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I simply love Yorkshire and its magnificent scenery. Every season Yorkshire has something magical to offer. There's nothing better than getting my hiking boots on and disappearing into Yorkshire's superb countryside! I take my camera everywhere with me to ensure others can appreciate the many beautiful things that I see on my breathtaking walks. My photography has been featured on ITV Calendar, BBC Look North and has been published in The Yorkshire Ridings Magazine, The Yorkshire Dalesman, Country Walking Magazine and Countryfile magazine. Some of my images have been transformed into beautiful paintings by Yorkshire artists. At the end of 2013 I was selected to be the Face of Ordnance Survey. You can see me in the 'Explore More' campaign. Follow me on Twitter: @Yorkshireimages Email enquiries:

Wednesday, 5 January 2011

Simon's Seat, Upper Wharfedale - New Year's Eve 2010

This is a splendid hike for people who like a variety of woodland, moors, rivers and pastures.  The footpath is well surfaced throughout.

I started the walk at the Cavendish Pavilion car park, Bolton Abbey Estate (£6 for the day).  I crossed the bridge over the river Wharfe and followed the signs for 'The Valley of Desolation'. After leaving the Wharfe and a slight ascent up a country lane, a gate leads you into a pasture with immediate eye catching surroundings.

The clear marked track takes you to The Valley of Desolation, an area of land that was once destroyed by a violent storm. 

Just beyond this area is Posforth Gill Waterfalls.  If you leave the main footpath down a narrow track just beyond a seated viewing area, you can get a much better view of the falls.

After following the footpath along Posforth Gill, you are greeted by a lovely sheltered woodland area.  Along the woodland floor are the biggest pine cones I have ever seen!

After leaving the woodland you are opened up to the wonderful Barden Moors. Even at this time of year, Posforth Gill and the moors are bursting with colour.
The moorland is full of visitors, of a feathered variety! (It gets me thinking of a whisky advert!)
Take time to appreciate the views behind you before proceeding on up the well marked track.
It was quite misty on New Year's Eve across the valley below, but still worth admiring from high above in the hills!

Eventually the gritstone rocks of Simon's Seat come into view.  The views from the summit are tremendous. This is an excellent stopping point for a spot of lunch and to take in the magnificent views across Wharfedale (Western arc) and Nidderdale to the East.

From the summit you can clearly see Chelker Reservoir, Lower Barden reservoir, Appletreewick, Parceval Hall, Trollers Gill and Grimwith Reservoir. The uphill walk definitely has some rewarding views!

The descent down to Howgill is steep, but again, the dramatic scenery of Wharfedale is spectacular.

The breathtaking views continue even when dropping down into Howgill. Around every twist in the steep descent down lies another smashing eye-opener!

After reaching Howgill, simply follow the 'Dales Way' footpath along the Wharfe passing by Barden bridge.

Continue along the river until reaching the aqueduct and cross over the river at this point to ensure you get the best views of the strid further upstream.
The footpath throughout the well maintained woods is easy to follow down to the strid. It is worth remembering that many people have lost their lives at the strid due to the magnificent force of water that surges through a narrowing in the rocks.  Caution should be taken when walking along the rocks at the strid as they can be very slippery.
Only a 20 to 30 metres down stream all is calm again as the turmoil of the strid is left behind!

The walk ends where it began at the Cavendish Pavilion further downstream.


  1. Thank you Nicky. I feel as though I've just had a lovely Dales walk from the comfort of my office desk. I'd rather be out there for real though. All the best for 2011.

  2. Hi Nicky, Love the shot out of the window! Keep it up and I'll watch with interest... x