Nidderdale & Washburn Walks
Date: 15th July 2012
Distance: 6.0 miles
Ascent: 640 feet
Time: 2 hour 30 minutes
With: On my own
Start Grid Ref: SE248677
Some more close encounters with cows either side of a nice section of walking in the woods by Eavestone Lake.
Route Summary: Sawley - Lacon Cross - Butterton Bridge - Warsill Hall Farm - Pickerstones - Eavestone Lake - Hollin Hill Farm - Gowbusk - Moor Lane Farm - Sawley
1. Lacon Cross
2. Booth Wood
3. The path through the plantations of High Moor
4. The view north from outside the plantations of High Moor
5. Eavestone Lake
6. The woodland path alongside Eavestone Lake
7. Another view of Eavestone Lake
8. Looking across the house at Birka Carr to the distant North York Moors
9. Farmer collecting hay near Sawley
Walk Detail: My fifth outing in the Nidderdale AONB in just over two weeks the main aim of this walk was to visit the beautifully wooded Eavestone Lake.
Even by recent standards there were a lot of cows encountered on this walk; at the beginning near Lacon Hall, in the large field before entering Booth Wood, at Warsill Hall Farm, at Hollin Hall Farm and then finally in the fields outside of Sawley. Let's just say it didn't do much for my nerves! It should also be said that stepping through the shin deep unholy combination of mud and cow filth outside Warsill Hall Farm has to be one of the more disgusting walking experiences I've had.
Despite all this I still enjoyed the walk. After passing Lacon Hall I visited the well preserved Lacon Cross that dates back to the monastic period. Later, in Booth Wood, I crossed the similarly old Butterton Bridge, though on this occasion the surrounding undergrowth was so dense the bridge itself was barely visible.
The highlight of the walk though was undoubtedly the section through the woods by Eavestone Lake, a really lovely place which I seemingly had all to myself. At the eastern end of the lake was a small arched bridge which had the most open view of the lake. I sat on the bridge for a while and drank in the view on what was a lovely summer's evening.
Towards the end of the walk a welcome distraction from further close encounters of the bovine kind was provided by the splendid view across the Vale of Mowbray to the distant North York Moors. Thanks to the direction the sun was shining I was even able to identify Carlton Bank and Cringle Moor, two of the major tops in the Cleveland Hills.