Oct 18 2014

Walk 86 – The Guinea Trig

The Guinea Trig

route: holt lane (destroyed) trig point from nr golden acre park
Date: 18th oct 2014
distance: 3.8 miles
ascent: 221 feet
time: 1 hrs 50 mins
walkers: abigail, dave, freddie, leanne, sandra, & simon

After four months without a Badgers outing due to the arrival of yet another member I was extremely excited for today’s walk. Not only was it the first time we had been out since the highs and lows of the Lyke Wake Walk, but we were also trying something new and today was the first adventure to find a trig point within the city of Leeds (hence the walk title). On top of this I knew something about the trig that nobody else did (it no longer existed), and I wasn’t sure whether to tell them or not. After some thought I decided that they might feel the lack of a trig was an anti-climax, and as such I shared the information with the others as we were lacing our boots up. In truth it was a mistake on my part, I had chosen to visit some of the trigs locally as a way of ensuring Leanne could ease herself back into things and also our new recruit, Freddie, could begin his Badgers career. I located the trig points that fall with an LS postcode and using my online mapping I planned some nice short routes to a few of them. All that was left to do was select a specific trig, choose a date, inform the other Badgers then see who turns up on the day, all of which I did. It was only after a few days and a bit more research that I realised the trig I had chosen had been destroyed some years ago, bugger! With the plans already in place I was loathed to changed them and the fact there wasn’t a lump of concrete half way round shouldn’t and wouldn’t stop us from enjoying a walk 🙂 86th Walk 1We had parked at the Mercure Parkway hotel on Otley road rather than choosing to start at Golden Acre Park. The main reason was simply to reduce the distance slightly so we could see how Freddie took to the great outdoors. There is no point spending the last half of a six mile walking listening to screaming when you can have a pleasurable three mile walk in silence. We crossed the main road and joined a track that led us towards Cocker Hill Farm.86th Walk 2As we made the short journey to the farm Abigail was very kindly pointing out the sheep in a field to my left, in fact sheep pointed out nearly all of them which made me laugh. Upon reaching the farm we were met with what I can only describe as a farmyard smell. Personally I don’t mind a good waft of manure aroma up my nostrils but it isn’t for everyone and Ramblo wasn’t overly keen on it. She did very kindly manage to nip her nose long enough for me to take a picture then we were on our way once again.86th Walk 386th Walk 586th Walk 6From the farm it was only a few hundred yards to a fish pond which we reached by crossing a wooden stile. As there had been on the walks earlier in the year before Leanne gave birth, we had a Badger or two on hand to help make sure things like this went smoothly. Not that they shouldn’t but as Leanne pointed out, she couldn’t see her feet or where she was putting her feet so better safe than sorry.86th Walk 786th Walk 8The gentle stroll alongside the pond was nice but as with the track to the farm and the walk from the farm to the pond, it didn’t last long. It was long enough for us to prove that you feel more confident with things after your first child. On Abigail’s first walk back in Feb 2013 she needed feeding so we stopped, took her out of the carrier and found somewhere to sit then gave her a bottle. Meanwhile the other Badgers waited patiently for 15 minutes or so until we were ready to move once again. Fast forward 20 months and Freddie was half unclipped from his carrier and being fed on the move 🙂 86th Walk 9We left the pond through a small wooded area which was quiet except for the rustle of the trees. We spotted numerous squirrels scurrying through the fallen leaves before shooting up a trunk to the higher branches. At this moment there was no trace of city life but a few minutes further on and we had the sight and sound of a jet taking off. I think that highlights the main thing I have found interesting about walking around my home city over the last couple of years as we tackled the Leeds Country Way. Even though you are never really very far from built up areas, cars, noise and general city life if you go down the right footpath you soon disappear almost into a hidden world of silence and greenery which after a full week stuck in traffic is a refreshing change and right on our doorstep.86th Walk 1086th Walk 11We made our way down the side of the golf course keeping one eye on anyone who looked like they were aiming in our general direction. Not that they would be aiming at us, but if they play like I do then the ball won’t be going where they want it to. After five minutes we reached the road just next to Holt Farm and turned right and began walking at the side of the road towards the traffic. I knew from the wonderful tool that is Google Images what the old location of the trig looked like so I wasn’t really paying much attention to my GPS as I chatted to Beaky about football. I then realised we had been walking longer than I anticipated we would and looked at my screen to find we had indeed walked past it by some way. After a quick about turn we walked up the other side of the road until we reached what I thought was the spot. Unless there is evidence of where exactly it stood we can’t be sure with any degree of certainty as all GPS’s will no doubt give slightly different readings. We settled on a spot and took our pictures86th Walk 12Far from the lack of trig spoil the walk it actually gave us something to laugh about. We spent a good portion of the next half hour discussing whether or not walks to trigs in Leeds (real or non-existent) would be something we should do. All the while we made our way back into the grounds of Cookridge Hall Golf Club and descended gradually to the hall before skirting round the back of it and out to Cookridge Lane. From here we joined the aforementioned Leeds Country Way which took us to Rushes Farm. A little distance further on we reached a stile that seems to serve zero purpose and recalled Ramblo scaling it during the LCW. This time Beaky chose to take on the extra 3 feet of ascent and passed with flying colours.86th Walk 1386th Walk 1486th Walk 15We were now well on our way back and Abigail was getting a little impatient to get down. We entered the plantation and stopped to take her out of the carrier and let her stretch her legs. After giving her a little safety briefing that consisted of watch where you are going and don’t run too fast she was off…86th Walk 1786th Walk 16The rest of the way back was basically all about Abigail. One minute she would be running off into the distance, the next she was asking me and Beaky to swing her as we walked. “One, twooo, threeeeeee weeeeeeeeee” was followed by lots of giggling then “ again, again, again, again”. Repeat three or four times then she would just let go and run off once again. It was great to see her happy and enjoying herself and for her to be powered by her own two legs. I suppose there will be a period where she is getting too big to carry but isn’t yet big enough to walk miles and miles but if we can mix the two up I will be happy with that.86th Walk 1886th Walk 1986th Walk 20As the end of the walk approached we reached the road once more. After crossing safely we reached the cars and Freddie’s first walk was complete. The idea to search for local trigs was a bit of an unknown quantity but the enjoyment we got from the Leeds Country Way convinced me to give it a go and I’m glad we did. I will miss the longer walks of the Dales or the Peak District but a few of these shorter walks should hopefully keep us active over the winter months before we focus on what 2015 has to offer. It looks like my walk planning is going to be more important than ever in future as not only do I have to accommodate the desires of the more seasoned walkers, I now have a little pair of legs to think about.holt lane mapholt lane profile

Sir Edmund

Leave a comment