Thursday, 31 May 2018

Back in Yorkshire!

I left Nicci's house very early on 25th May. It was a dark & gloomy morning, but I managed to cycle across central London without getting too wet.

I was fully loaded for my cycle across London!

Rowan & me.

Rowan was at Ilkley Station to meet me & despite the heavy rain, it was good to be back in Yorkshire.

Climbing out of the valley.

This track is part of the Millenium Way.

A stone circle.

Me on the poetry trail!

Found on one of the trails,
 across the moor!

Rowan, Jacky, Tom & me.

Miska came to join us!

The next day dawned bright & sunny so I went for a walk on top of Ilkley Moor. I walked straight up the valley on to the moors & then cut across Bingley Moor to The Dick Hudson & back across the moor to the Cow & Calf Rocks & down the valley into Ben Rhydding & met up with Rowan & Ceggy's family at The Wheatley Arms Hotel (where Rowan works). We sat outside in the sunshine & had a lovely time. 

My trusty chariot!

The Bolton Abbey Estate.

We enjoyed lovely weather
 for our ride.

The fabulous ruined Abbey.

On 27th May I went out on a cycle ride with Tom. We were out for the morning & cycled up to the Bolton Abbey Estate in the Yorkshire Dales National Park. It was a fun morning out.

Me, Mishka & Morag.

We all met up again to enjoy the lovely summer evening weather.

A typical Wharfedale view.

Bolton Abbey

On the 29th May, Ceggy, Rowan & myself enjoyed a lovely day out in the car, touring around the Yorkshire dales. We once again went to the Bolton Abbey Estate & then on to Grassington, which is a lovely village amid spectacular countryside.

Tom & me!

Some interesting stuff along the way.

Grey Heron

Male Mandarin Duck

Goosander with chicks.

Black headed Gull



Eurasian Nuthatch

European Robin

Blue Tit

Eurasian Magpie


Didn't do much until 2nd June when Tom & I went for a walk along the river, which is the start of The Dales Way Trail. Unfortunately the weather was against us, but we did see a few birds along the river:

9 Mandarin Duck; Goosander; Common Buzzard; Dipper; 2 Grey Wagtail & a host of commoner species.

I arrived back in Ilkley on 10th June & the next day Rowan & I went to the cinema to see The Guernsey Literary & Potato Peel Pie Society, which is a cracking tale set in & around the Second World War.

Fields near Addingham.

River Wharfe

Fly fishing

Goosander with chicks

13 Goosander on the rocks.

Common Sandpiper


Grey Wagtail

Common Toad

Sand Martin breeding colony.



Male Blackbird

Recently fledged Common Redstart

Barden Beck Bridge

On 12th June I was up early walking north along he River Wharfe from Ilkley to Barden Beck Bridge & back. The Dalesway Footpath closely follows the river & is quite easy walking. The area from Bolton Abbey to the bridge through the Strid Woodlands is particularly birdy & very scenic. The weather was generally good & I enjoyed a lovely day out.

Back to school for me? I think not!

The next day Rowan & I had a trip into Leeds, as Rowan had to go & see her tutor. I went along for the ride.

The Gillon's & the James's!

In the evening we celebrated Father's Day a little early, by going out to a local restaurant for a meal. We all had a nice time & the food wasn't bad either.

Looking towards Middleton Moor, early morning.

I arrived back in Ilkley on 25th June after a brief stay in Ewell to do medical stuff.  The weather was extraordinarily good, so I went for a hike on 27th June. I was up early, but dallied around Middleton Woods early on, as it was very misty up on the fells. Gradually the mist cleared & revealed a hot & sunny day.

Gaining height, but still misty on the tops.

Looking north into Wharfedale.

I left Ilkley & crossed the River Wharfe & started climbing up through Middleton Woods & village. The first couple of miles are a stiff uphill walk, but gradually as the lanes got narrower & the scenery better, the ascent wasn't that bad. I was walking the link route to Harrogate, which is an offshoot of the Dales Way. Once I got to Bow Beck Gill, the scenery became very pretty indeed. I flushed a male Roe Deer out of the woods. I then climbed, keeping the March Ghyll Reservoir on my left & up onto the moors.

The trek to Round Hill.

Beamsley Beacon.

This is the highest point on these moors
 at 393 meters.

I trekked up to Round Hill, which is a long steady upward walk & then across to Beamsley Beacon. By this time was weather was excellent & it was a privilege to be up so high on the moors on such a good day. Birding was quite good: plenty of Red Grouse; 14 Red Kite; 3 Common Buzzard; 4 Common Kestrel; 12 Golden Plover on breeding territories; 4 Curlew & unexpectedly 2 Northern Raven flying over. However the highlight was a female Merlin which came out of nowhere to mob a Common Buzzard, indicating breeding nearby. This is a rare breeding bird these days in Yorkshire, so was a notable sighting. 

Descending through a newly planted woodland.

I walked for just over eight hours in spectacular scenery & for most of the time was completely alone. Must go back again another time.

I hiked over the moors & down the other side.

The edge of the woodland

The path is well marked & the shade was welcome!

Fewston Reservoir.

I was back in the hills again on 29th June, hiking the link route to Harrogate. It was a scorchingly hot day & for the first few hours I didn't see another soul. I hiked towards Fewston & Swinsty Reservoirs, going around them & then back over the moors to Ilkley. Spent most of the time at lower elevations, saw 4 Red Kite; Common Buzzard; lots of woodland species etc. The hike was around 20 kilometers in length & it was a brilliant day out.

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