Dec 27 2014

Walk 88 – Yule Never Walk Alone

Yule Never Walk Alone

route: royds green (destroyed) trig point from swithens farm
Date: 27th dec 2014
distance: 3.4 miles
ascent: 202 feet
time: 1 hr 40 mins
walkers: ali, bryan, charlie, claire, dave, graham, jacob, jane, joseph, jill, leon, lisa, lucy, sandra, sarah & simon

As we had done a few walks searching for trig points in Leeds recently it was decided that our annual festive ramble would do similar. The slightly later start time and short journey meant we had a bumper turnout of 16 plus two dogs for the last walk of 2014. The walking year had been a mixed one personally with plenty of nice walks and memories tainted slightly by my failure to complete the Lyke Wake Walk back in June. To this day I still can’t decide whether I am better to just move on and forget it or look to plan a rematch in the next year or two. None of that really mattered and I was looking to end the year on a Badger high with a nice stroll around south Leeds looking for a trig point I knew didn’t exist 🙂88th Walk 1We left the car park at Swithen’s Farm in search of a footpath that would head south-west towards Ouzlewell Green or at least that’s what Beaky and I were looking for. Upon sight of a footpath sign the others had gone down a path between some small horse paddocks and were heading for Carlton as myself, Beaky and G stood looking around for a sign (footpath obviously). After consulting Beaky’s map and my GPS we gave up on the original route and set off after the others.88th Walk 288th Walk 3This slight descent was one a few of us knew from section 8 of the Leeds Country Way we had done 11 months earlier. We knew from memory that we were soon going to encounter some squelchy stuff and I had a slight chuckle to myself as I anticipated the reaction from the others. With hindsight we should just have turned directly south and headed towards Bushey Cliffe Wood, but at the time we decided to scale the wooden stile and cross the muddy field to reach Carlton Beck.88th Walk 4This small section of less than 100 yards was in fact a lot better than on our previous visit, not that those who weren’t there last time believed us. So much so in fact that we were all across in next to no time without any real incident other than one near slip. One by one we all reconvened at the bridge over the beck where we had a quick map check before following the track into Carlton.88th Walk 588th Walk 6As we never really intended to come this way in the first place we had to improvise with the route which wasn’t that hard, but it did mean a section following the road. We passed the Unicorn Inn which has been the chosen venue for two post ramble gatherings so far and would be three by the end of the day. The road the bent round to the left and climbed up to Ouzlewell Green where we left the pavement and joined a footpath. No more than 50 yards off the roadside we were greeted by a guy telling us that we were on private property and was quite direct in doing so. After back tracking a few dozen strides we found the path and continued on our journey with no harm done. From here the path dropped down towards Bushey Cliffe Wood where we paused for a minute or two for a team re-group and had another check of the map.88th Walk 7We made our way through the wood and climbed up a short ascent after which we followed a hedgerow with the plan being to head for Dungeon Lane Farm and then on to Dungeon Lane. I don’t know how or where we went wrong, but rather than follow the path we began to drift diagonally off to the left. There was a clearly walked path under foot and I was happy just to follow those in front of me, until I noticed the farm away to our right. By this point it was too late to cut across and I didn’t even mention anything, choosing to formulate a new route myself without disclosing my intended route to the others.88th Walk 888th Walk 9We reached the main track up to Swithen’s Farm if approaching from the south and re-grouped once again. Even though we hadn’t walked more than a couple of miles the younger contingent were looking ready to call it a day. They were directed up to the farm where Marc (out of action after breaking his leg playing football) was waiting for us to finish. The kids could wait with him and the rest of us set of to complete our little stroll. We headed south to pick up Dungeon Lane and then on to Sanderson Lane. The sun shone brightly and the mood in the camp was a very festive one with lots of laughing and everybody seemed to have an extra spring in their step.88th Walk 1088th Walk 11Upon reaching the footpath that would leave us to the missing trig we headed into the muddy field and began to cross with plenty of squelching underfoot. A faint line could be seen cutting through the slop and we followed that through a hedgerow ahead and to the point we believed the trig used to stand. I took the compulsory team shot regardless of there being nothing to see and we were almost done for the day.88th Walk 1288th Walk 13But just before we left Lisa got her feet stuck in the mud as she tried to take a step back. One moved but the other didn’t and she ended up falling backwards and splashing into the mud. I found this rather funny! I was still 15 yards away as I had just taken the team shot, but it was clear from this distance there was no physical damage done so I didn’t feel too guilty as I chuckled under my breath like a naughty school boy as those nearby tried to help her up. I then asked Jane to take a picture of me to prove I had reached the non-existent trig as the others headed for the finish line which we could see not too far away.88th Walk 1488th Walk 15We covered the few hundred metres in no time and even had time to view a few of the farm animals as we reached Swithen’s Farm. We did decided to give the children’s adventure play area a miss though. It had been a short but thoroughly enjoyable walk with a decent turn out. Sometimes these short local walks just seem to appeal to the other Badgers, and clearly the Christmas period is one of those times. It just helps to blow away the cobwebs and to help you feel like you haven’t been a total slob since breaking up from work. We hadn’t been walking for two hours so it doesn’t impact massively on the day, in fact it hadn’t turned noon by the time we reached the farm88th Walk 1688th Walk 17As I took the last few strides back to the car park I saw Marc stood waiting for us to return. I then noticed the boot open and the hot dog rolls ready and waiting along with ketchup, mustard and BBQ sauce. On the ground was a camp stove on which the hot dogs were ready to serve. Now this was the best ending to a walk ever! I wasn’t the only one to be very grateful for this surprise and mine went down a storm, as did my second one 😉88th Walk 1888th Walk 19With the walk over and the hot dogs polished off there was just one thing left to do, go to the pub! It’s it the only way to end a Badgers walk, especially at Christmas, although I had to pass on the sherry and opt for diet coke due to me driving. Later that night I cracked open a beer and as I did I proudly said “Merry Christmas Badgers!”. Roll on 2015…
royds green maproyds green profile

Sir Edmund

Leave a comment