Jan 11 2014

Walk 72 – Leeds Country Way Part 8 – Woodlesford to Carlton

Leeds Country Way 8

route: woodlesford to carlton
Date: 11th january 2014
distance: 7.6 miles
ascent: 316 feet
time: 3 hrs 10 mins
walkers: abigail, dave, karen, leanne, sandra & simon

I had missed the last leg of our LCW journey because of illness prior to Christmas. On that day I was wrapped up in bed with some sort of chest infection/cold/flu or to give it the correct term “man flu”. Thankfully after struggling with that for over three weeks the new year seemed to bring a change in fortunes, and I was ready to go for section 8. Woodlesford train station was the start point even though it was slightly off route due to it being convenient and we took the team shot and headed off.
72nd Walk 172nd Walk 2The morning was a cold one and we made sure that Abigail had her hands covered to keep them warm. Even though we had only gone fifty yards and were about to go under the railway bridge, she was already chatting away to herself and enjoying things. Shortly after this bridge we crossed the Aire and Calder navigation which I have since found out is 34 miles long; the prefect charity walk distance 🙂72nd Walk 372nd Walk 3aNot long after crossing the canal we spotted the finger post for the Leeds Country Way and we joined a footpath that ran alongside the River Aire. The weather had been wet recently and it resulted in a path that was muddy and slippery in places. Never the less we continued on in good spirits as the sun began to rise. It wasn’t long before we veered away from the river following a road around some old industrial units back towards the canal.72nd Walk 472nd Walk 572nd Walk 6Abigail was still talking to herself as we crossed the bridge over the canal and turned immediately left down a slip road that brought us to Lemonroyd Marina. It is at this point where the canal ends as it merges into the river.72nd Walk 772nd Walk 8There were plenty of boats and barges in the marina but our focus was on a dog who seemed to be running around without an owner. We had just passed one guy who was waiting for his two dogs and I thought the third dog may be his too, but when I walked back to ask him he was gone. I guess that answered my question, but we still didn’t know what to do. We didn’t just want to leave the dog, but at the same time we weren’t entirely sure it was lost or missing. Fortunately for us the couple walking it soon came into view and meant we could keep going along the track with the river down to our left. 72nd Walk 9It was a short while before we turned off this path and we discussed plans for our Lyke Wake Walk attempt later in the year. It seemed that as always everybody had roughly the same ideas for how to go about it, which as the organiser make it that little bit easier. The fact we are often on the same page when it comes to weekends away, challenge walks and other such things means they are quite simple to plan. By the time we reached Methley we had virtually sorted all the main items, or at least had a plan to resolve them. This would all be tied together with a meeting in my local pub sometime in the next fortnight. As Hannibal Smith used to say, “I love it when a plan comes together”72nd Walk 1072nd Walk 11Our time in Methley was fairly brief as we followed a main road for a few minutes before turning left alongside a sports field and heading straight for the church. From here we would turn right and look for a footpath away to our left that soon came into view. As we crossed the field the lack of shelter soon resulted in a biting wind blowing straight into our faces which would certainly have woken up anyone who was still half asleep! We exited the field near Scholey Hill and turned right along the pavement soon passing the Mexboro’ Arms. As we approached I commented to Beaky that it must be a pub that had closed a while ago as it had a Stones Bitter sign above the door. I recalled Stones being the bitter that I could most remember being advertised when I was a teenager along with lagers Skol and Hoffmeister. Whether the pub is actually still open for business I have no idea…72nd Walk 1272nd Walk 13Just over the road from the pub we began “the long climb of the day” which in reality wasn’t all that big. It was in fact an extremely gradual pull alongside Moss Carr Wood that was roughly 150 feet of ascent. Myself, Abigail and Beaky led the way with Ramblo, Wu Tang and Karen fifty yards behind us.72nd Walk 14We reached the top of the little climb and waited for the girls. As we stood there I asked Abigail if she was ok but nothing came back, not that she answers in the Queen’s English, but I usually get a grunt or a noise in response. I asked Beaky if she was asleep but I already knew the answer really.72nd Walk 15With us all re-grouped we headed off towards the wonderfully named Cheesecake Farm. As we came to a junction of paths we initially took the wrong one but realised within a matter of strides and we made our way further on our current path before finding the finger post complete with the little owl sticker that signifies the LCW attached.72nd Walk 1672nd Walk 17By now we had reached the A642 that runs from junction 30 of the M62 towards Oulton. Fortunately all we had to do was cross it then head beyond Royds School before finding our way onto Dungeon Lane. With this test successfully passed we reached a cross roads which we expected. The finger post for the LCW pointed down towards the M62 which we knew to be incorrect and ignored it, choosing instead to go the direct opposite way up towards Swithen’s Farm.72nd Walk 1872nd Walk 20Walking through the farm we came across some large Premier Inn signs which seemed a bit weird. It wasn’t the Premier Inn were ever going to open up a hotel here, but likewise we couldn’t see the use the signs would bring to the farm. All in all it was a bit strange but there will no doubt be a rational explanation for them. We soon passed through the farm and began the slight descent down Swithen’s Lane. I found myself with Wu Tang, thirty yards behind the others and as I checked my GPS I could see they had overshot the path. I called ahead and Beaky came back so we could check map and GPS together to make sure we were in agreement, which we were. Ramblo and Karen retraced their last few steps and we headed off down the path towards Carlton which we could now see not too far away.72nd Walk 2172nd Walk 22The path dropped down until we reached a stile off to the right but we weren’t sure this was the way to go. Ahead we could see a hedgerow and it looked as if a path might possibly go around it. Beaky ventured ahead to check but turned back around shaking his head so over the stile we went in what looked like a small paddock that had been churned up by horses. There was a girl brushing a horse down and we shouted across to check this was the correct way. It was so all we had to do now was plot the best way across the mud-bath.72nd Walk 2372nd Walk 24Beaky made his way across first and I followed without really bothering too much with where I put my feet. There was a time I would have tried to be careful but now I am more concerned about getting to the other side. Once across I took a few more pictures of the rest of the team as they made their way over to the nice clean path.72nd Walk 2572nd Walk 26All we were left to do now was cross Carlton Beck via the bridge and make our way through some houses and to the pub. This took us no more than 10 minutes and section 8 of the Leeds Country Way was complete. We were now another 7.6 miles closer to completion and only had two more sections to go.72nd Walk 27With our walking for the day done we gave Abigail chance to stretch her legs as we waited a few minutes for the pub to open. Once it did we enjoyed a drink to wash down a lovely beef baguette and chips before heading home. Another successful day of walking complete and the first of many in 2014 🙂

Sir Edmund




  1. marchofthek9s

    Good Blog…….

  2. Helen

    Lovely to read about your walk. I’ve inadvertently done bits of the part you did in this post – didn’t realise there was the Leeds Country Walk. I hope you finished it.

    1. Sir Edmund

      Hi Helen,

      Thanks for your comments. To be honest I didn’t know that there was a circular route around Leeds either until we stumbled across it, but I have to say it is worth doing. I have a confession though, we still haven’t done the last 5 mile section so our Leeds Country Way journey isn’t yet complete.

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