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Aug 31 2013

Walk 68 – Leeds Country Way Part 5 – Bardsey to Barwick in Elmet

Leeds Country Way 5

route: bardsey to barwick in elemet
Date: 31st august 2013
distance: 5.6 miles
ascent: 520 feet
time: 2 hrs 15 mins
walkers: abigail, dave, karen, leanne, sandra & simon

It had only been a week since our last walk but it was nearly two months since we did any of the Leeds Country Way. Earlier on in the year I had been wondering how much I enjoyed this circular route around my home town. It wasn’t that I disliked it, merely that I would much rather have been out in the Dales somewhere instead, but I found myself looking forward to the next stretch of the route. There is no doubting that it has been a life saver this year with us now having young Snail to think about. The short travel time work well and the walks can be split in sections that suit us, rather than be dictated to by the countryside. All in all I have enjoyed it so far and would certainly recommend it to anyone in the Leeds area.
68th Walk 1It doesn’t matter whether we are in the Dales, Lakes, Peaks or in a little village on the outskirts of Leeds, the team shot is the last thing we do before we set off on a walk. Maybe it is the first part of the walk rather than the last part of the pre walk ritual, not that it matters, but we always get a snap for the photo album. With us now on our way we strolled past the church choosing not to take the footpath just before it as both the map Beaky had and my GPS seemed to suggest it wasn’t correct. Two minutes later both the map and GPS were suggesting we had gone too far. We think there may have been a path cutting through the church yard which would be the route as marked on the map, but it wasn’t marked clearly so we made our way back to take the path we just rejected. This led us to a finger post and we said goodbye to Bardsey and headed out into the countryside.68th Walk 2The incline didn’t compare to some of the larger climbs we have done in the past, but it certainly got my blood flowing which I do tend to like early in a walk. I don’t know if that is because it warms me up or possibly I am fresh at that point, either way I like it. Not that I really had much chance to get into climbing mode, as it was soon over and we began to gradually descend towards Wetherby Road. A quick hop across the road followed, then we began another short climb but this one was different to the first one. The chattering and murmuring of a happy child talking to themselves had gone and had been replaced with…well…nothing! I paused for a second and it was only then I could hear the quiet snoring that was going on behind me.68th Walk 368th Walk 468th Walk 5By now the sun was quite warm and Leanne was happy she chose shorts rather than the combat trousers she nearly wore. We were also going at a reasonable pace too which always keeps body temperature up, and I paused a couple of times to take on some water as we made our way over a stile in a hedgerow then continued once more.68th Walk 6It wasn’t long before we reached a stone stile and a finger post directing us which way to go. For a short distance we would now follow a little country lane over Scarcroft beck until we reached a path that took us off to the right.68th Walk 868th Walk 9As we left the road we were once again confronted with an uphill section, although as with the previous ones, they were very short and nothing much to write about. The only small bit of concern I had was Abigail’s head, as I could now feel her gently bang it against my rucksack with each step I took. I took the view that it wasn’t that hard and if it was bothering her she would wake up and let me know. With that decision made, we carried on to the gentle tap tap tap of her head against my back.68th Walk 1068th Walk 11As with everything we had done so far the going was pretty easy and that meant for a very enjoyable day out. We weren’t the only ones out and about though, and we were slightly fortunate to be followed by one guy walking his dog, as he found the hat Abigail had pulled off and thrown to the floor without me knowing. He had been following us up a narrow fenced off path and as we reached the end and realised it was missing he appeared over the brow of the hill holding it. I suppose there was no reason for him not to hand it back but it is nice to know people care enough to make a small gesture of good will.68th Walk 1368th Walk 1268th Walk 14By now we had reached Thorner and we crossed the road that runs through before making our way along a path that runs round the houses in the south of the village. At this point Beaky, Ramblo and Karen were quite a bit further on as we had stopped a couple of times to make sure Abigail was ok. The path climbed gently before it turned at right angles and we joined Ellerker Lane and headed towards Redhills Plantation. Along here there was a distinct smell of dog poo, and it wasn’t nice. There were a few people out walking dogs, some of which must not feel the need to pick it up should their dog do it. I kept my eyes firmly towards the ground to make sure my boots stayed clean and it didn’t take us long to reach the trees ahead.68th Walk 15For the first time I can recall, on what has admittedly only been a few walks, Abigail started to get a bit whingy as we made our way through the woods. She is now at an age where crawling is second nature and she has even stood once or twice but is yet to take her first steps. I guess when you have realised you are mobile it must get a little boring when you can’t get down. I bet if I asked either member of L’Autobus if they wanted me to carry them round the answer would have been yes ;-). We kept going with Leanne a lot closer and paying Abigail much more attention than before. I even joined in with a couple of renditions of “five little speckled frogs” which seemed to do the trick at least for a short while.68th Walk 1668th Walk 17York Road was soon in front of us and we carefully crossed the busy road and picked up the path on the opposite side, complete with a tricky little nettle lined section which wasn’t ideal when in shorts. After plotting a careful path through and only stinging myself twice, we ventured onwards once more. It wasn’t much further until we reached a little wooden bridge over a tiny stream. It didn’t look the most sturdy of structures but it did the job allowing us to continue without any need to get our boots wet.68th Walk 18Fortunately the path didn’t stay under the trees for long which was good as it is hard enough ducking under them without have to worry about the little Badger on my back. By now she was happy again, probably due to the constant bobbing and weaving motion as I looked to avoid all sorts of tree branches and bushes.68th Walk 19As we reached the edge of the trees we were firmly on the homewards stretch and it was all going to be nice lush green grass from here. Again we found ourselves slightly detached from the others but that never has or never will be an issue. Whoever is at the front stops from time to time and we all re-group. It would be more or less the outskirts of Barwick in Elmet by the time we were all back together which was only 20 minutes or so.68th Walk 2068th Walk 2168th Walk 22We crossed the little ford on the edge of Barwick and began to make our way in to the village. By now Abigail was back on form and chatting away to herself and all was well in Badgerland.68th Walk 2368th Walk 24It wasn’t long before we had sight of the maypole that stands in the middle of the village which is something I remember when we came each year as a child to watch my dad play cricket in a charity match. I always thought that this was the tallest Maypole in England but after a little research it seems that a taller one was erected in North Yorkshire a few years back. Either way, it is one tall maypole!68th Walk 2568th Walk 26The last few hundred yards along the main street were done in no time and another section of the Leeds Country Way was complete. It had been a great morning stroll without being too long or taxing. It gave us all a little fresh air and stretched our legs a little without ever threatening to be a walk that would linger long in the memory. I guess if I ever forget just how this walk went, I can always read this report 🙂

Sir Edmund

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1 comment

  1. karen

    Gosh Dave you have a good memory to write such precise blogs. When your young un’ is grown up & you get ‘time’ back as I have now with mine. You should write your own book. Brill

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