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Dob Park Bridge - an old pack horse bridge
Dob Park Bridge - an old pack horse bridge

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Route No. 168 - Saturday 4 March 2006
Blubberhouses, Fewston & Swinsty Reservoirs
Dob Park Bridge,Timble - 14.5km
Washburn Valley, Lower Wharfedale . . .

Maps: OS Explorer 297 Lower Wharfedale & Washburn Valley at 1:25000
Route Map on 'Landranger' base from OS Open Space service

The frozen river Washburn as it approaches Fewston reservoir
The frozen river Washburn as it approaches Fewston reservoir

From the car park we crossed the road bridge over the river Washburn and set off along the water company's permissive path down the east side of the reservoir. After about 1.5km we reached the reservoir dam. From the road over the dam we continued on the permissive path down the side of the dam to follow the shore of Swinsty reservoir.

At about 10.30 this morning I met a group of friends in the little car park at Blubberhouses at the head of Fewston Reservoir, map ref. SE 168553. It was an absolutely fabulous day for a good walk, with crisp cold air, clear blue sky, bright winter sunshine and a sprinkling of snow on top of the hard frost of the last few days.

The frozen head of Fewston reservoir
The frozen head of Fewston reservoir

Scots Pine on the hillside by Fewston Reservoir
Scots Pine on the hillside by Fewston Reservoir
The permissive path round Fewston reservoir
The permissive path round Fewston reservoir
The permissive path round Fewston reservoir
The permissive path round Fewston reservoir
Fewston reservoir
Fewston reservoir
The head of Swinsty reservoir solid with slushy snow
The head of Swinsty reservoir solid with slushy snow
The head of Swinsty reservoir solid with slushy snow
The head of Swinsty reservoir solid with slushy snow
Swinsty reservoir looking towards the dam
Swinsty reservoir looking towards the dam

A muscovy duck and a young goose try their luck for a share of our lunch
A muscovy duck and a young goose try their luck for a share of our lunch

From the picnic area we crossed an arm of the reservoir on a road bridge and then continued on the permissive path to the dam of Swinsty reservoir at map ref. SE 197527.

After about 1km we reached a picnic area next to a car park at map ref. SE 197536 where we stopped for a drink and we were instantly the focus of attention for a huge flock of geese and ducks.

Icicles next to the riverside path
Icicles next to the riverside path

Path beside the river Washburn below Swinsty Reservoir
Path beside the river Washburn below Swinsty Reservoir

Here we turned away from the river and climbed the track up the hill to a farm called Folly Hall. The farm house is an imposing three storey stone building. We walked through the farm yard and continued to climb the hill on the lane with a lovely view across the Washburn valley.

By this point we had joined a public footpath which we followed down the side of the dam to the River Washburn. We walked beside the river for about 1km to map ref. SE 190517 where there is a bridge over the river.

Climbing up the track towards Folly Hall
Climbing up the track towards Folly Hall

Looking across the Washburn valley from Hanging Banks above Dob Park bridge
Looking across the Washburn valley from Hanging Banks above Dob Park bridge

The lane joined a minor road at map ref. SE 195515 and we walked down the hill on the road to Dob Park Bridge over the river Washburn at map ref. SE 196508. Dob Park Bridge is a lovely old stone pack horse bridge. Once over the pack horse bridge we turned upstream to follow the river for about 1km to map ref. SE 188517.

Here there is a tiny stone footbridge over Timble Gill Beck, built in 1967 as a memorial to a rambler, Arthur Adamson.

Gorse in flower and hazel catkins - it's spring despite the snow
Gorse in flower and hazel catkins - it's spring despite the snow

Arthur Adamson memorial bridge over Timble Gill Beck
Arthur Adamson memorial bridge over Timble Gill Beck
Looking across the Washburn valley from the hill below Nether Timble
Looking across the Washburn valley from the hill below Nether Timble

From the memorial bridge we followed the path up the hill to Nether Timble where we joined the track to the village of Timble about 1km farther on. One of my friends had fond memories of the Timble Inn as a good walkers' pub with stone flag floors but the pub today was closed down and unoccupied.

Climbing the hill to Nether Timble
Climbing the hill to Nether Timble

Old stone gate post with holes for the poles that formed the gate
Old stone gate post with holes for the poles that formed the gate

Keen interest in the information board in Timble village
Keen interest in the information board in Timble village

We crossed the road and continued through the woods to join the Dales Way Link route (from Harrogate) at map ref. SE 175538.

From Timble village, map ref. SE 179529, we took the path northwards to a minor road at map ref. SE 177534.

Menwith Hill Air Base seen from Timble
Menwith Hill Air Base seen from Timble

Path through Beecroft Moor Plantation
Path through Beecroft Moor Plantation
Path through Beecroft Moor Plantation
Path through Beecroft Moor Plantation
The Dales Way Link route heading towards Blubberhpuses
The Dales Way Link route heading towards Blubberhpuses
The Dales Way Link route heading towards Blubberhpuses
The Dales Way Link route heading towards Blubberhpuses
Fewston reservoir from the Dales Way Link as we returned to the car park
Fewston reservoir from the Dales Way Link as we returned to the car park
The church at Blubberhouses seen from the Dales Way Link route

We followed the Dales Way Link route for the last 1.5km back to the car park. The whole route had been about 14.5km and had taken us 5 hours to walk including a couple of refreshment stops. It had been a perfect day for walking.

Left: The church at Blubberhouses seen from
the Dales Way Link route as we approached the car park.