Nov 27 2010

Walk 19: Snowed White & The River Wharfe

Looking towards North Nab from Strid Wood

route: north nab from strid wood
date: 27th November 2010
distance: 6.1 miles
ascent: 1,173 feet
time: 2 hrs 50 mins
walkers: dave, graham, leanne & sandra

Now for those of you that have been following, you’ll know that I’m not too clever at getting up at 6.30am on a Saturday, so when Dave suggested another walk, I must’ve been feeling particularly perky to agree to go along. However this was not the case when the alarm went off and I had to get up. It was hard work following a two month break since we completed the Yorkshire Tops.When I did eventually rise from my bed, I looked out of the window to see the ground covered in snow – yes snow! The first of what turned out to be quite a lot for late November/ early December 2010. Ramblo was picking us up at 715 and G was meeting us at this time as well so I had to get a wriggle on. Dave had ensured me that I wouldn’t need to make us sandwiches as we wouldn’t be out for very long, so I didn’t bother and realised I had not a lot else to do, other than wait.

When Ramblo and G turned up we all stuffed ourselves into one car for the short journey to our starting point.

A problem was encountered when we got there, as we intended to set off from Bolton Abbey, but what we hadn’t envisaged was for the car parks not to be open so early on a Saturday! So, after driving around the local area looking for a suitable spot, we decided on parking about 5 mins away from Strid Wood, which was now to be the new point of departure.

I’d never been to Strid Wood before and wasn’t entirely sure what The Strid even was, but after a little walk into the Wood we followed the river, that we heard before we saw, and here I saw the Strid (for those like me that don’t know, the strid is a notorious stretch of water where the River Wharfe is forced into a deep and narrow channel where lots of people have died trying to cross it)

After we followed the path alongside the river for a little bit we approached Bolton Abbey Pavilion (which was now open) near where our starting point should have been. Here we saw a sign for The Valley of Desolation (yes, readers, seriously, the valley of desolation!) We decided not to head that way! We walked over the bridge of the River Wharfe and followed the track up through Bolton Park farm yard.

It was nice to look into the distance and see a track going most of where we had to go. We followed the track (Dales Way) into open land and followed it as it snaked up the hillside. The incline wasn’t very steep and we only stopped for a snack break and a water break. The morning was crisp, the sun was shining and it was lovely to be out in the fresh air.

After following the track a bit further Dave’s GPS told us to turn off the track and “off-road” which is exactly what we did and after a little way bit of field walking we saw the objective in sight.

In typical Rambling Badgers style we spent a lot of time at the top taking various pictures before we slowly descended, getting back onto the track and following it down. We were descending slowly, trying not to slip on the ice and snow beneath our feet, when we suddenly heard a loud crack which made us all jump. Dave blurted “what the f**k” before realising that the farmers were firing shotguns to scare away the birds. At least it wasn’t us! We carried on and came down through the farmyard and saw a few cows huddled in a barn, then saw the warning sign for the Bull. Fortunately it wasn’t to be found and we picked our pace up slightly until we had cleared the danger.

We then returned over the bridge and followed our way back along the river, past the Strid and back up to the main road where the car was parked. At this point G shared his sandwiches (as I was starving and Dave said I wouldn’t need any) and we quickly jumped in the car to warm up.

Another good walk, and more lovely weather in the Yorkshire Dales. We didn’t call at a pub on the way back, choosing instead to spend the afternoon in the German Market Beirkeller in Leeds. A fantastic day all round and I was glad to get back out walking. I may not remember that the next time the alarm goes off though!

Wu Tang


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