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Tag Archives: Yorkshire dales
Start Point: West Witton
Walk Guide /Map references OS Explorer OL30 & Collins Ramblers > Yorkshire Dales, David Leather
Distance: 7.5 miles
Highlights: Awesome Views from Penhill
Wildlife spotted: Shrew, Curlew (plus Chick), Swift, Swallow, House Martin, Pied Wagtail, Wheatear, Raven, Kestrel. (Walk is reputed to offer sightings of Peregrine Falcon and Brown Hare too!)
Watering Hole: Fox & Hound – Very quiet on arrival but it’s a multi award winning pub with a good range of local ales and real beers
Tipple Tips: Swinithwaite Silver, Yorkshire Dales Brewery – Light and tasty
Map of Walk (approx)
View Walking Photographer Penhill Walk in a larger map
What’s awesome about walking is that every walk is different (even the ones you do again and again). Each walk offers the opportunity to see and learn something new. On this walk in particular, I discovered that you should only wear shorts when certain of the terrain and know that you’re not going to be wading waste deep through patches of stinging nettles!
The stingers were worth it though… This walk is spectacular! It has everything: wildlife, expansive views, archaeology and an award winning pub to boot! The walk starts fairly gently through various environments: fields, woodlands (where I saw my first shrew!), country tracks and a nice looking race course on a moor. The time of year also meant an occasional encounter with young wildlife. This included nearly treading on a sleepy young curlew chick and spotting a family of fledgling wrens!
By the time you make the climb to Penhill Beacon you’re quite out of breath and regretting that night cap from the previous evening! However, your exertions are immediately rewarded and all woes forgotten as you turn around to see the stunning views that overlook Lower Wensleydale, the North York Moors and Darlington. I loved walking along Penhill, taking in the giant boulders scattered across slopes and valley, the sheer cliff faces and dramatic viewpoints in every direction. I could’ve stayed there all day!
Following the natural and literal high of the day we made our way down towards the Templar’s Chapel. This ruined building was constructed around 1200 by the Knights Templar and is a small but fascinating place. The immediate area has a real sense of history about it and it’s hard to stop your imagination running wild as you envisage all sorts of historically inaccurate scenes, taken mainly from low-budget crusade films and TV dramas!
As you leave the Templar’s Chapel the pace quickens at the thought of a tasty pint, and before you know it you’re sitting back supping on a locally brewed beer in a CAMRA award winning pub! NICE!
Having double checked the handbrake, twice and debated leaving the car in first, I tentatively made my way to the back of the 45 degree angled parked car to put on my boots. It wasn’t until later we realised there was actually a car park in Appletreewick which we could of used. This oversight was probably due to the excitement of embarking on our first Dales walk: The walk we had originally planned to do in “Perils of Coffee” (A lovely walk round Burey in Whafedale).
Appletreewick is a village in the Yorkshire Dales and is pronounced “Aptrick” by locals. The locals also boast of Sir William Craven, described as the village’s own Dick Whittington, having left the village for London to make his success and ended up becoming Lord Mayor and sheriff of London before returning to Appletreewick.
The walk begins along the bank of the river Wharfe and the sun starts to thaw my rather chilled face, I realise what an awesome picnic destination these banks would make in the summer months. As the walk develops a diverse range of landscape and terrain is experienced. One minute a rocky valley the next a small picturesque village with a population no more than 30.
Highlights of the walk include a derelict resevoir called Skyreholme dam, which used to supply water to a paper mill and Trollers Gill which involves clambering over a rocky stream for a mile or so before an obligatory investigation of a rather large cave entrance; could this be the hide out for the spectre hound of Craven. Dare you to go in! (umm… please note: I take no responsibility for anyone who does themselves a mischief from taking up something I say in jest and that may not actually be the opinions of the writer: insert any other appropriate legal jargon here).
This is walk that is steeped in history and intertwined with folklore. Having the Ramblers Yorkshire Dales guide by David Leather really helped add context to the conveyor belt of lansdcapes and really bought the walk to life.
On completion of the walk we stopped in the Craven Arms for a pint of Black Witch, Moorehouse brewery. The pub was so inviting and charming we stayed for a pint of Cruck Barn (Brewed by the Craven Arms) and in case you’re adding up the points, CB stuck to the tea before driving us back on a scenic journey made all the more beautiful by warm glow of two fine ales in the system!