Yorkshire Dales Walks
Date: 18th February 2005
Distance: 12.8 miles
Ascent: 2329 feet
Time: 5 hours 45 mins
With: On my own
Start Grid Ref: SE070530
A lengthy ramble exploring either side of the Wharfe valley between Bolton Abbey and Addingham visiting the fine summit of Beamsley Beacon.
Route Summary: Bolton Bridge - Haw Pike - Chelker Reservoir - Addingham - Nesfield - Dean Beck - Ellishaw Hill - Black Foss Farm - Beamsley Beacon - Kex Beck - Storiths - Bolton Abbey - Bolton Bridge
1. A rainy morning on the top of Haw Pike
2. Chelker Reservoir and windfarm
3. The River Wharfe from the Addingham suspension bridge
4. Looking back across the valley to Addingham
5. Above Dean Beck
6. The trig point on Ellishaw Hill
7. The trig point next to Beamsley Beacon
8. The shelter cairn on Old Pike
9. Looking across to Chelker Reservoir and Skipton Moor
10. A wider shot of the view from Beamsley Beacon
11. Looking back up to Beamsley Beacon from the Beamsley road
12. Bolton Abbey and the stepping stones across the Wharfe
13. Bolton Bridge
Walk Detail: Though the weather wasn't great first thing my enthusiasm and impatience got the better of me and I arrived at 8.45am while the cloud was still low and the rain coming down.
Shortly after setting off the rain got heavier so I took shelter under the bridge where Hambleton Beck passes under the A59 and put on my waterproof trousers. From there I followed what would, in better weather, have been a nice walk up to the top of Haw Pike. As it happened I could barely keep the rain off my lenses.
After visiting the trig point on Haw Pike I continued on past Chelker Reservoir with its small windfarm. The path from the reservoir down into Addingham was quite frustrating though as it kept crisscrossing the wall with steep stones steps. Indeed the path was not clearly marked at all and so eventually I struck out for the road to take me into Addingham.
As I walked the length of the rather pleasant village of Addingham the rain finally stopped altogether and patches of sun and blue sky could be seen to the north.
I crossed the Wharfe at the Addingham suspension bridge and as the cloud was still hanging over Beamsley Beacon I decided to go a longer way round via the trig on Ellishaw Hill to give the weather more time to clear.
The walk along West Hall Lane was pleasant enough and there were obvious earthworks to be seen at the site called Castleberg. At the tiny hamlet of Nesfield I took the path that climbs up alongside Dean Beck. Unlooked for this proved to be the nicest stretch of walking during the morning.
Eventually I made it up to the trig point at Ellishaw Hill, one of the least inspiring trig points I've yet come across. From the trig I basically followed the small road all the way to the woods by Beacon Hall where I turned off onto the path for the final climb up to Beamsley Beacon.
At the top I took shelter and ate my lunch in the shelter cairn on Old Pike as a brief but heavy shower passed over. When the shower passed over I was rewarded with some great views, both here, and when I returned to the actual Beacon itself.
Among other things I could see Pendle Hill, Chelker Reservoir, Skipton Moor, Embsay Moor, Thorpe Fell, Great Whernside, Simon’s Seat, Round Hill, Norwood Edge, Otley Chevin, March Ghyll Reservoir and Ilkley Moor. From the trig point on Beamsley Beacon there was a particularly good view down the valley towards Skipton.
After taking numerous photos I descended towards Beamsley village and after one false trail took the path that follows Kex Beck before striking north to cross the A59 at Oaks Hill. It was about here that my right knee started to feel sore and this put a bit of a dampener on the rest of the walk.
Despite this I decided against returning directly to Bolton Bridge and instead went on to Bolton Abbey via Storiths. It proved to be worth the pain my knee was giving me because, although I did not loiter long, it was nice to see the stepping-stones and priory without hordes of people about. The final section of the walk followed the Dales Way alongside the Wharfe back to Bolton Bridge. This was another fine section with the Wharfe looking particularly lovely.
This had been more of a ramble than a properly planned route and I had walked on more roads than I usually care to. The weather had put a dampener on the morning but I was amply rewarded for my efforts on Beamsley Beacon.