South Pennine Walks
Date: 27th March 2011
Distance: 6.1 miles
Ascent: 985 feet
Time: 2 hours 40 minutes
Start Grid Ref: SE149453
A gentle walk visiting some of the antiquities and modest gritstone features on Burley Moor.
Route Summary: Moor Road - Coldstone Beck - Lower Lanshaw Dam - Burley Moor - Grubstones - Horncliff Well - Little London - Intake Gate - Crag Top - Moor Road
1. Coldstone Beck
2. By Lower Lanshaw Reservoir
3. Looking back down to Lower Lanshaw Reservoir
4. On the Great Skirtful of Stones
5. Lisa on Grubstones
6. Ilkley Moor from Grubstones
7. Lisa and Grubstones Stone Circle
8. Horncliff Stone Circle
9. One of the Horncliff Standing Stones
10. Baildon Hill
11. A Lapwing
12. Lisa on the Little London clapper bridge
13. A pair of Red Kites
14. Looking down to Burley-in-Wharfedale
Walk Detail: Rombalds Moor is a large tract of moorland separating lower Wharfedale from the Airedale towns of Keighley and Bingley. In addition to featuring some fine gritstone outcrops the area is famous for the numerous sites of pre-historic interest including tumuli and stone circles. A few years ago I'd visited the moor's highest point on Ilkley Moor, the aim of this walk was to visit some of the antiquities to be found on the eastern side, on Burley Moor and Hawksworth Moor.
Starting from a layby on Moor Road just west of Burley Woodhead we initially climbed up alongside the attractive Coldstone Beck. Very quickly there were wide, if somewhat hazy, views looking east along lower Wharfedale towards Otley Chevin and beyond to Almscliff Crag.
After visiting the small but attractive Lower Lanshaw Reservoir we next headed up to the tumulus known as the Great Skirtful of Stones. Thought to have been originally constructed in Bronze Age or Iron Age times it was the site of a tomb that was excavated in the 19th century.
Just next to the Great Skirtful of Stones is a wire fence that marks, on its eastern side, the limits of the modern Leeds Unitary Authority. It also marks the highest point within the Authority's highest point so a quick hop over the nearby stile thus added another to my list of County Tops that I've bagged.
Next a wide track took us to the prominent outcrop of Grubstones and the highest point of this walk. It was also a nice place for a stop so we had a short break and enjoyed a packet of Seabrooks crisps and a Curly Wurly each.
Close to the Grubstones themselves is the so-called Grubstones Stone Circle. Despite being very close to the path I'd never have spotted it buried in the heather had it not been for precise instructions in a guide book. Just over a mile further on the Horncliff Stone Circle, this time obscured by the remains of last year's bracken, was almost as disappointing.
Throughout the walk we had enjoyed the sound of numerous curlews and skylarks. After briefly leaving Hawksworth Moor for the farmland pastures below we also saw and heard a number of lapwings. The real treat though came near the end of the walk when just above Barks Crag we were treated to an aerial display by two red kites who seemed to be engaged in some sort of mating ritual.
While it was disappointing not to have the sunshine and good photographic conditions I've enjoyed on other recent walks, and despite the rather underwhelming stone circles, this was an easy and enjoyable ramble. More importantly however it was nice just to be able to have the increasingly rare opportunity to enjoy a walk with my wife. The two red kites were an added bonus.