Walk. Bolton Abbey and Simon’s Seat. 12.74 miles

We’ve been meaning to visit Bolton Abbey Estate and Simon’s Seat for a long time and finally got round to it. After a bit of searching on the web we came across a site which we now use regularly for planning our walks. It mainly covers Yorkshire but there are walks from all over too.

So to start with we decided to save the £10 parking fee at Bolton Abbey and park at Barden Bridge where there’s room for about 20 cars. Tip… Get there early as we arrived at 9.30am on a drab Saturday morning and got the last space. It’s obviously a very popular spot for walkers.

Car park at Barden Bridge

The route we chose was along the River Wharfe. For the first mile we followed the river with stunning views of dry stone walled fields on our right and the river on our left where we spotted some dippers which was a first for us.

Along the River Wharfe “dipper” spotting.

We turned away from the river and up towards the hamlet of Howgill, from there it was a steep climb up some narrow walled lanes, through a forest and up onto the moorland.

We emerged from the damp but stunning wood onto the moorland. The weather was a bit cool and breezy but we’d worked up quite a sweat through the steep woodland path so it was a bit of a relief for now. The path became more rocky and unstable so we were glad of our boots for extra ankle support rather than wearing our trail shoes.

First view of Simon’s Seat.

Another mile or so of steady climbing brought us to the top of the moor and some great views of Wharfedale. I imagine on a glorious sunny day the views would be amazing.

Appletreewick in the mist.

The weather was definitely taking a turn for the worse so we headed downhill towards Bolton Abbey in the rain.

The path meandered downhill through woods then farmland before emerging out at the river again jut a short walk from the Cavendish Pavilion cafe at Bolton Abbey. A quick Cream Tea later we decided to head east along the valley to Bolton Abbey itself rather than head straight back west to Barden Bridge. This added about 3 miles to our planned 10 mile walk. It was definitely worth it though. It had stopped raining and was definitely a bit brighter.

The River Wharfe with Abbey in the distance.

We followed the path back to the Cavendish Pavillion passing high up through the woods with great views of the river and abbey. From here it was about 2 miles back to Barden Bridge and a delicious Yorkshire Dales ice cream.

View of the Wharfe from the Strid.

If you’re lucky the ice cream van will be open.

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