Nidderdale & Washburn Walks
Great Pock Stones & Simon's Seat
Date: 13th February 2010
Distance: 10.4 miles
Ascent: 1589 feet
Time: 5 hours 10 minutes
Start Grid Ref: SE066604
A super walk from Skyreholme visiting a succession of moorland gritstone features including Great Pock Stones, Simon's Seat and Earl's Seat.
Route Summary: Skyreholme - Skyreholme Bank - Forest Road - Little Pock Stones - Great Pock Stones - Simon's Seat - Carncliff Top - Howgill - Skyreholme
1. The track on Skyreholme Bank
2. Simon's Seat from Eller Edge
3. Matt on Little Pock Stones
4. Simon's Seat from Great Pock Stones
5. Some of the summit rocks on Great Pock Stones
6. Looking back at Great Pock Stones
7. Matt stood in the Great Shack
8. Great Pock Stones from the rocks north west of Lord's Seat
9. Approaching Simon's Seat
10. The trig point on Simon's Seat
11. Carncliff Top from Simon's Seat
12. Matt on Earl's Seat
13. Simon's Seat from below Earl's Seat
14. Approaching Skyreholme
Walk Detail: This walk straddled both the Yorkshire Dales National Park and the Nidderdale AONB. While I’d visited Simon’s Seat twice before in the past I’d not yet been up to Great Pock Stones, a top that I have been regularly able to see out of my office window on a clear day.
We parked in Skyreholme and followed the road until it turns into a track on Skyreholme Bank and then Forest Road. It was fairly easy walking though there were patches of frozen snow that one had to be careful of.
In no time at all we arrived at Little Pock Stones, a fairly modest rash of stones that nevertheless had good views to the east and south. From there we walked up to Great Pock Stones walking on the top of some compacted snow that had drifted up against the wall. The view was once again excellent and were it perhaps not for the extra height of Simon’s Seat it would be a more popular destination.
Instead of following the wall all the way up to Lord’s Seat we cut across the rough moor to view the large shake hole marked on the map as The Great Shack. It was certainly impressive and if shake holes get you excited then it is definitely worth the effort of making the detour.
The walk had begun in bright sunshine but by the time we arrived at the wall corner by Lord’s Seat it began to snow. Fortunately it was fairly light and we were able to find an excellent natural shelter formed by the rocks of the unnamed outcrops north east of Lord’s Seat.
After eating our lunch we followed the icy path to Simon’s Seat, without doubt one of the finest summits in the Dales. As my knee had been holding up well I suggested we carry on along to Carncliff Top, another summit in the area we’d not yet visited and one which is particularly prominent from the environs of Bolton Abbey.
We were able to follow a decent path just over half the way there before striking off across the moor once again to Nanny Crag and then up on to Carncliff Top and its modest summit crags. After heading south west to get a better idea of the view in that direction we then went north to Earl’s Crag, a particularly fine outcrop which felt especially airy.
This was an excellent expedition featuring a mixture of good paths and rough walking with gritstone in abundance. The weather had also provided some real variety as well.