Friday, 6 April 2018

A Bobless Bimble

In order to prevent the imminent onset of cabin fever, I had to get out walking today! Bob was supposed to be along too, but was unable to due to being a slack arse. So, early afternoon, I set out to notch up a 10 miler.

The route chosen for today was a circular around North-East Leeds, starting at the village of Barwick-in-Elmet, heading to Scholes, hence via the Garforth Golf Club to Aberford, and then back to Barwick. This is walk No. 4 from a set of AA walking guide cards my sister bought me several years back. I had done this walk before, but had forgotten a few rather crucial details!

The first of these details was - how bloody muddy this route can be! After parking up around the back streets of Barwick, I walked on down to the maypole, where the walk officially started. From there the route went along the main street, and back up the road I was parked on! It then led out into the fields toward Scholes. These fields had been recently ploughed, and were absolutely sodden.

Managing to reach Scholes without getting too muddy, I spent a little while watching a large bird of prey, probably a Buzzard, above the allotments, before crossing the road and straight back out into the fields
Looking back up toward Bog Lane

 Once near the woods on Bog Lane conditions did improve underfoot. It was then I decided to take a few photos, and found time for a much needed pee.

Ancient fences

Just before reaching the golf course, I managed to drop my route card, and had to back track to search for it! Once on the fairway, there were only a handful of golfers about. The track leaves the course to skirt a farm, before reaching the road near the club house. It was along here that I saw what I thought was a Doberman watching me in the distance! - it was only when it moved off onto the golf course I realised it was a deer!

Fore! The bridlepath through Garforth Golf Club
 Once over the road, walking conditions were much improved with metalled road up to Throstle Nest Farm and the Parlington Estate. This lasted until just short of the tunnel.

Entering the Parlington Estate
I think that the path here must have been the route of an old railway. The tunnel isnt very long, but its slight curve means you cant see right through, and it is exceptionally wet! It is possible to walk to the side and go over and around, but...

Approaching the tunnel

Inside the tunnel
 After the tunnel the remainder of the Parlington Estate path was a bit muddy in places but not too bad. A reasonably pleasant section of the route, and the sun came out. This meant I had to take my jacket off, and as I wasnt carrying a bag it proved a pig, as wrapping it around me meant it just sagged under its own weight.

Ancient quarry beside path
 From here the route went into Aberford, where I caught up with the two old biddies who had been in front of me for about two miles! Usually I overtake everyone else, but these two were moving at a heck of a pace! I had hoped to find a shop in Aberford, as by now I was rather peckish, but that wasnt to be. The route took me then on towards Becca Hall

Becca Hall
 where I made a slight navigation error and missed my turn, needing to backtrack a couple hundred yards. The route here was across a rather wet field full of sheep and lambs. Shortly after this sections, close to Becca House Farm, I again stopped to observe a bird of prey, this time really close overhead

 It was after passing the farm that I remembered the last time I did this route, and that the fields I was about to cross had been several hundred yards of shin deep slimy mud...

Actually, quite dry!
Having been a little unsure which way to go as I passed through the farm yard, I glanced inquisitively  towards a farmer who was fork-trucking spuds about, who clearly understood and waved me in the correct direction. The fields I had to cross turned out to be really quite dry! I now only had a couple of miles to go.

And then I got to the next field...

Ah, spoke too soon!
 Another couple of hundred yards to go to reach the road. And the mud more than got its own back on me.  I cleaned my boots in a little stream by a stile,but by the time i'd reached the road they were muddy again.

A short section of road here before the route instructs to go left when the road turns sharp right at a gatehouse. This I did, and about a half mile later, began to realise that this wasnt the right path!

Nice bridlepath. Shame its not the right way!
Just like the last time, i'd turned too soon, and since this bridlepath veered away from Barwick, it was easier to backtrack than to add the extra two or three miles!
I was by this time starting to get rather sluggish. Nothing really hurt, but I began to realise that I should have brought a snack! Barwick was a mile or so from this point, so I sauntered along. On arriving in Barwick, I decided to pop to the shop for a drink and snack (an overpriced and over peppered pork pie and a bottle of pepsi max), and take them to the churchyard (another bit of back-tracking), before going back to the car.

All in all, not a bad walk. Lessons - take a day sack to stuff jacket into and carry the water bottle, and have a snack in there as well.

11.64miles. 4h 34min. 1273cal.

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