My friend and I usually go away for a week in June or July to complete a long distance walk, we’ve done quite a few now, they’re usually around 80 to 100 miles so we aim for 12 to 12 miles a day. It usually takes quite a few practice walks in the spring to get our fitness back up again. This year we were meant to be walking the Lady Anne Way from Skipton to Penrith…it will have to wait for another year.
We were both shielding in the spring, but last month we finally managed to get out and do some walks – during the week we were meant to be walking Lady Anne’s Way. We needed a route a bit shorter and fairly local. We decided on Arncliffe Crags for the first trip out.
I can see Arncliffe Crags from my garden, a shapely little crag on the horizon, one of those that entices you to walk up it, but until last month we had never visited the crags! We parked at the village pub of North Rigton, from there it’s a fairly short pull up to the crags.
There’s a bit of a scramble to reach the top, but plenty of room for a coffee break with amazing views. I think in clear weather you would be able to see York Minster, especially if you knew where to look! Even with overcast weather it was lovely up there. I think this is looking over towards Otley – somewhere over there is our house!!
There were lots of names carved into the rocks up there, interestingly it was mainly from around the time of WW1, it struck me as the sort of place locals would go before they were called up.
The rock formations were interesting, similar to Brimham Rocks in Nidderdale, just a bit further north…
From the crags we walked around the aptly named Round Hill and Gravelly Hill, before finishing the walk via Weeton and then back to the Square and Compass pub in North Rigton for a very welcome cup of tea. On route we saw an amazing insect hotel, it was huge, made from a stack of wooden pallets with a whole array of things stuffed into the gaps, such as pinecones, twigs, bark, airbricks…
Altogether we walked around 7.5 miles that day and the following day we managed another walk…
Near Otley is the Washburn Valley, it’s a pretty valley which now has four reservoirs with lots of paths for walking round them. Swinsty and Fewston are very popular with families as the paths are easily passable with pushchairs. We’ve walked them several times, both as part of a long distance walk or just as a gentle walk.
Thruscross reservoir is the highest one, we’d skimmed the edge of it when we did our first long walk, the Six Dales walk, but we had never actually walked round it. We approached from below the dam from the lower reservoir that time, it was actually quite unnerving as they were obviously opening the sluice gates to fill Swinsty and the little babbling stream which connects the two was a raging torrent! The dam itself is huge and quite awe-inspiring, it makes you feel very small!
This time we parked at the top of the dam and walked around the reservoir, about 6 miles altogether.
We loved it, it is so different to the other reservoir walks, it’s a ‘proper’ walk, with lots of variety – a wooded bit, a moorland stretch, rivers and the reservoir itself. Unfortunately I have only one photo as I was travelling light with just my phone and it decided to die on me!!! There’s some interesting ruins around the reservoir – it was the last one to be built, from memory it was about 1965, whereas the others are from the 1800’s. We found a ruin right on the waters edge which we deduced to be a mill of some kind, a quick google when I got home confirmed it was a flax mill. There was a lovely old house in ruins too – as my father would say, ripe for renovation!!
We took our time walking round, noting the flowers and foliage around, listening to the buzzards mewing overhead. It’s definitely a walk to return to, we decided it would be great to walk there in the autumn, or even the winter with a crisp covering of frost…
That is the poshest Insect Hotel I have ever seen!
I love the insect hotel too. A very peaceful tour. Thank you! And I think your father would have been right about that beautiful, old stone building.
I have never heard of an insect hotel! Cool! I love it when you share your walks…always interesting!
I wondered if you and your friend had been out and about. Wonderful to read about your walks. I can walk there vicariously.
Wonderful to get out with your walking buddy! That insect hotel is quite the thing, looking forward to more photos when you get back out this fall. 🙂
A Walk – yeah! So glad you both were able to get out and about, even briefly, and look forward to hearing about your autumn plans. Yes, that insect hotel is something else!
What awesome photos from your trek and I love the insect hotel!
The Hilton of Insect Hotels!!
Love your walk and descriptions. Hopefully you will resume your long walks next year.
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