These late evenings are great as I get home from work and can have a quick walk or wander before the sun goes down. This one is a shot of a solitary climber belaying his friend on some local crags, whilst the sun sets over the moors. The tower in the distance is a local landmark at Norwood Edge and I think it has something to do with Leeds/Bradford airport a few miles away.
It was such a gorgeous weekend and my daughter suggested I take my grandsons out to the ‘local beauty spot’ for a play. I thought she knew me better – I don’t do ‘local beauty spots’, for a start it would be choc-a-bloc busy and I hate touristy places. But I could hear the moors beckoning…
The oldest, Mackenzie, is 6 and he often comes with me on my walks. He is a seasoned hiker and loves the moors and Dales – he probably knows them better than most adults, and he has walked 11 miles with me before. He is always up for a walk and never tires. He can read a map and is very competent.
Finley is 4, and although he has been with me once or twice before on short walks, his was an unknown quantity. I didn’t know if he had his brothers stamina, but I thought I would give him the chance to prove himself.
So I packed a rucksack, binoculars, map and camera and we set off. I had thought about a visit to the Eagle Stone on Blubberhouses moor, but it is quite a hike. Instead I chose Lippersley Pike – and old stone shelter (some say a Roman Watchtower – as the Roman road is nearby). In truth I don’t think anyone knows what it is…
So we walked through Timble Old Wood, and past a pond which was teeming with frogs. Finley wouldn’t hold one in case it ‘bit him’. We looked for deer (didn’t see any) and had our dinner at Lippersley Pike. We climbed standing stones, took photos and chased each other in the heather (Finley said the prickly heather reminded him of a Hedgehogs bum).
We never made it to the Eagle Stone – it would have been far for Finley. But he did manage 5 miles…which for a 4 year old is quite some going. He loved every minute of it – we all did.
Anyway, back to ours where Shirl peeled off their (very) muddy clothes and ran them in a hot soapy bath, then we all had tea and told each other tales of the moors and the hedgehogs bum.
Better than any ‘local beauty spot’ :-)
A couple of weeks ago I was out walking on the moors with two friends, one who suggested we have a look for Harden stone circle. He had been there several times and has written about it here. He knew I liked circles and thought I would like to see this one.
Harden moor is a few miles from my home, and contains a wealth of prehistoric remains – including about 20 known burial mounds, a damaged enclosure and some standing stones (now sadly damaged). It also contains a really lovely little stone circle. I was keen to see it.
So in heavy rain, we traipsed through deep wet heather, getting soaked, and eventually met a small path used by mountain bikers and dog walkers, and before long there it was in front of us. A really beautiful 5000 year old stone circle. Unfortunately the path went straight through the middle of it – one or two stones having been knocked down to make way for it.
Unfortunately this is often the way with these ancient artifacts – people who should (and are paid) to protect these monuments, don’t. So many are being destroyed by ignorant farmers, landowners and others (don’t get me started)…
A little about the circle – it is probably a ‘ring cairn’ rather than a pure ‘stone circle‘ – and it is a rare ‘double’ ring too. It is 24 feet across and contains about 20 standing stones. It was excavated in the 1950’s and “four or five Bronze Age urns” were discovered – possibly containing Bronze Age cremation ashes – no more information about where they now are are available.
Anyway, it is a beautiful little circle and if you are in the area well worth a visit. It is so easy to get to, half an hour walking over the moors – of you can take your mountain bike – the path goes straight through it!
This is Blubberhouses moor – looking towards Timble Great Wood and beyond. It is bleak, wild and (I think) very beautiful.
It contains a wealth of prehistoric rock carvings, ancient settlements, standing stones and burial cairns. A dead straight Roman Road runs across it, and various tracks were used by the monks of nearby Fountains Abbey on their long lonely journeys. They left behind strange marker stones and odd carvings.
The fence is to keep the sheep from wandering off the moor (but it doesn’t always work, and many times you round a corner and there are a couple of them in the road). There are various paths across the moors, but it is easy to get lost and a map and compass can be vital tools to take.
I drive past it almost every day, and I can see it from my upstairs window. I will write much more about this fascinating moor shortly – stay tuned :-)