white horse logo

 

Menu:

National Parks

| 2001 walks | 2002 walks | 2003 walks | 2004 walks |
| 2005 walks | 2006 walks | 2007 walks | 2008 walks |
| 2009 walks | 2010 walks | 2011 walks | 2012 walks |
| 2013 walks | 2014 walks | 2015 walks | 2016 walks |
| 2017 walks | 1993-2000 library | Find a Route |
| A few Routes to print out | Request a Route... |

Route No 89 - 30 July 2003
Barden Moor, Rylstone Cross,
Cracoe Monument
circuit - 18.5 km
Yorkshire Dales

Map:OS Explorer OL2 Map of Yorkshire Dales
Southern & Western areas at 1:25000
Route Map from Ordnance Survey Open Space service


Rylstone Cross
Rylstone Cross

We continued on the bridleway along a grouse shooters' track for about 6km. to map ref. SD 983571 at the wall along the craggy edge of the moor overlooking Rylstone and Cracoe. We turned right here to follow the wall along the edge. The whole moor except for the reservoirs is all open access land here. There is no path marked on the map along the wall side but there is a good well walked path on the ground. We followed the path beside the wall for about 600m climbing all the time to Rylstone Cross where we stopped for a break to admire the view. The dramatic sky just added to the amazing spectacle. There was Pendle Hill in the distance to the south west, the top of Ingleborough visible to the north west, and a peep into Wharfedale to the north east.

The weather forecast for today predicted heavy showers getting fewer from the west during the morning and better bright sunny spells in the afternoon. This was the best we could pick out for a walk this week, so we decided to drive west to map ref. SE 037553 on the road from Barden Bridge to Embsay. At about 10am we set off along the bridleway over Embsay Moor overlooking the huge bowl of moorland that includes Upper and Lower Barden reservoirs. Looking across the Lower Barden reservoir to the hills on the far side of Wharfedale above Grassington, the sky was very threatening. We had been walking for about 20 minutes when the rain we had been watching approach finally hit us. It lasted for almost half an hour as we plodded over the moor, but when it stopped the cloud was much more broken and the sunny spells were quite hot.

Pendle Hill in the distance from Rylstone Cross
Pendle Hill in the distance from Rylstone Cross

Cracoe monument, war memorial
Cracoe monument, war memorial

We continued on the track for another 1.5km to map ref. SE015599, where there is a substantial stone shooting hut (more a solid stone house really). About 400m beyond the shooting hut the track forks and we took the right fork to map ref. SE 024595 where we turned right down a pleasant green track for about 100m to a small reservoir at map ref. SE 024594. We continued along the green track passed the reservoir for about 2.3km to the dam at Upper Barden reservoir. We took the permissive path across the crest of the dam to map ref. SE 013575. From here we turned left on to a track across the moor to map ref. SE 022563 on the bridleway we had started out along. At the bridleway we retraced our steps for about 1.8km back to the car. the whole route was about 18.5km and took us five and a half hour to walk including our stops. On the way back we stopped at the Strid car park and had a coffee at one of the picnic tables before heading for home.

By now the weather was fine and we had no more trouble with rain, in fact it was a wonderful day for walking with dramatic skies and warm sunny intervals. After our break we continued along the edge to Cracoe Monument, a stone obilisk war memorial at map ref. SD 993588. We climbed the ladder stile over the wall to go see the view from the rocky mound where the obilisk stands. It was superb! We met a couple at the stile who were walking a similar route to us but the other way round. They were the only other people we met all day. We left the obilisk and continued along the path beside the wall for about 1.2km by this point the path had become a stoney track and the wall fell away to our left.

Looking into Wharfedale from the ridge near Cracoe Monument
Looking into Wharfedale from the ridge near Cracoe Monument

Looking 
                across Lower Barden reservoir to Wharfedale
Looking across Lower Barden reservoir to Wharfedale

Looking east from Rylstone Cross
Looking east from Rylstone Cross
Approaching Rylstone Cross along the ridge
Approaching Rylstone Cross along the ridge
Upper Barden reservoir from the dam
Upper Barden reservoir from the dam
The ling heather now almost in full bloom
The ling heather now almost in full bloom
Upper Barden reservoir as we set out
Upper Barden reservoir as we set out
Rylstone Cross from Cracoe monument
Rylstone Cross from Cracoe monument
Former reservoir keeper's house
Former reservoir keeper's house
Ruined chimney at map ref. SE 019597
Ruined chimney at map ref. SE 019597