The River Wharfe at Bolton Abbey
The River Wharfe at Bolton Abbey

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Route No. 299 - Wednesday 24 June 2009
Bolton Abbey, Beamsley, Storiths circuit - 9km
Wharfedale, Yorkshire Dales . . .

Ordnance Survey route map on the Landranger series map base.
View the route in Google Earth

Map: OS Explorer OL2 Yorkshire Dales Southern & Western areas at 1:25000


Bolton Abbey
Bolton Abbey

The River Wharfe near Bolton Abbey
The River Wharfe near Bolton Abbey

It's such a convenient starting and finishing place for a walk with toilets and a decent, but not cheap, cafe. We set off at about 10.00 am along the river bank towards Bolton Abbey. After about a kilometer the path led us up the slope to the road at map ref. SE075544 where there is a large monument to a member of the Cavendish family (Dukes of Devonshire).

The weather forecast for today was very good warm and sunny with a light breeze, jst right for walking, so Jim and I drove to the Cavendish Pavilion Cafe on the River Wharfe about a 1.5km upstream of Bolton Abbey at map ref SE 077552. The car parking there is expensive at £6.

Monument to a member of the Cavendish family
Monument to a member of the Cavendish family

The graveyard at Bolton Abbey
The graveyard at Bolton Abbey

Path on the river bank near Bolton Abbey
Path on the river bank near Bolton Abbey

We walked through the graveyard to the river side and continued along the river bank for just over a kilometer to Bolton Bridge.

From there we followed the road round to a path on our left into the graveyard at Bolton Abbey.

Path on the river bank from Bolton Abbey to Bolton Bridge
Path on the river bank from Bolton Abbey to Bolton Bridge

Bolton Bridge over the River Wharfe
Bolton Bridge over the River Wharfe

Path alongside the A59 at Bolton Bridge
Path alongside the A59 at Bolton Bridge

Foxgloves by the path
Foxgloves by the path

Here we turned right to walk along Beamsley Lane to the edge of Beamsley village. At map ref. SE 077525 we turned left off the lane on to a farm track following Kex Beck upstream for about 600m to map ref. SE 083528. Here we climbed up the bank on our left to cross a stile and walk over three fields back to the A59.

We crossed the river on the bridge and once over the bridge we imediately turned right on to a footpath that took us under the busy main road, A59, to a path on the south side of the road well screen from the traffic by trees and shrubs. We followed this path alongside the main road for about 350m to Beamsley Lane.

A retired muck spreader
A retired muck spreader

Track above Kex Beck near Beamsley
Track above Kex Beck near Beamsley

Looking back to Beamsley Beacon from the path near the A59
Looking back to Beamsley Beacon from the path near the A59

Start of the access road to New Hall farm
Start of the access road to New Hall farm

As we entered the next field we encountered a problem. There was a herd of cows all with young calves. As we approached along the edge of the field by the wire fence, all the cows stood up and faced us with their heads held up in that characteristc stance when they are feeling aggressive.

We crossed the main road and about 150m along the main road we turned down an access road between some modernised cottages to head towards New Hall Farm. A little way before we reached the farm the path turned sharp right and after 100m turned sharp left round the edge of a field to skirt around the farm.

A curlew burbbling a warning to its chicks as we approached
A curlew burbbling a warning to its chicks as we approached

Rolling farmland seen from the access road to New Hall farm
Rolling farmland seen from the access road to New Hall farm

Stile on the path to Storiths
Stile on the path to Storiths

I was glad we had the fence between us as several of them made mock charges at the fence as we passed. At the end of the field we were able to go through another gate into the field beyond the cattle and rejoin the path.

The ring leaders began to move towards us so we decide discetion was called for and we went through a gate on our right into the next field. We continued to follow the fence, but now on the opposite side to the cows.

An array of wild flowers on a bank by the path
An array of wild flowers on a bank by the path

Path across the fields to Storiths
Path across the fields to Storiths

Cafe at "Back O' Th' Hill Farm"
Cafe at "Back O' Th' Hill Farm"

White-tailed Bumble bee - lucorum complex I think
White-tailed Bumble bee - lucorum complex I think

It's a querky place with a series of model railway layouts up stairs that you can switch on, and lots of model railway paraphernalia to buy. We stopped here for our lunch, a large coffee, delicious bacon & egg sandwich and a toasted tea cake.

We followed the path across the fields to a lane on the edge of the village of Storiths. We walked along the land to the road through the village and went into a cafe at "Back O'th' Hill Farm".

White-tailed Bumble bee - lucorum complex I think
White-tailed Bumble bee - lucorum complex I think

Young cattle chewing the cud on a hot afternoon
Young cattle chewing the cud on a hot afternoon

The path from Storiths down to the River Wharfe
The path from Storiths down to the River Wharfe

The path from Storiths down to the River Wharfe
The path from Storiths down to the River Wharfe

From there we continued down the path between dry stone walls until we met a path on the east side of the River Wharfe at map ref. SE076542.

We then retraced our steps along the lane out of the village to map ref. SE 080542.

Bolton Abbey seen across the River Wharfe
Bolton Abbey seen across the River Wharfe

Foxgloves by the path
Foxgloves by the path

Wild roses in the hedgerow
Wild roses in the hedgerow

We followed the path for almost a kilometer to a minor road at map ref. SE 080549. We paddled across the ford (there is a footbridge but it was more fun to paddle in our boots).

There was a good view across the river to Bolton Abbey as we turned right to follow the path up stream, high up on the slope above the river.

Path above the River Wharfe
Path above the River Wharfe

Coins hammered into a fallen tree as a good luck charm
Coins hammered into a fallen tree as a good luck charm

Path through the woods above the River Wharfe
Path through the woods above the River Wharfe

Just across the ford we turned left off the road to join a path along the river bank back to the bridge over the River Wharfe at the Cavendish Pavilion Cafe where we had started our walk.

Path through the woods above the River Wharfe
Path through the woods above the River Wharfe

Cattle grazing by rge river
Cattle grazing by the river

The roots of an old sycamore spread over the river bank
The roots of an old sycamore spread over the river bank

The River Wharfe at the Cavendish Pavilion cafe
The River Wharfe at the Cavendish Pavilion cafe

We had a coffee at the Cavendish Pavilion cafe before heading back home in the sunshine. The whole route had been about 9km and it had taken us three and a half hours to walk including our lunch stop at Storiths.

Returning to the Cavendish Pavilion Cafe by the River Wharfe
The River Wharfe at the Cavendish Pavilion cafe

Background Notes:
This walk is 9km, that's a little under 6 miles, in Wharfedale around Bolton Abbey. We start from the Cavendish Pavilion Cafe beside the River Whale where there is a large riverside car park. Many people don't make it much further than the car park and simply picnic on the river bank. But we walk downstream from the car park to Bolton Abbey or more properly Bolton Priory. The Priory was an Augustine monastery founded in the early 1100's at Embsay and moved to its present site on land donated to them in the mid 1100's They flourished for over 400 years until the dissolution of the monasteries in the late 1530's. The river bank at Bolton Abbey is a popular picnic spot at a bend in the river with a shingle beach upstream of the stepping stones, but downstream of the stepping stones & footbridge another bend produces some strong, dangerous currents in the deep water on the outside of the bend. We continue along the riverside to Bolton Bridge that used to carry the A59 over the Wharfe. Now it's on a quiet dead end access road. Just over the bridge we turn off the road to follow a path under the new A59 and alongside the main road on a pleasant path well screened from the busy traffic. From the edge of Beamsley we follow a path along a farm track by Kex Beck and then climb up across the fields with lovely views over Wharfedale to the village of Storiths. The reason for coming to Storiths is The Buffers Cafe located in a dairy farm called Back o' th' Hill Farm (and written on the sign posts in dialect with appropriate apostrophies) It's a good cafe but its claim to fame is the model railway there. The first floor is taken over by large model railway layouts where you can push the buttons to operate the trains yourself. All good fun! From the cafe we drop down to a path along the riverside again. This path is quite high up on the steep wooded bank above the river with really amazing views through the trees to Bolton Abbey. At a couple of places along this path there are fallen trees completely studded with low value coins. The coins are hammered into the wood as a good luck charm and it's clear that many people still do it and there are hammer stones left on the tree trunks ready for use. The path follows the river upstream through lovely woodland by the river, back to the bridge at the Cavendish Pavilion Cafe where we end this weeks walk.

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