Nidderdale & Washburn Walks
Date: 12th July 2012
Distance: 4.6 miles
Ascent: 558 feet
Time: 1 hour 55 minutes
With: On my own
Start Grid Ref: SE190688
A short evening expedition across some rough pathless moorland to view the gritstone outcrops of Low Huller Stones and High Huller Stones.
Route Summary: Skell Gill Bank - Skell Gill Farm - Crag House - Skell Gill - Topham Close - Low Huller Stones - High Huller Stones - Skell Gill Bridge - Skell Gill Bank
1. The bridleway leading across Dallow Moor to Skell Gill farm
2. Looking across to Low Huller Stones from the bridleway
3. The country lane between Skell Gill farm and Crag House
4. Low Huller Stones
5. Cotton grass on Eavestone Moor
6. High Huller Stones
7. Looking down into Skell Gill from High Huller Stones
8. Skell Gill Bridge
Walk Detail: One day, whilst poring over my OS Explorer 298 map that covers Nidderdale, I noticed the twin outcrops of Low Huller Stones and High Huller Stones sitting above Skell Gill on the access land of Eavestone Moor. The map seemed to suggest the rocks were fairly substantial and, my curiosity piqued, I decided to go out for a walk after work and take a look for myself.
Leaving the car in the small parking area just above Skell Gill Bank I really enjoyed the first stage of the walk following the bridleway across a short section of Dallow Moor to the farm at Skell Gill. From there I then followed the farm's access road until I met the route of the Ripon Rowel which I used to drop down to, and cross, the River Skell.
After climbing a few fields and having a nervous few minutes passing some cows I reached the access land of Eavestone Moor. It was here that I then began to have a problem with creatures of a very different size - flies. As I crossed the pathless moor to Low Huller Stones I seemed to attract more and more of them and by the time I reached the first outcrop I must have looked like Pig Pen from Charlie Brown, only it wasn't dirt swirling around me. As soon as I stopped the flies would try and settle on me - it was very annoying.
The combination of flies and excessive bracken meant that I cut short my exploration of Low Huller Stones and continued along the moor towards High Huller Stones. If anything the number of flies got even worse, this was a real shame as there were some fine outcrops and it would have been nice to have been able to take a perch on one for a while. Instead I carried on across the moor and it was not until I reached the road, just above Skell Gill Bridge, that the flies finally left me in peace.
Ultimately, because of the flies, this was a disappointing walk. If I'd been able to explore the rocks a bit more I'm sure I would have enjoyed it more and for people who don't mind walking across pathless moorland they are probably worth a look.