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Yesterday was a special day for me. It was the first time I had been on a ‘proper’ walk for nearly a year. I had suffered an injury in January which resulted in major surgery on both knees, and only very recently have I been able to walk more than a few yards without any pain.

Up through the bracken, the path is still rough going

But I have been going to the Gym as part of the recovery process and this has helped a lot. I had walked a hundred yards a month ago – which really hurt the next day, but now I was feeling confident I could do more…and the moors were looking beautiful in the late afternoon sun.

After half a mile or so the new stone path is reached.

I deliberately chose an easy route – one which leads over the top of the moor towards ‘Dick Hudsons’ pub at Eldwick. I knew I wouldn’t be able to make it all the way as it was too far, but I was confident I could at least make it to the ‘Twelve Apostles’ Neolithic stone circle which lies at the top of the moor.

A little 'mini-cairn' of stones near the path

A little ‘mini-cairn’ of stones near the path

So I set my satnav to measure the distance, and climbed the steep slope up to the moors. It was so nice to be back, and soon the green bracken gave way to purple heather and I met the new stone path.

The 'Twelve Apostles' stone circle, looking resplendent in a sea of purple heather. the circle is 4500 to 5000 years old

The ‘Twelve Apostles’ stone circle, looking resplendent in a sea of purple heather. If you are going to construct a stone circle, then there is no better place with those majestic views all around.

I reached the ‘Apostles’ without incident and stopped for a few minutes to enjoy the view. This stone circle is 4500 years old and is one of about 7 circles on these moors, but is the best known. The others are ‘hidden’ in the heather and off the main paths. Also one has been recently destroyed by a moron farmer (I recently visited the stones which were pulled up and were leaning against his wall).

The path winding back towards Ilkley

After a few minutes I set off back and enjoyed the spectacular views over Beamsley moor and the far away Dales. The sun was starting to set as I made the climb down to the road and the car. I clocked 2.89 miles in 2 hours 12 minutes – although I stopped frequently to take photographs. Not bad for a first walk really. I was pleased with myself.

The sun is starting to set and the end of a lovely day

The sun is starting to set and the end of a lovely day

I am a bit stiff this morning – but not nearly as much as I thought I would be! And it is a start. I  will soon be on the moors again 🙂