the weather over the Easter Bank Holiday has been glorious, hot and sunny. My OH and I decided to go for a walk and my walking buddy joined us, we had a great day out.
We’ve decided to walk Lady Anne’s Way as practice walks for our big walk in June (Cleveland Way). Lady Anne’s Way goes from Skipton to Penrith, 100 miles in total! We’re just doing it in bite size chunks so we might not finish it til next year but it gives us something concrete to do rather than just finding local walks to practise on.
On the way up to Skipton we drove through Ilkley. Last night, as a result of all the dry weather we had (and I suspect a BBQ!) there was a large moor fire on Ilkley moor, as well as dozens of fire engines they were using helicopters to drop water. This explained the ‘low flying airplane’ I thought I’d heard in the night! This morning much of the moor was still smoking, it was quite shocking to see. Fingers crossed it stays under control!
The walk starts at Skipton Castle, which is about 900 years old! Lady Anne Clifford was born there in 1590, she was the last Clifford to own Skipton Castle.
We rose quite quickly out of Skipton, well what I should say is the path rose steeply out of Skipton, we huffed and puffed our way up, stopping to admire the view lots of times!
We then made our way over undulating farmland to the village of Embsay, where my walking buddy lives – we resisted calling home for a cuppa, instead we sat in the shade of a beautiful tree to have our first cup of coffee and a banana.
We skirted mainly around the edge of Embsay, following various snickets and ginnels around the houses. We crossed the ‘duck pond’ which is the old mill race, you can still see the old chimney from the former tannery.
We walked up through Eastby village and along the fields to Billy Bobs!! Billy Bobs is an ice-cream place, they make the ice-cream on the farm and have a huge American Diner type place with lots of play areas for kids…we just wanted an ice-cream!
The trees are starting to come into leaf, you can just see flushes of green and bronze as the new leaves unfurl. It always fascinates me how different trees come into leaf at different times, hawthorn is one of the early ones, where as sycamore and beech are much later. There is an old saying that ‘if the oak before the ash we shall have a splash, if the ash before the oak we shall have a soak!’ I’ve not seen either in leaf yet! I love the dip in this photo!
There were LOTS of styles on this walk, this one was fairly tame but most went over dry stone walls about 5-6 feet tall, and many were clearly designed for people with longer legs than me!
All this warm weather has brought the tree blossoms and the wild flowers out early, the fields and the hedgerows were dotted with colour, we saw violets, dandelions, daisies, coltsfoot and some tiny little pretty white flowers which we didn’t know the name of. This field was full of celandine, it looked lovely.
After the ice-cream we had a long pull up and over the moors, it was worth it when we saw the view at the other side, especially as we knew the car was parked down there ready to take us home!
We walked about 7.5 miles altogether, so not too far. We’re planning to walk the next section on Tuesday, Barden to Grassington, I’m hoping it won’t be quite so hot!