Back to The Strid

This walk was the last walk I did on the day before lockdown was put in place and I vowed then that it would be one of the first places I would visit once restrictions had been lifted. Once people had more freedom though, they poured back in to the local beauty spots and none were more popular than The Strid and Bolton Abbey so I left this walk until late evening and was rewarded with solitude and some beautiful light.

The Strid looked very benign as we'd had lots of dry sunny weather during lockdown. Seeing it like that hid the dangers that lay withing its waters and it was easy to see why some uneducated people would see the appeal of trying to jump across its narrowest part despite all the warning signs. I heard another cuckoo in Strid Wood, which meant two in a couple of days and I felt quite blessed. The walk in was accompanied by the smell of wild garlic which I suppose is a bit like Marmite, you either love it or hate it and I love it!

Life was beginning to feel a bit more normal but due to restrictions, I was still unable to meet up with Sal. We talked on the phone occasionally and chatted online everyday but there was still a huge hole in my life. Also two holidays had been cancelled, one in Somerset and another in North Wales. Both had been resheduled for next year but we were so looking forward to going back down to Watchet again so it hit us both quite hard.

Still, people have had a lot more problems than I have had and I should really be just be thankfull that I have managed to stay clear of the virus. 

River Wharfe at Barden Bridge

















Winskill and Catrigg Force

It's a bit of a struggle at the moment finding places to go which are quiet. All the good weather we are having is bringing people out in their droves. The Yorkshire Dales National Park have brought out a car park update on their website and most weekend they are all just about full. Malham is always the first to fill and that is quickly followed by Horton-in-Ribblesdale. After scratching my head for a bit, I came up with the idea of parking on the Langcliffe to Malham rroad and walking down to Winskill Stones and Catrigg Force.

I have been to Winskill a lot and blogged it before. It only takes about fifteen minutes to reach from the car and that includes photo stops but its another of those places where you can make your walk as long or as short as you want.

I decided to incorporate a visit to Catrigg Force, a beautifully hidden waterfall just out of Stainforth. I got my bearings slightly wrong at first but after climbing a few gates I eventually found the bridleway coming out of the village and followed that in to the gorge where the force resides. As you can tell from the photos, there wasn't much water coming down at all but that didn't detract from its beauty. I think another visit in autumn would be a good idea. Whilst down by the falls I was treated to the sound of a cuckoo calling in the surrounding woodland which finished the walk off nicely.

It was grand to get out in The dales again, the lockdown hasn't been easy but essential with the current situation. Looking forward to many more walks in the Dales over the coming weeks, I don't think I will be back in The Lakes until early July though.


Winskill Stones

Winskill Stones

Lone tree Winskill Stones

Winskill Stones

Winskill Stones

Winskill Stones

Winskill Stones

Winskill Stones

Erratic, Winskill Stones

Winskill Stones

Winskill Stones

Winskill Stones

Catrigg Force

Catrigg Force

Catrigg Force

Catrigg Force

Wild Garlic, Middleton Wood

Once the bluebells start to die off in Middleton Wood, along comes the wild garlic to lift your spirits again. They are limited to the far corner of the wood so not many people venture there in fact the only people I saw were a couple of local volunteers picking up rubbish which really made my blood boil. Unfortunately it can be seen everywhere these day and not just in cities but at all the beauty spots as well. Thankfully there are still many good people who will go round and clean places like this up. And I must stress, the vast majority of people do clear up after themselves.

Rant over...

Middleton Wood Wild Garlic

Middleton Wood Wild Garlic

Middleton Wood Wild Garlic

Middleton Wood Wild Garlic

Middleton Wood Wild Garlic

Middleton Wood Wild Garlic

Middleton Wood Wild Garlic

Middleton Wood Wild Garlic

St Ives during Lockdown

St Ives Estate has been a Godsend since the easing of lock-down restrictions with it being only a few miles drive from home and, if you get the timing right, very quiet. Plus it gives you a bit of a leg-stretcher. Walking round the village every day does get a bit monotonous after a time whereas with St Ives you have got many paths and can make your walk as long or as short as you wish. I reckon a walk around the perimeter of the estate, going as far as The Druid's Altar is between two and a half to three miles depending on the route taken.

Met up with Sal on a couple of my walks whilst obviously making sure we both kept our distance. I've missed her company loads these past few months and she has missed mine. We have both had to come to terms with the fact that we have had to cancel holidays and I know things have been a lot worse for Sal as she has been unable to visit her family is South Yorkshire and offer them support.

I have posted a lot of photos in this blog but I could have posted many more. I have come to really love St Ives since knowing Sal and this year I have had the added bonus of being able to see the bluebells in Hollin Wood. I have also heard a cuckoo on more than one occasion, seen woodpeckers and jays aplenty and best of all, watch the Swans bringing up their eight cygnets.

The only thing I have missed is a cappuccino in The Ivy Kitchen!

Cuckoo Nest Wood

Cuckoo Nest Wood

Cuckoo Nest Wood

St Ives Bridleway

Hollin Wood

Hollin Wood

Druids Altar Bridleway

Race Course Plantataion

Race Course Plantataion

Race Course Plantataion


Cuckoo Nest Wood

White Veined Butterfly

Blind lane

Blind Lane

Hollin Wood Bluebells

Hollin Wood Bluebells

Hollin Wood Bluebells

Cow Parsley

Heron

Heron

Cuckoo Nest Wood

Sal in Hollin Wood

Race Horse Plantation

Coppice Pond Wood

Crow Nest Wood

Crow Nest Wood

Swan ans Cygnets

Cygnet

Damsel Fly

Damsel Fly

Mother Swan

Cygnet

Gosling

Hollin Wood



Back to The Strid

This walk was the last walk I did on the day before lockdown was put in place and I vowed then that it would be one of the first places I wo...