Nidderdale & Washburn Walks
Date: 1st July 2006
Distance: 8.9 miles
Ascent: 1314 feet
Time: 3 hours 45 minutes
Start Grid Ref: SE156785
A trip on the wide moors to the west of Masham visiting reservoirs, sighting towers and the folly of Druid's Temple.
Route Summary: Leighton Reservoir - Roundhill Reservoir - Shortlick Hill - Sandy Hill - Ilton - Druid's Temple - Leighton - Leighton Reservoir
1. Leighton Reservoir
2. Roundhill Reservoir dam
3. Roundhill Reservoir
4. Looking down to Roundhill Reservoir from the flanks of Ilton Moor
5. The sighting tower
6. Matt stood by the sighting tower
7. The trig point on the top of Sandy Hill
8. Moth on Ilton Moor
9. The entrance to Druid's Temple
10. Druid's Temple
Walk Detail: The first of two walks over this particular weekend that had time constraints; this walk was chosen because it would allow us to get back in time for England's world cup quarter final against Portugal.
It was a very hot day but both Leighton and especially Roundhill Reservoirs were attractive sheets of water. The only real climb was up to the sighting tower, a very imposing structure and much larger than I thought it would be. There was a slightly rough trek through the heather to the rather forlorn and mossy trig point on Sandy Hill. Unfortunately it was quite hazy so there was not much in the way of views.
The long moorland path to Ilton was pleasant if a tad dull although things livened up when we had to make a detour to avoid a bull in a field as we approached Ilton.
After passing through some more fields we made our way to Druid's Temple where we had lunch. Despite being a 19th century folly rather than a genuine historical monument the place still exuded a certain atmosphere although the amount of detritus left by visitors rather spoiled the place.
The final walk along the road was not as dull as expected and compensation was to be had in further views of Leighton Reservoir. A steady if unspectacular walk, probably the best thing about it was hugely impressive sighting tower.