Nidderdale & Washburn Walks
Lippersley Pike & Round Hill
Date: 25th January 2011
Distance: 8.5 miles
Ascent: 1008 feet
Time: 3 hours 45 minutes
With: On my own
Start Grid Ref: SE180529
A soggy walk on the moors above the Washburn valley visiting Lippersley Pike and Round Hill.
Route Summary: Timble - Sourby - Ellarcarr Pike - Lippersley Pike - Gawk Hall Ridge - Round Hill - Gawk Hall Gate - Eagles Stone - Cote Hill - Rues Lane - Beecroft Moor Plantation - Timble Ridge - Timble
1. Looking up the Washburn valley from just above Timble
2. Askwith Moor from Sourby
3. Early morning sunshine over Blubberhouses Moor
4. Looking north west from below Ellarcarr Pike towards Menwith Hill
5. The 1757 boundary stone on Lippersley Pike
6. Sat in the large cairn on Lippersley Pike
7. Blubberhouses Moor
8. The old Ripon to Ilkley milestone above Gawk Hill Gate
9. The cairn on the top of Round Hill
10. The large boulder marked as 'Eagles Stone' on the OS map
11. The faint remains of the old Roman road from Aldborough to Ilkley
12. Looking back up to Lippersley Pike from Blubberhouses Moor
13. I didn't take a great deal of comfort from this notice
14. The pleasant path through Beecroft Moor Plantation
Walk Detail: As I needed to be back by the early afternoon I chose this walk as it was close to home and it provided a different approach to Round Hill, one of the nearest 400m+ tops to my house.
Just after I parked up in Timble the early morning sun broke through the clouds and I got some lovely views of the upper Washburn valley as well the nearby Askwith Moor and Blubberhouses Moor. Sadly the sunshine lasted only so far as Ellarcarr Pike at which point a large patch of hill fog rolled over the moor bringing with it some showery rain.
From Ellarcarr Pike I followed an old track called High Badger Gate to the moorland knoll of Lippersley Pike. The path was very wet in places and was a taste of things to come.
Lippersley Pike is topped by an ancient hollowed out cairn and a boundary stone engraved '1757'. I was fortunate that shortly after arriving there was a brief break in the fog and I was able to enjoy an all too brief view across to Blubberhouses Moor. I imagine that on a good day Lippersley Pike would be quite a good viewpoint which would also include the likes of Otley Chevin and Ilkley Moor.
Upon reaching the old milestone above Gawk Hill Gate I made a detour from the main route to revisit Round Hill. I'd optimistically hoped that the hill fog would soon disperse but instead it got thicker. Leaving Round Hill I headed downhill for Gawk Hill Gate, the path was initially quite dry but degenerated into one of the wettest, reediest paths I've yet experienced.
The crossing of Blubberhouses Moor from Gawk Hill Gate was initially quite testing. Quite early on the path, such as it was, disappeared. Without any obvious collecting feature, poor visibility and challenging conditions underfoot this was not the most enjoyable section of the walk.
Eventually I found the traces of the old Roman road just as it crosses Sun Bank Gill. Just below where it crosses the gill there is a gritstone boulder marked as 'Eagles Stone' on the map. I wonder if the name is also of Roman origin.
By this time I'd finally got under the cloud level and was able to enjoy a near straight march on relatively dry ground using the meagre remains of what was once the Roman road between Aldborough and Ilkley. The Roman origins of a section of the modern A59 was made obvious as, in the distance, it aligned perfectly with the section I was on.
Having made it off the moor the final stages of the walk was through Beecroft Moor Plantation and a few fields back to Timble. On the way through the plantation I had to regularly step off the track to allow parties of shooters (the activities of whom an earlier sign had warned of) to drive past in their 4x4's.
Despite the fog and the wet conditions underfoot I still enjoyed this walk and I definitely think I'll try it again.