There’s Snow Time Like Snow Time… Part 2

Ilkley Moor in the Snow "As promised" - Is something I typically hear when someone is delivering something that is, in fact, a little later than they had initially promised! I believe that in There's Snow Time Like Snow Time Part 1  I promised to deliver this Snowy Ilkley post later in the week... Timing it with Walking Wednesday or rather #walkwednesday, proves that sometimes 'As Promised' does indeed mean just that! So, here are some of the photographs I managed to get when out on Ilkley moor by Cow and Calf rocks...

There’s Snow Time Like Snow Time… Prt 1

Well I thought I'd try and get a topical post out for a change as I'm continually playing catchup with the Walking Photographer blog. But in what seems like the blinking of an eye, the majority of the snow has melted and strong winds carrying yet more rain are apparently imminent. Yet again I find myself a step or two lagging! Anyway here are some photographic offerings from the recent snowfall that transformed Burley Moor, like much of the UK, into a winter wonderland! I also took a walk out by Cow and Calf where I took a number of snowy photographs. I will publish these photos later this week. To keep up with the latest Walking Photographer news, photographs and posts be sure to follow on twitter and like the new Facebook page

A Walk from a New Home for New Boxers

Photo from the Ben Rhydding Gravel Pits Nature Reserve Nearly a year ago, we were supping our pints and sharing a packet of roast beef Monster Munch in the Red Lion following an awesome Burley in Wharfedale walk. I couldn’t have imagined that by November 2012 we’d actually be making our home there! Well, actually, I probably did imagine that; we tend to envisage ourselves living in every place we walk through. Nevertheless, to find ourselves living in the location of one of our first Yorkshire walks following our move from London is both a little surprising and really cool! On the second weekend in our new place, CB was away on her Hen weekend and the two weeks of numerous trips to hardware stores, assembling flat pack furniture, moving all our stuff room to room, day by day in accordance with the work being carried out, was starting to take it’s toll! I was desperate to be outdoors! Despite my overwhelming urge (which I had been repressing for two weeks) to head straight out onto the moor, I had one obstacle. We still had no kitchen or washing machine and as of Monday (this was Sunday) I was going to be out of clean undies. The obvious solution was to head into Leeds, where there was more chance of finding an open launderette, but my heart sat heavy at the thought of this. So I decided to take the less economical path, walk to Ilkley via Rombald’s moor, buy some new boxers and visit the launderette on Monday! Decision made, soul appeased, I headed out at a quickened pace up the road and towards the moor. It was Remembrance Sunday and I had the idea that I would observe the customary 2 minutes silence from one of the peaks on the moor that overlook Burley in Wharfedale. This rather sentimental notion failed to materialise as I hadn’t realised that the walk leading to the moor (despite nearly jogging in excitement), was in fact longer than I had remembered. I compromised for two minutes of quiet thoughtfulness, on foot. Thinking of Grandparents and other inspirational people I’ve met and then into wider pools of thought, of people far and near who still experience extreme violence on a daily basis, which turns to prayer, that I will never become desensitized or neglectful to such thoughts and that I will have courage and wisdom to act on them when needed. I wasn’t too disappointed at not reaching a viewpoint for the customary show of silence, I contemplate best on foot with a camera in my hand. I documented my two minutes of silence, automatically shooting from the hip; no composing, no construction, just a continuous finger on the shutter as I walked in thought. 11:00 - 11:02 11/11/2012 fine art photograph by photographer rich bunce
11:00 - 11:02 11/11/2012, Rich Bunce I continued to walk the moor, aimlessly meandering towards Ilkley, generally moving and turning away from any sign of human activity. Embracing the solitude with the moor and selfishly attempting to keep the moments for myself. As I approached Ilkley the paths and tracks got busier and I conceded it was time to head into town and purchase those boxers! At this point I had thought I might grab a pint, a sandwich and 45 minutes of Premier League football but the light was glorious and the air so fresh that I decided to press on. I walked on towards the River Wharfe. It's hard describe the walk along the River Wharfe to Burley in Wharfedale. It's not the sort of walk you jump out of bed for, but there were certainly moments of interest that made it worthwhile. The walk is a little broken in places meaning there are stretches of walking along the A65. One particular point of interest was the Ben Rhydding Gravel Pits Nature Reserve which, despite the continuous noise of cars, is paradoxically peaceful and worth exploring. After the Nature Reserve I crossed the A65 and made my way back to Burley in Wharfedale via several country tracks, crisscrossing the various areas marked "Private Land". As I did this I stumbled upon a beautiful Red Kite and true to form, before I could lift my camera, it had flown over some trees. Though unrecorded, it was a great moment that I enjoyed reflecting on as I supped on a pint of Landlord (Timothy Taylor Brewery) in The Red Lion, almost a year after my previous pint there!

Rombalds Moor, from the other side

Woods, wooded area, sunlight, rombalds moor I had wanted to give a more detailed account of our walk on Rombald's Moor. Though I envisage sighs of relief from friends and family as they read this opening line; I had hoped to give a more, or moor (that one's for CB!) descriptive account of the walk that started in Riddleston, that took us past lambs just hours old, of the beams of light that pierced through the densely wooded... err.. wood, as well as the astonishing aerial display from several lapwings as they tried to divert a red kite (the bird of prey) away from their nesting area. I even wanted depict the delights had from the pint of Black Moor, brewed by Goose Eye brewery in nearby Keighley which was supped in the Crown Inn, Addingham and wasn't bad! Alas though, I'm off to Skye in a couple of days and do not have time to spend on such a whim! However, I imagine after 8 days wandering round the famously scenic Isle, there will be no end to the drivel making it's way onto this site; so remember this gift of briefness when you wade through the swamp of waffle in the forthcoming posts! And here are the Pics....

Sticks and Stones, Oh… and Some Sheep!

sheep overlooking ilkley, ilkley moor Sounding like something out of a good Indiana Jones movie (when Harrison Ford was the young one)... A hunt for the 'Swastika Stone' on Ilkley moor seemed like the perfect Sunday adventure for a couple of  lazy morning ramblers. The Swastika stone is thought to be either Bronze age (like many other stones found in the area) or Iron Age and there's some ambiguity over the stone's meaning too, although in a number of ancient civilizations similar designs are thought to relate to the sun. The stone is located a relatively short walk west of White Wells Spa Cottage, which has had accessible baths since 1703, was instrumental in giving Ilkley its Spa town status and has reported visits from the likes of Charles Darwin. The stones are such a short walk from here (a couple of miles I'd guess),  we decided to extend our walk. I say 'stones' because there are in fact two Swastika stones. One is a Victorian replica which actually helps pick out the pattern of the considerably fainter original sat just behind. Our walk continued past the stones, past Panorama Reservoir and onto Hardwick House farm, where I got momentarily obsessed with some very photogenic sheep! From the farm we walked down until we reached the River Wharfe where we followed the Dales Way back into Ilkley town centre. Nature on the walk included numerous encounters with curlews and red grouse, which seem to occur on many of our Yorkshire walks, and we also caught sight of a tree creeper. We finished the day at the Cow and Calf Hotel with an enjoyable pint of Leeds Pale Ale but  before making our ascent to the watering hole we stopped off to refuel. The Vintage Tea Room on Wells Road is an original, friendly and very well done tea room with irresistible homemade cakes and a list of speciality teas longer than my photography equipment wish list (which is larger than a News International legal bill!). A cream tea for two was just what was needed to make the final steps on our Ilkley walk!  

Perils of Coffee

Country road, walk, burley in wharfedale, west yorkshire If you're anything like me, you'll know just how dangerous 'popping out' for a coffee is. My most recent coffee excursion led to a browse around Waterstone's (or Waterstones as I believe they are re-branding themselves). Anyway this 'browse' led to the purchase of £30 worth of OS maps and a rather cool book on Yorkshire Dales walks. No wonder I got an espresso maker for my birthday! The following morning I woke up like it was Christmas, all excited about doing a new walk in the Dales from our new book, using my new OS map. Caroline was more like the parent at Christmas, who would like just five more minutes in bed and wishes the kids would go and quietly entertain themselves with their new pressies. Anyway a quick wash, a round of toast that barely touches the sides and we were off! Or so we thought. It seemed the car didn't share our enthusiasm for the Yorkshire Dales, so 10 minutes into our journey we had to turn back and book the car in for a check up. Luckily due to my premature, or arguably immature, overexcitement it was still relatively early. Remembering that we had been given an AA Walks Around Leeds and West Yorkshire book for Christmas we started hunting through the walk cards looking for a walk that was relatively accessible on public transport. We found one that started and finished at Burley in Wharfedale train station. The walk begins on Hag Farm Lane leading up to and through the farm, over some fields that offer the residing sheep lush panoramas and on through a variety of gates that remind you that you still haven’t burnt off as many of those festive calories as you would have liked. The highlight of the walk is Burley Moor. This relatively busy heath provides some great views, even on a hazy winter’s day (is that a Simon and Garfunkel song?) with low thin cloud you could still take in the sights. We took a moment as we crossed the moor to take in the scenery. There were plenty of different paths that offered interesting diversions and investigations. Pretty soon the moor quietened down as people went off exploring their own routes. We came across a beautiful icy stream cutting its way through the hillside, which was particularly fascinating. The walk then took us back onto a B road and a country lane, and then over some pretty lowland fields that we’d previously been looking down on.  We eventually ended back amongst some pretty impressive houses that surround Burley in Wharfedale station. This was a very enjoyable walk, not too short and not too long with some lovely scenery and a good mix of terrain. Typically my keenness to photograph EVERYTHING meant we missed the hourly train by 5 or 10… But with every cloud… Rather with every missed train there is usually a good pub and Burley in Wharfedale is no exception, we headed into the village where we went to the friendly Red Lion Hotel for a pint of Midnight Bell from Leeds Brewery while resisting the mouth-watering specials on the board! A wonderful end to a day that began rather ominously.