Oct 26 2013

Walk 69 – Leeds Country Way Part 6 – Barwick in Elmet to Garforth

Leeds Country Way 6

route: barwick in elemet to garforth
Date: 26th october 2013
distance: 5.5 miles
ascent: 243 feet
time: 2 hrs
walkers: abigail, dave, karen, sandra, simon, steph & steph l

The walk from Barwick in Elmet to Garforth was one that I was looking forward to immensely. It wasn’t the route that was getting me particularly excited, nor was it the company, although all are extremely nice people. The sense of anticipation was purely down to the fact it had been so long since the Badgers had been on a walk. In the meantime myself, Wu Tang and Snail had had a little trip to Black Hill to keep the legs ticking over and fill in a missed peak/trig for Wu (she was 7 months pregnant with Snail when we first did West Yorkshire’s high point last November). Work would prevent her from attending today, but myself and Snail were in attendance as we took the team shot outside the New Inn then set off to find the footpath we needed.
69th Walk 1Roughly 100 yards later we were stood at the end of Carrfield Road wondering if this was the way we needed to go. My GPS was still trying to acquire satellites but Beaky was checking the map and soon confirmed that we were indeed to follow it until it turned into a footpath.69th Walk 269th Walk 3As on every section of the Leeds Country Way we have done so far, it didn’t take long to feel like you were in the countryside as rows of houses were soon replaced by vast open areas of greenery. Behind me Snail was chatting away to herself and quite happy with life as a Rambling Badger. I was pleased the weather had held out so she could come along and even more pleased she was clearly enjoying it. The day she starts screaming in my ear for mile after mile will be a very long day, but that hasn’t happened yet and wouldn’t today either.69th Walk 469th Walk 5Not much further on we passed the bottom of some long gardens one of which contained a football pitch, although it wasn’t the biggest pitch in the world, I can image the hours of fun that will be had here.69th Walk 6From here the route followed a hedgerow and the clear path, decent underfoot conditions and level terrain meant we were going along nicely. If we kept this up it would certainly be a short walk, but as ever we would have the odd stop here and there. We didn’t want to finish too early otherwise we would be done and dusted before the pub opened at 11am 🙂69th Walk 769th Walk 8Every now and again there would be a small section of wet, muddy path that gave some warning of what may lie ahead when we reached Bog Lane. I had a quick chat with Steph, who until that point didn’t realise there was a Bog Lane in existance, or that we would be going down it. She didn’t seem too impressed by this information which came just as the clouds above decided to release a very fine drizzle. This became the topic of conversation with our interpretation of the current conditions varying quite a lot. Steph said she had checked the weather earlier and we weren’t meant to get any rain, and seemed to be a little worried she didn’t have any waterproofs. I on the other hand found it extremely refreshing and lifted my hat slightly to allow it to reach my face. In either case by the time we had walked another couple of hundred yards and approached a row of houses I didn’t notice it anymore.69th Walk 969th Walk 10By now we had reached the outskirts of Scholes and a quick map check confirmed that we needed to cross the road in front of us, follow the pavement round a corner, then cross Leeds Road before we would begin our journey down Bog Lane.69th Walk 11Bog Lane was surprisingly not boggy and I think that came as a relief for everyone. Personally it wouldn’t bother me if I was responsible for just myself, but I do try to take a little extra care with my foot placing now I have a passenger. It wouldn’t be much further on before we stopped to try and spot some pigs we could hear grunting on the other side of a fence. I crouched down to allow Snail to see them and stayed there for as long as I could before it became uncomfortable.69th Walk 1269th Walk 1369th Walk 14Bog Lane continued without presenting any challenges for us and we continued in three little groups. Steph and Steph we slightly ahead of Beaky, Snail and me with Ramblo and Karen a little further back. Snail had been yapping away for miles now so I thought I would take a quick video to show Wu Tang when she got back from work later that afternoon.

69th Walk 15As I filmed behind us there was no sign of the Ramblo and Karen so a short distance further on we stopped and waited for them to catch up. We then moved on as a group with Beaky and myself at the back. Eventually the lane came to a farm and we had the choice of a few different paths. Ahead the girls were all huddled together discussing who knows what?! Beaky and I had a little chuckle to ourselves about directions and the fact there was the Leeds Country Way owl symbol along with an arrow on the fence behind them. We were soon on our way again.69th Walk 1669th Walk 17We could see a couple of cows poking their heads out from a farm building and we weren’t sure if they were watching us or flirting with the fine specimen of a bull that was sat behind a gate to our right. It was huge and I certainly wouldn’t want to be messing with it. Just beyond here we spotted the path going off to the right, the sign for which was laid on the ground but at least was pointing in the correct direction. For a split second (and I am quite ashamed to admit this) I considered taking it with me as a souvenir but common sense and my conscience kicked in and I placed it back where we found it before moving on.69th Walk 1869th Walk 1969th Walk 20The path climbed gradually with a field full of cows and young ones to our right. We spotted a few males who were clearly stockier and bigger than their female counterparts. We had a quick discussion about what the exact name for male and female calves is. Bullocks instantly sprang to mind but we couldn’t think of what a young female was called, but after a quick visit to Google while I typed this, I see it is heifer. 69th Walk 2169th Walk 22This path led us over some train tracks and up towards a footbridge over the M1 with the noise getting louder and louder with each step closer we took.

69th Walk 23Once over the motorway we made our way parallel to it for a while as we headed towards Garforth. The two new recruits seemed to be unable to go any longer without contact with the non-rambling world, which is totally understandable after the massive amount of time that is one and a half hours. I often set my alarm for every hour through the night just to make sure I don’t miss a status update or tweet… or maybe I don’t 🙂69th Walk 2469th Walk 25By now we were reaching civilisation once again and it was time for our canine friend, Ellie, to go back on her lead. Ahead of us was a pedestrian crossing which wasn’t exactly the norm for our walks. We pressed the button, waited patiently for the lights to change then crossed and began our stroll down Garforth Main Street. I was quite surprised that we didn’t get many funny looks as we were dressed for the countryside, covered in mud and clearly out of place.69th Walk 2669th Walk 27We were now 40 miles into this circular walk and this was the first time we had spent any prolonged time in a built up area. On other sections we had crossed busy roads or walked through villages but nothing quite like this. I don’t suppose it will cloud my overall judgement of the walk, but it certainly wasn’t the most enjoyable stretch. I have a feeling that before we reach the end of our journey there may be a couple more stretches like this but we will deal with whatever it throws at us.69th Walk 29Main Street became Lidgett Lane and we followed it to the end where we turned right to walk alongside the A63 Selby Road. By this point we were less than a few hundred yards from the finish point for today, the Gaping Goose. Behind me the chattering that had been gone on for two hours (apart from when I tried to film) had stopped so I raised my camera and pointed it to where I thought Snail would be and pressed the button. When I brought the camera up to view the picture and see what was going on behind me it became obvious why the noise had stopped. There must have been no more than 1 minute to walk when she finally fell asleep.69th Walk 2869th Walk 30The bad news was the pub wasn’t open and wouldn’t do so until midday which was fifty five minutes away. We needed another plan and as we had to return to Barwick to pick up some cars we decided that we would seek refreshment there, which we did in the Gascoigne Arms. We spent the next hour chatting about various things and picking up bits of cheese sandwich that Snail was trying her best not to eat. By the time we set off I decided to go and pick Wu Tang up from work and that gave me the chance to describe the walk to her and re-live it again, but this time my post walk beverage was a can of lager whilst in the bath 

Sir Edmund

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