Date - 3rd May 2008 Distance - 10.5 miles
Map - OL2 Start point - Grassington car park (SE003637)


Summits Achieved

Name Height (ft) Height (m) Grid Ref
Kilnsey Moor 1477 450 SD 9517 6606


The Walk

Dad arranged with Uncle Bob to walk on Saturday this weekend. A wise choice too as we enjoyed warm and mostly sunny weather. Sunday was poor by comparison. Our start point was the village of Grassington in Wharfedale. Driving along the B6265 we saw to our right on the ridge Rylstone Cross and the Cracoe War Memorial, reminding us of our adventure almost a year ago from Embsay along that ridge.

Here we are at Rylstone Cross. The current one was erected in 1995 and replaced an earlier wooden one. As we have said before it was originally erected to commemorate the signing of the Treaty of Paris that ended the Napoleonic Wars.

We arrived in Grassington at exactly the same time as Uncle Bob and they were soon ready, so we hopped into Dad’s rucksack and off we went. Dad had bought a new rucksack and this was our first walk in it.

As you can see it fulfils the main requirement from our point of view, that our heads can poke out so we can see the scenery. Dad had pointed this out to the assistant, Ian, at the shop where he bought it and indeed we had gone along to ensure that it was suitable. He saw Shaun and said he was a great fan having a tattoo of him on his wrist. As a result he entered into the spirit of the request fully and indeed asked if he could take a photo of Dad wearing it with us inside of course. Now what are the chances of that!

Now, back to the walk. Grassington is a very pretty village and very popular with tourists although it was quiet when we set off in the early morning along the main street.

As we walked along we were intrigued to see that almost next to the shop called The Rustic Rabbit, was Robert Bunney menswear!

A signpost was reached pointing the way, but with so many destinations, we hoped that Uncle Bob and Dad knew which path we had to take.

Well of course we should never have doubted them and soon we were on a clear path that led over the fields towards the villages of Conistone and Kilnsey. The latter is famous for its namesake crag that literally hangs over the road below it. It is 140 feet high and the overhang projects thirty feet. It was created by the action of the Wharfedale glacier, which cut through projecting spurs of land during its attempt to straighten out the valley.

As we descended to Conistone we saw this ewe and her lamb that was sharpening its teeth on a stick.

In villages small post boxes are common, some embedded in a wall others, as here at Conistone, supported on a post. With the colourful aubretia it made a very pretty picture.

Leaving Conistone we crossed the river Wharfe to the road under the crag. Once across this we took a track just a little to the left, climbing up to reach another good track. On the way we passed by this ruined barn at Renard-Close Laithe where Dad took Uncle Bob standing on this tiny stone slab bridge. Laithe is a word that means a cow house with a crop storage area and is a term used extensively for such buildings in the Yorkshire Dales.

We followed the track taking the left fork where it divided. Where this bent away left we kept ahead alongside a broken wall and fence. Where the barbed wire strand on the top had come away from a post, we took the opportunity to cross it. A steep climb over rough ground followed before striking half-right to reach the summit of Kilnsey Moor. Here we scrambled up the trig point for our usual photograph.

Earlier we had read an information board about the "Limestone Country Project". This told us that due to economic pressures there had been a reduction in the numbers of cattle grazing the hills. They are however important to help regenerate parts of the landscape, so that in time trees and shrubs will return to the limestone pavement areas, and wild flowers to the grasslands. The project is working with local farmers to reintroduce upland cattle breeds such as Highland and Belted Galloway.

We thought it would be nice if we could see some of these so we kept our eyes peeled as we descended from the fell. None were to be seen but after we had climbed over another rise and reached the bridleway we espied some Galloway cattle and called out to Dad to take a photograph.

As you can see they are very distinctive with the white band. They were all sitting down when we arrived, but gradually they stood up and some began to advance on us so we all decided that perhaps we had better beat a retreat.

Taking a stile we crossed a track and then another stile on the opposite side to walk down to the farm at Height Laithe. We looked at the complex of the walls and wondered how long it must have taken to build these and the thousands of miles of such walls that criss cross the Yorkshire Dales. Note too Height Cave in the distant hill.

We walked to the right of the hill below Cow Close Wood, then through Wood Nook Caravan park to the road. Continuing we passed this pretty group of houses at Bell Bank. We all understand about climate change, but can’t help but comment that the solar panels do rather detract.

We were now getting close to the end of the walk. After passing through the village of Threshfield and crossing fields we came to Linton Falls on the river Wharfe.

We paused a while watching the water rushing down, before Dad took us across the footbridge and up the paved Sedber Lane to just pop out in the car park. We decamped to the car to have a picnic and chat about what we had seen today, while Uncle Bob and Dad went to the Lucy Fold Tearooms for tea and chocolate cake. Apparently the waitress had a good sense of humour and checked that they did not have any chocolate round their mouths before she took the plates away. Dad then drove us home after another super adventure.


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