I enjoy, for some unknown reason, when I see people taking images on the street, I have a urge to photograph them.
Its turned into somewhat of a mini project. Its quite surprising to see the amount of Canon DSLR‘s as opposed to Nikon. It does seem that Canon is the more popular brand. Alot of people are also using camera phones. I’m seeing less and less compact cameras.
Anyway, here is a selection of my favourite Photog on the street images. Maybe out there somewhere, is a image of me, taking a image
Last weekend saw the Knaresborough bed race trundle through the streets of in all its colour and noise.
The theme for the 2012 event was Olympic Nations. Teams can base their bed design and fancy dress on anything connected with that country. Teams used history, culture, geography, landscape, social or sport to get their inspiration.
All in all it was a enjoyable day, everyone had fun, despite the occasional shower. I travelled light that day, just my D7000, 85mm 1.8D and a Tamron 17-50mm 2.8. The combination of lenses worked well, but I found my self using the Tamron more than any other. Nothing wrong with that lense for the price I paid.
Sunday saw the same kit taken to the Valley Gardens in Harrogate for the 1940′s Open Day. Again I mostly used the Tamron 18-50mm which proved more than caperble on the D7000 body.
It was a fun day, with people walking about in 1940′s style clothing, and various re-enactments. It was a good half day looking around and seeing everyone enjoying them selves
Some of the shots, if I had taken them and given them a vintage look, would of passed for origionals
So I headed off to Grimwith for a bumble around the reservoir.
Not a soul was in sight when I parked thea car and headed off. Along the reservoir edge and avoiding the piles of dog crap all over the path.
I followed the path round the reservoir, passing Grimwith House. The information board says the last people to live here were moved out by Bradford Water Corp in the 1970′s, when the reservoir was extended. Now it starts to fall, holes in the roof and the outbuildings falling. Shame really.
Any way, onwards and upwards I go.
Getting to the end of the reservoir, the path turns left over Gategill Beck. I decided to extend the walk a little, and instead of following the Yorkshire Water path, I clambered over a gate with so many padlocks on it you’d think it was protecting Fort Knox. and followed the path along Red Brow. On open access land according to my map.
I followed the path until the old mine entrance, where I sat in idyllic peace and ate a banana and soaked up the afternoon sun. On looking at the map, I realised that there is few ways to get back to the reservoir due to stupid access rules. So I back tracked along the same path. Back on the reservoir path I crossed the two rather sturdy looking bridges and walked past the thick conifer plantations. They wrecked the view, but they did cut the wind out for a while.
Dropping back down to the reservoir now, and past an old barn, useful for a rain break
Along this path, I had quite a scare when a pheasant burst from the undergrowth in an explosion of red and brown. I watched the Lapwings dance inthe wind, protecting heir nests
Along the dam wall, and I’m surprised how long it actually is.
And along with the other reservoirs in North Yorkshire, Grimwith is looking very low, the scale on the side of the saying -3.
It looks like hosepipe bans and water restrictions again this year.
Back to the car. I enjoyed the walk round Grimwith.
A nice simple 5 mile stroll, with a good few options to extend it.
After what is undoubtedly going to be an utterly crap week at work, it will be good to get out into the outdoors for a good few hours.
Soon the 152nd Great Yorkshire Show will be back on in Harrogate. The main farming event of the year.
Its a photographers dream. So much to shoot, so many different styles to practice. This year, as well as the compulsory shots of the events, I’ll be concentrating on taking “people” images. Trying to capture the people of the farming community, the passion for the land and the job they do.
I really need to spend the time photographing people. Outside of the studio, I lack confidence, those off the wall shots, spontaneous undirected snaps of life.
I’m really going to enjoy this years show, of course, photographs will be available in the Events gallery.
I parked the car, and the first thing I thought was bloody hell. The wind was howling outside the car, which was rocking in the wind. The rain was hitting the side windows like little bullets.
I stepped out the car, and pulled my boots out, and my windproof changing into the boots on the far side of the car, out of the wind and rain, I considered my self nuts for going out in this. But I don’t care. I’m outside in the fresh air.
Walking along the path into the wind, my windproof doing its job and keeping the worst of the wind out, but th rain stinging my face, like sandpaper. It was 2 miles before the path became shelterd, and another half mile to the walkers shelter. I ploughed through, hating my self for forgetting my Lowe Alpine Moutain Cap.
In the warmth of the sheler I sat and watched the rain falling. During the summer, you cant really use these shelters due to swallows nesting in them, as evidenced by the nests in the eves, and the filth dropping from the timber roof frames where the fledglings sit. But for now they are a welcome respite from the wind and rain.I considured puttin ion water proofs, but as my legs are already wet, and very mud splatterd, I decided it was a dead idea. My windproof was also wet, but as it holds the warmth even when wet, I just decided to plod on. The rain had more or less stopped, it was very light rain if anything. Still noticable but nothing as bad as before.
Leaving the shelter and walked round the back, and up the hill. Not a very steep hill, but enough to remind me of how unfit I am. I stopped at the top and tried to pin point the noise of a shotgun, I saw a Land rover on the hill, but couldn’t see any other obvious movement of shooters. A tractor was busy spreading hay for the fell sheep on the other side of the valley.
I doubled back, the way I had come, along a higher path. After all, this was purly a effort to check my leg for pain and see how it stood up to a rough walk. As I approached the only gate on this path, a all terrain motorcycle roared up to the gate, saw me walking and turned around and sped off the same way he had come. This path was open to all vehicles, it was re-classified by the authority a few years back, but the motorcycles still occasionally use it. Personnally I dont care. The road can take the traffic, its heavy stoned, and motor bikes cause little damage. If they where to start ripping up areas off the path however, thats when it becomes a issue.
I walked the road, finding new and interesting rounds around many of the stupidly deep huge puddles all over.
Scar House was thundering, the first time I’ve seen the dam outflows in full force, raging down the Nidd. As I walked back to the car, I passed a couple, dressed in full waterproofs, hoods up and zipped right up. They looked me up and down, and gave me a look reminisant of upper class looking down on the commoner. I dont care, aprt from being damp, I was fine. Warm and comfy. Given the weather, I would hazard a guess, after climbing Cam High Road onto the fell, they would be damp too, only from the inside out. I sniggerd and walked on.
Back to the car, I sat and had a coffee. I enjoy every walk, in all weathers.
I felt nothing here in Harrogate. Not surprising really, given the geological basis our house is built on.
So I finished work at 5pm, and promptly ran out of the door. What a fabulous evening light there was. It was such a nice night I walked the long way home.
I went down Nursery Lane, and the best view over Harrogate, as it is the higest point in Harrogate it self. You can see right over the Town from here, apart from the far west that is obscured by Pine Woods. Passing the old Observation tower you walk past Harrogate Councils Plant nursery area.
Now your in the depths of Pinewood, a huge area of woodland containing both deciduous and coniferous trees. Recent attemps by the council to promote more deciduous trees is evident. Crossing Harlow Moor Road you continue through some more thick woodland before emerging at the South end of Valley Gardens and the old well heads. The light on this fine evening was a warm red glow that set off the changing leaves of the trees casting long shadows with splatters of light breaking through.
Walking down Crescent Road, the warmth of the setting sun evident on my back, I crossed the busy Ripon Road and walked along the side of the Huge conference center, casting looks up the mirrored glass of the Holiday inn as I passed. I noticed angles I never noticed before and made a mental note to photograph them, the recently discoverd well on Kings road near the conference center Found over a year ago, I’ve never seen it. Lit up its enter depth, it was a deep hole, Harrogates newest attraction and piece of History.
Now it was back to more residential area as the path took a series of twists and turns down a set of ginnels until Roberts Crescent. Looking to the West, the old Observation tower can be clearly seen on the hill, 4 miles away, marking the beginning of the walk home.
At home, I looked at my camera sat on the table, and wished I had taken it with me that day.
I’ve got a real thing taking night shots, I love them.
Not to sure about the processing though, I like the effect I’ve created, but I’m not sure it really suits the image. In some ways it does. What you all think?
While my Meindhl Borneo are comfortable, almost right out the box, they have now done a fair few miles, and there is some minor discomfort occasionally. This isn’t really a fault of the boots (Apart from the memory foam heating and changing the shape of the ankle area), more the shape of my feet, and the slight rolling I have in my feet when I walk along. So I have been looking at ways of doing up the laces to complement my foot shape. Its amazing at how you lace the boots, can make a vast difference to the boot. So When I head out on Friday, I shall experiment with a few different methods of lacing to see how it feels.
On Sunday I went for a little wander around Swinsty, and it was very very busy. Normally quite busy on a Sunday, but this was strangly busy. People taking advantage of the calm weather no doubt. I pulled into the carpark, and struggled to find a place, I did think of going further up the chain, but a parking space was found near the gate. I dont think I have ever had to park all the way up here when I come up.
So battling my way through the thronging masses that are gatherd on the shore feeding the various geese and ducks (Some of which are nasty vicious hand snatchers) picked up the path and headed off toward Fewston. In one particulay muddy area a woman wearing sandals was trying to get by the mud, by shinning along the fence, a sight which I found quite funny. I ploughed right through the mud, as a little mud never hurt anybody..
I wonderd How many people walking along here knew of the history of Swinsty. Do they know that under all that water the remains of New Hall lie? New hall was originally a home to the Fairfax family, whose members included Ferdinando Fairfax and the poet Edward Fairfax. Women in the nearby village of Timble were twice tried at York for witchcraft on the accusation of Edward, who suspected them of possessing his two daughters. Neighbouring Fewston Reservoir covers another Fairfax family home, Cragg Hall.
The reservoir was built by the Leeds Waterworks Company, and employed a labour force of around 300 men under the management of Robert Brooks, previously an assistant at the construction of Lindley Wood Reservoir. Consultants were Thomas Hawksley of Westminster and Edward Filliter of Leeds.
Work on the construction of the reservoir began in 1871. “The Huts”, as they were known locally, were constructed to house the workforce, in part using materials from a water mill dismantled in the valley. The bulk of the materials for the dam itself came to Starbeck by rail. From there they were, at first, transported to the site using a steam traction engine pulling wagons. However, by 1872 this practice was put to an end due to the damage being caused to the ‘Turnpike road’ (Now the A59).
At the site, a narrow gauge railway was constructed, and two locomotives purchased, the first arriving in 1873 and the second in 1875. These went on to build other reservoirs in the area.
Wandering round to the quiet side, I looked over at Fewston, and was amazed at how still the water was. Not a ripple at all on the surface. Not a single wave at all. The fly fishers where out in force, and they love to fish along the outfall of Fewston, where it feeds into Swinsty.I watched awhile as they fished, their weighted lines being cast and recast. So down the quiet side of the water, hardley anyone treads down here. Which is a shame, as it is a nice area to wander down. Right along the access to Swinsty Hall. Built in the 17th century. Local legend has it that the hall was built by a man named Robinson, who left nearby Fewston to seek his fortune in London. On arriving there, he found it in the grip of the great plague of 1603-4. Robinson took to looting the houses of the dead and amassed a great fortune with which he returned home, purchased the Swinsty estate, and built Swinsty Hall.
The truth appears more mundane – a family named Wood owned the Swinsty estates in the sixteenth century, and Francis Wood undertook to erect a new hall on the estate as part of a marriage contract. Unable to pay for it, he raised a loan from Henry Robinson, and when he got into further financial difficulties in 1590, Robinson foreclosed and took the hall and estates in lieu of the debt.
The hall was owned by a succession of Robinsons right up until 1772. At this point, the male Robinson line came to an end and the hall and estate passed to Robert Bramley, husband of Mary Robinson, and later his son John Bramley, and in 1853 John Bramley’s son, also named John. Stone for the construction of Fewston Reservoir was purchased from the Swinsty Hall quarry in 1874, from a Mr Bramley.
So it was past Swinsty Hall and on to the lower dam, which shows how low the water level in Swinsty has dropped. No water is running out of the outflow, and has’nt for some time. Certainly long enough to allow vegetation to grow in the slipway. The water must be a good 12 foot away from the overflow. Which is surprising considering the amount of water thats flowing in from Fewston. And unlike Fewston, there are no ghostly goings on at this damn.
My next walk will take me to this dam, and away, down the outflow along a path which isnt often tread.
I decided to get myself out again today, in the beautiful weather we have had for the last few days. I looked at the map and decided a walk from Ripley to Brimham rocks would be the best bet for the day.
Dropped off in Ripley, It was a short hop out of the village and up the old Pateley Bridge road. The problem with the Nidderdale way is that there is a lot of road walking, and some of it is along some fast-moving main roads, without an established pavement. This means you are walking along the grass verge, stepping over roadkill and rubbish. The Way really needs to be thought about and some permissive paths brought in to avoid the roads.
Passing by Slate Rigg Farm, with its hundreds of chicken coups, its through a small wooden area until Cayton Gill Farm. On the way along, keep an eye out for the baskets of eggs put out advertising Cayton Gills chickens, they are everywhere..
Almost the entire path is a bridleway here, so expect to see some riders approach you, especially near Barsneb Woods. The path now straightens out and becomes level all the way to Scarah Road, and this is a fast road and one you have to walk down for some distance. Follow the path all the way to Shaw Mills. I was waved down by a group of Pensioners just after, they were lost, and had only a basic list of instructions on their walk. I showed them the route on my map, but why people come out on walks they dont know without a map is beyond me. Just after I left them, I was having to consult my map, as the path appeared to vanish, and it was’nt obvious where it goes. It appeared to head west, however, it runs south, down to a footbridge.
Out of Shaw Mills and the path leads you up a concrete road toward yet another farm. Quickly past the farm your back into open fields and across a river to pass Beck House. You might not realise it, but over the course of the walk so far you have gained a bit of height. Follow the path round Brimham Lodge Farm, and up the farm road to a main road and turn immediately right, follow this path all the way to Riva Hill Farm, and don’t forget to stop and look at the views. On a clear day you can see all the way back to Harrogate, and further. The views are great up here. As you reach Riva Farm, there is a gate directly in front, go through that and follow the path to the National Trust boundary markers. But watch out for the Hawthorn, it is all over the place here, and will stab rip and scrape you as you are walking down the path.
As you reach the NT boundary markers, your now on open moorland. Just follow the path as ground, and you’ll reach the car park in no time at all.
Have a look around Brimham rocks, its well worth a scout around, for those that are interested, there is a Trig Point at the highest point, just behind the Large house to the north. Brimham rocks can get incredibly busy in school holidays and weekends.
It was a lovely morning as I made my way to the farm to start todays walk to Bolton Abbey. However, I wasnt repeating the previous walk I had done along to Bolton Abbey, this time, I intended to go via Simons Seat, one of the highest points in the Yorkshire Dales. And certainly one with some of the best views.
Walking through the farm, being bumped and ran into by some overly confident lambs, I made my way on the moor. The sun, already at this early hour was strong.
The Geese inspected my intentions as they always do this time of year as I walked along the track toward rocking hall. Flying round me in circles making their warning noises.I think they nest in the area, so get quite nervous when people pass.
It wasnt long before I was in the shelter of Rocking Hall, its massive stone providing a respite from todays heat, which the thermometer told me was about 20 degrees. Not to high, I’m sure you will agree, but enough to bring out the sweat, and especially uphill on the way.
Now for the part that everyone hates, the moor bashing off path route. I took a quick compass bearing and set off. It was tough going. The ground was thick and muddy, and the tussock threaten to trip if they got half the chance. So tiring not walking as normal, but having to raise your feet higher to avoid the many heather and grass lumps.
Then I found a sheep path that had been worn into the ground by years of sheep. It lead right to the gate I would need to get past the wall. I did have visions of having to scramble over a wall, but this gate, like a gift from the moor gods was right there.
The wall that I just came through would run all the way up to Lords seat, making navigating it easy. I was also on a nice track laid by the grouse shooters. Putting my bag down to get the camera out to take a shot, A grouse, not more than two foot away exploded skyward and once again scared the living bejesus out of me. I can’t imagine the time that must have gone into making all these miles of wall. I can imagine it was a hard job, and no doubt a skilled one. Not only for the distance they cover, but I have seen them crossing scars, water, bog you name it these walls go through it.
Off I went toward Lords Seat, looking far away to my eye, I plodded along the track, the sun beating down but all the time loving the open moorland. I stood awhile and watched a Red Kite hunting in the gentle breeze, up high and swooping down. I lost sight of him, but quickly picked him up again, now two, playing around like two fighter pilots.
About half hour later I saw my first other humans coming down the track, with a customary hello we passed. That was the first people I saw all day. I arrived at the Hen Stones, and saw people sitting up on the top. The ground here is shown as a beck on the map, and while no beck could be seen on the ground, the path was certainly a huge great mud field. Almost falling over twice I found my way onto the flag laid path that would take me directly to Simons Seat. The flag stones certainly avoided the otherwise deep bog that I would of had to trudge through, and for that I was grateful
People everywhere now. No doubt due to the fact I was getting toward the heart of the Bolton Abbey Estate, and this is one of the routes they have in their little guidebook. People passed, people said hello.
I sat in a little hollow looking at the view from Simons Seat. It is exceptional. At 485 meters it is one of the highest points in the dales. Today was a hazy day, so the views were a little foggy and overcast, but impressive none the less. I could not get to the trig point, as it was a awash with school kids clambering all over it.
So after I had my lunch, I headed off South toward the Abbey. Loads of people around now, and they started to change. From the walking booted walkers, to the Jean wearing trainer brigade out for a walk. And less people would have the plesentry of saying hello.
So I followed the track south, over rock strewn path that would break an ankle if you didn’t concentrate on where you were putting your feet. It wasnt long before the path turned onto a drivers road, along the side of Great Agill Beck. A sheer drop to the beck. and I followed that over the ford at the base of the ravine, all the way down toward Sheepshaw plantation, where the trees offered some much welcome shade.
Now truly in strolling territory I walked along the Valley Of Desperation, so called by the Victorians, after a flash flood ran down the valley. It is a lovely little valley, over a wooden bridge and into Posforth Gill. A narrow path led along side the beck, gorgeous valley here, trees and flowers along the length of it.Finally over the last of the lambing fields and along side the River Wharf, one of Bolton’s many “We’ll have your cash” Tea rooms loomed just over the bridge. Lots of people drawn out by the sun. Hardly a blade of grass wasnt sat upon as I made my way through the car park toward the Abbey.
I saw a little springer spaniel puppy go running upto someone who was laying in the sun, they had a older Labrador. The pupply ran upto them, got a fright when the Lab stood up with a stick in its mouth. The puppy then barked right in the face of the Lab, which dropped its stick, sniffed the puppys nose and picked up his stick and walked off. It was quite amusing how the Lab just shrugged off the little puppy. Smoke hung thick in the air, there must have been twenty barbecues going today. I reached the end point of this walk, at the Church Carpark, and awaited my lift home.
Friday saw me leave Thruscross and wander over the moor to Bolton Abbey, using the Dales way link. Nothing special in that but a nice wander over the moors watching the red kites hover and peering out for prey in the bracken. And what is it with Grouse? Every time i get a fright when they explode from the heather, making their noise amid much flapping of wings, i expect it, i know its going to happen yet i am surprised each and every time they burst out. I made a small detour just by Bolton Farm, to visit the trig point on Nabs edge. But one thing that troubled me was a sever pain in my right foot. The outside of the foot, just back from the toes and extending toward the ankle. It cut the walk short at Bolton abbey as I had intended to go further. Bolton abbey was awash with people, being the Easter break. Kids running around hunting Easter eggs, dogs barking at each other and the ducks fighting over the prime picnic table scraps. Quite a shock when you come down off the moor, having seen nothing but grouse and sheep for the last couple of hours.
On further investigation it turns out that the pain in my foot was due to tightness in the calf muscle, making my feet roll somewhat. So I have exercises from the physio to help with that. I just hope it remedies itself soon and not later.
Saturday I felt that my feet were better, they just felt rather bruised, so a nice amble around the local resivour, Fewston for four or five miles. Nice easy-going on the feet. And they felt absolutely fine. So back up with stretching out my calf muscles to avoid that happening again.
Monday I drove my parents up to see my grandfather, and my god, my mother is enough to make baby Jesus cry. “there’s a roundabout at the end of the road” I know mum, it’s been there for the last 15 years. “watch your speed” I was doing 65 in a 70. That “watch your speed” was said every time I passed anything on the motorway. “the speed limit is 50 here”. Gosh I guess that’s what all those signs with 50 on them mean.
I guess I better start planning a few routes around the local area to try out my feet a bit more and keep my calves in shape before they freeze up again.
Anyway, while I am here in Northumbria I’m off for a wander along the beach at Alnmouth. I could never resist a beach wander.
My next route onto the Moor near Pateley Bridge.
Designed to test my Navigation skills, this route takes alot of Moorland that have no marked paths, and visits most of the trig points on the moor above Pateley Bridge.
It uses the Nidderdale way to return to Pateley, a path that I recently took, but will be ideal for the return journey after the moor, as its quite a easy route back to Pateley. There obviously will be a wildcamp somewhere along the line, unsure as to where, as I normally decide on the hour where I’m going to put my head down for the night.
A 17 mile walk, with 634 meters of Ascent. Not really a massive amount, but will be high enough! High enough to see Great Whernside in the far west, and other sights from the top of Nidderdale Moors.
I was at a loose end today so decided that I would spend sometime in Nidderdale. Dropped off in Lofthouses, the orgional plan was to walk north to Scarhouse, and up onto the moors. Then south toward pateley Bridge.
With a very low cloudbase, and light but persistent drizzle, I changed plans and headed south on the Nidderdale Way. It was a good walk and enjoyable, at one point hearing the rat a tat tat of a woodpecker beating oyt his tune against a tree and being up high on the valleyside, with the Yordale sheep and some superb views when the clouds did lift. Farmers up here have a irritating way of making some gates impossible to pass through when wearing a pack. It is difficult even without a pack on. Gouthwaite Reservoir could be seen further on, the current target. Gouthwaites’ claim to fame is that it was on the opening credits for Emmerdale TV Series, no idea if it still is. Then as the path dropped lower, the walk just got boring. It roughly follows the Bradford Corporations Nidd Valley Light Railway from Pateley Bridge to Lofthouse, (A public passenger service ran from Pateley Bridge to Lofthouse until the end of 1929. With the completion of reservoir construction, the Nidd Valley Light Railway was closed to all traffic and its assets disposed of in 1937.)
It was’nt a enjoyable walk now, more of a trudge along the side of the Reservoir. I reached the dam end of gouthwaite and sat in damp grass and had a coffee and some food. Looking at the Map, it becomes obvious that the path follows the course of the river, all the way to Pateley Bridge. I was starting to regret my choice in changing plans at the last minute. A Geocache was found, on a gatepost, not very well hidden Unfortunatly, it is’nt on geocaching.com so I could not log it.
I eventually reached Pateley bridge, and arrived in the “Millennium gardens”. It looks like a bomb went off, not the best way to welcome people to Pateley, lager cans, vandalised benches and a “park” that looks like the council had 5 benched spare and a load of grit, and made a bike park out of it. The path then runs down past the back of some houses, and a huge solid fence, its dark, it smells and there is rubbish everywhere. Not a pleasant area. Your then dumped by the sewage pumping station, before emerging at the main bridge in Pateley. Pateley its self is a lovely town, and virtually the center of Nidderdale. Bit of a Tourist honeypot.
It was good to get out the house for awhile, however, it was a mundane and boring walk along the river after leaving the higher ground at the top of Nidderdale.
It’s one of my hobbies that have been sadly neglected of late. Today I dusted off my Nikon D90 and went to do a few test shots down Thruscross. As much to get out of the house as much as anything else. Looks like I rusted a bit. I was never in the high league, with some people on sites like flickr and smugmug who photography I really look upto.
Maybe my upcoming trip along the dales way will give some opportunity for some good shoots. But the thought of lugging my heavy DSLR along the dales way dies make me a little nervous. These cameras are built to last, but it still makes me a little nervous having it in my pack.
But I will persevere with it and churn out the photos and playing with them in my asset manager of choice, lightroom.
Today I walked my local woods, Nidd Gorge. In its length from Batchelor Gardens right to Knaresborough. It’s a fantastic quiet walk all the way to Knaresborough, but the theme of the walk was indeed mud. Even on a good day this walk is muddy, and today it was exceptionally muddy. Nidd Gorge is a section of the River Nidd, as it flows from its source near Great Whernside, and flows through this deep gorge with very steep treelined sides toward the Ouse, who it joins.
It was the first outing of my Terroc 330′s, and I love them to bits.
I started off walking down to the Sewage works, and past to the fantastic old Railway viaduct. This 7 arch stone viaduct hasn’t seen a train since 1969. It was a very busy line carrying, serving Ripon and Pateley Bridge in its time. Now the viaduct is used mainly in the summer months for kids to jump into the River Nidd, and then get rescuded by the emergency services. A few have died jumping from this bridge. Now boarded up and inpenitrable, it stands lonley and forlorn. Then through the old coal pits. Evidence of the digging can still be seen around the area, and there are places where, if you wander off the path you may very well fall into a hole…
Scotton mill is the site of a weir that was once used to power the Mill, now a private house. The river makes a hell of a noise as it flows over the weir.
1987 saw the only footbridge to be built over the river by the Bilton Preservation society. That was the next point of note. It was a very quiet walk, I hadnt seen a sole so far. During weekends, it is hellishly busy, but not now, midweek it is wonderfully quiet. Just the sounds of the wood, the birds singing.
I pressed on, toward the Knaresborough Rapids, an area when the river is forced to run over a shallow rocky bed, also home to a large sandy beach. It’s here that I stopped and made my lunch. Since Victorian times, this has been the limit of punting on the river. Dodging various deep mud puddles I plodded on through. I was aware of wet feet, the terrocs not being water proof, but it certainly wasnt uncomfortable. The occasional cold feeling hit and I knew water had found its way in. It quickly drained back out however.Now heading uphill, toward the top of the gorge.
Soon I was passing Bilton Hall, and on the way through fields toward Knaresborough, there were no early views of Knaresborough however, the fog had not lifted all day. I soon emerged at the Yorkshire Lass pub, and crossed the road along the bottom of the cliff. Council workers were busy abseiling around up there, cutting back vegetation ready for the spring. I walked up the steep steps toward the Castle, demolished by Cromwell but areas are still open to the public, even the secret tunnel is open for viewing should you be up here at the right time. I wasnt.
An interesting fact about the viaduct that carry the trains through Knaresborough, it is the second viaduct to span the river Nidd. Intended for completion in 1848. However, the near-complete viaduct collapsed on 11 March and took three and a half years to rebuild the new bridge. The water level rose 12 feet after the collapse and 90% of fish stocks died due to the lime in the cement that was used.
The only activity up here was the council workers fixing new lines for the cleaning operation some 100 feet below. Now my plan had been to get to Knaresborough, and get either the train, or the regular bus service back to Harrogate. Unfortunatly, there is no cashpoint in Knaresborough that the only card I had would be accepted in. Talk about a slap to the forehead moment. I turned round, and and not walk back to Harrogate along the busy road route, I walked back via the same way I had come in. By the Nidd Gorge.
I’d run out of water by this point, and was getting rather thirsty, so I stopped and used my Katedyn Vario to filter some river water into my bottle. It was fantastically fresh tasting water.
Back to Harrogate, now very tired I got home, ran a bath and finished my day.
Fewston has its fair share of mysteries, like the mysterious grave inscription on Joseph Ridsdales’ headstone. He died on the 29th of February 1823, this was not a leap year.
But even more curiously is the inscription for his son, William, he died on the 30th of February 1802. To this day no-one knows the reason for this state of affairs.
Amid these groves I walk oft for my health,
And to the fishes, birds, and beasts give heed,
How they are fed in forest, spring and lake,
And their contentment for ensample take.
Enticed on with hope of future gain
I suffer’d long what did my soul displease;
But when my youth was spent, my hope was vain;
I felt my native strength at last decrease;
I ‘gan my loss of lusty years complain,
And wish’d I had enjoy’d the country’s peace;
I bade the court farewell, and with content
My later age here have I quiet spent.
And then there is the ghost of the Navvy, that is often seen at the weir end of the reservoir. It is believed to be the ghost of John Cook, who in 1878 slit his own throat after trying to kill his wife after being dismissed for violent conduct. A local account written by John Dickinson of Timble at the time read “Navvy at waterworks cut his throat with a carving knife. Nearly killed his wife before he did it.” (Timble Man – Diaries of a Dalesman, by John Dickinson, edited by Ronald Harker (published 1988))
Nothing to bad, just a little walk, 7 miles around Thruscross.
I parked at the Thruscross car park, and walked down toward the dam outflow and along the river, I heard a slight Russel in the leaf litter to my right, I looked and saw a deer. It knew I was watching. It stood so still, no doubt hoping it hadn’t been seen. unusual to see a deer at that time of day I thought. I reached a footpath that took me up one complete and utter cow of a hill. Only about 40 meters, but it is just so steep that I had to sit for a few minutes at the top to get my breath back. It was a killer. From now on, this will always be known as “Bitch Hill”. From here it was a fenced in footpath across to the road, not a nice bit, fortunately for me, it was still mostly frozen, but I’d imagine in the warmer conditions this would be a nightmare. It’s basically walking up a stream bed. Right past someone’s kitchen window and their impressive collection of ducks and geese.
It opens up after that into a series of fields, which again are very boggy, but yesterday there were big patches of Ice. Walking up here in the summer? Make sure to wear Gaiters! Initially confused with the footpath I stopped and looked at the map. The path is not obvious on the ground, and most of the dry stone walls are in a poor state, so its easy to got in the wrong direction. Keep your map handy and you’ll be OK though. This path is part of the Dales Way Link, and Nidderdale AONB. from this path I met the road, I then follow the track toward Spittle Ings farm. Then I went over the huge style on Open Moor.
Beautiful open moorland span out before me. The wind was chilling, but not uncomfortable, so I continued in just my fleece. It was a beautiful bright day. Still snow on the ground up here. I followed the track all the way to Rocking Hall. Along the way Grouse flew out of the heather giving me a fright almost every time. No other sound apart from the wind and the occasional scampering sheep crunching the dry heather.
I had lunch at Rocking hall and sat awhile in the walkers refuge. Dispite my thermometer reading below 0ᴼC, it was quite pleasant in the shelter out of the wind. The rocking stone is an immense lump of limestone, the weathering on top creating huge gulleys in the rock. Rocking Hall is a early example of a shooting house, built in 1758 for the Bolton Abbey Estate. It is a substantial stone-built structure and features separate rooms for the shooters and beaters. The other building is a 17th century farmhouse. It is still in use and has been visited by many distinguished guests, including King George V in 1911.
Now came the Navigation exercise. There are no footpaths leading toward the Raven Stones, so I took a compass bearing and set off along it. It wasn’t long before I got there.
It was then a case of finding my way back toward the reservoir to refind the car. It then dawned on me, my GPS was missing! I had a quick drive back to where I thought it was, and it was no where to be seen.
I think I might know where it is, so a quick walk at first light and see if I can find it anywhere. If not, rest in peace my little GPS..
Apart from the loss of my GPS, a good walk, enjoyable and thanks to Mike Brockhurst for suggesting it.
And a question for anyone reading: How do you export or import routes from Anquet V6?