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Nidderdale & Washburn Walks

Pock Stones Moor

Date: 13th Nov 2014
Distance: 5.5 miles
Ascent: 1070 feet
Time: 2 hours 45 mins
With: Lisa
Start Grid Ref: SE132596

Walk Summary:
A walk on to Pock Stones Moor from the south via the Alma shooting hut returning on a good track via Harden Gill.

Route Summary: Hoodstorth Lane - Hey Slack - Hoodstorth Allotment - Alma Hut - Hen Stones - Little Pock Stones - Skyreholme Bank - Nethernook Bridge - Westend Lane - Hoodstorth Lane

Photos: Click on the photos below to enlarge.

The Washburn valley above Hoodstorth Lane
Harden Gill Beck joining the River Washburn
A small gritstone outcrop on Hoodstorth Allotment
The shooting track leading across the Washburn and up on to Alma Hut on the skyline
The River Washburn
The Alma Shooting Hut on Pock Stones Moor
A nice sign surrounded by rather garish hooks on the side of the hut
The Hen Stones
On Little Pock Stones
Little Pock Stones
Descending Pock Stones Moor on the track called Skyreholme Bank
Lisa crossing Harden Gill Beck
Harden Gill Beck
Looking across Pock Stones Moor
Looking back up Skyreholme Bank to Pock Stones Moor

Walk Detail: Despite the fact that on most days I can see the profile of Great Pock Stones from my office window over 12 miles away it has been almost five years since I'd last visited them. On that occasion I'd walked up from Skyreholme on the Wharfedale side on a route that included Simon's Seat and Carncliff Top. This time I wanted to see if I could come up with a viable circular route starting from the Washburn valley.

Thanks to the power of Google Street View I managed to find a layby on Hoodstorth Lane, to the north-west of Thruscross Reservoir, which would provide a convenient place to start the walk. From the layby we headed west up the lane to Red Gate where we briefly joined Skyreholme Bank before taking a path doubling back down to the river. It was a murky start to the day but even the poor visibility couldn't completely disguise the colorful nature of this part of the upper Washburn valley.

Thankfully there was a footbridge crossing the river - otherwise it would have been a very short walk! On the other side the path quickly disappeared in the dying bracken. After a bit of pathless bracken bashing we found a quad track that led us up past a modest gritstone crag before joining on to the shooter's track leading from Humberstone Bank to Alma Hut.

We followed the track over another bridge crossing the river and on to Alma Shooting Hut. A nice sign proclaiming the name and location of the hut was offset somewhat by the garish hooks decorating the whole of one side of the hut. After a bite to eat in the shelter of the hut we continued climbing up the track on to Hen Stones Bank, past the Hen Stones themselves, and on to join Skyreholme Bank.

Unfortunately the cloud had failed to lift and so rather than heading up to the Great Pock Stones we made do with the short detour to the Little Pock Stones - despite the name they are actually a more substantial outcrop of rocks. After taking a few photos we walked back to Skyreholme Bank for an extended but easy descent off the moor following the track all the way back to Red Gate via Harden Gill.

Despite the weather and not quite making it to the Great Pock Stones I really enjoyed this walk. The route I had wanted to try out had proven to be a good one and is one I'll definitely go back to do again in clearer conditions.

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