South Pennine Walks
Date: 8th Feb 2014
Distance: 5.3 miles
Ascent: 979 feet
Time: 2 hours 50 mins
With: On my own
Start Grid Ref: SE001512
A nice short easy climb up on to the interesting summit of Skipton Moor before a slightly rough exploration of the moor itself.
Route Summary: Short Bank Road - Jenny Gill - Skipton Moor - Standard Crag - Skipton Pits - Nor Hill - Moor Lane - Short Bank Road
Photos: Click on the photos below to enlarge.
Walk Detail: This was a much needed first walk for four weeks, the longest I'd gone without being out in the hills for four years. The forecast was for sunny spells in the morning followed by a band of heavy rain in the afternoon so I left home early and arrived in Skipton at 8.30am. Parking the car at the top end of Short Bank Road it was then a relatively quick climb up on to Skipton Moor.
My two previous visits to the top of Skipton Moor, in February 2005 and January 2006, hadn't been the best for views due to fairly dreary weather. This time I was blessed with sunshine, blue skies and excellent views across to Flasby Fell, Embsay Moor and Simon's Seat.
Although it is only a modest 373m in height Skipton Moor is one of my favourite summits in the South Pennines. The summit sits on the highest of a number of prominent humps on the moor. In addition to the trig point the summit area is also adorned with three cairns, one standing a 100 yards or so west of the trig and two large twin cairns just to the east of the trig. These twin cairns are quite prominent and can be seen when travelling along the A59 into Skipton. There are also a scattering of rocks and one small outcrop that juts out from the moor.
From the top I set off south-west towards Standard and Standard Crag before following a faint path eastwards to the north of a wall across the area marked as Skipton Pits. After crossing one juicy bog the path finally disappeared into a reedy marsh at grid reference SE024502. Unable to find either of the two boundary stones marked on the map thereabouts I then set off north across some particularly tussocky moor to reach Nor Hill.
Nor Hill seemed much more prominent than the map suggests and there was a good view back towards the top of the moor. From Nor Hill I dropped down through a broken wall and down a steeper section towards Moor Lane. To access Moor Lane I had to cross a wall at grid reference SE026512. I could have avoided the wall crossing and the rougher section of the walk if I'd chosen to do a slightly longer route via High Edge and Snow Hill Farm. On the other hand this would have meant walking through farmyards and fields, not a prospect that appealed to me.
Once on Moor Lane it was then a nice walk back to Skipton with good views all the while across to Embsay Crag, Crookrise Crag, Flasby Fell and, towards the end, Skipton itself. Along the way I spotted another alternative route to the top. Indeed I think Skipton Moor, being easily accessible from Short Bank Road, would make a good place to catch some evening sunshine later on in the summer.