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Looking back to Menwith Hill base from Blubberhouses Moor
Looking back to Menwith Hill base from Blubberhouses Moor

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Route No. 193a - Saturday 6 November 2010
Blubberhouses, Roman Road
Lippersley Ridge, Fewston Res. circuit - 12km
Washburn Valley, Lower Wharfedale . . .

This is a slight variation of route no. 193 walked on 7 September 2006

Route map from Ordnance Survey Open Space service.

Map: OS explorer 297 Lower Wharfedale & Washburn Valley


Blubberhouses Church & Blubberhouses Hall from the start of the   climb onto Blubberhouses Moor
Blubberhouses Church & Blubberhouses Hall from the start of the climb onto Blubberhouses Moor

The track out of Blubberhouses
The track out of Blubberhouses

Gate onto the old byway up  to the Roman Road
Gate onto the old byway up to the Roman Road

After about 150m we turned right off the road on to an access track in front of some houses. At the end of the houses the track turned up hill and there was a gate out onto the open moor. There was a well walked path heading southwest up the hillside through coarse marsh grass for about 400m from the gate to join the route of the old Roman Road at map ref. SE163545.

This morning my wife and I met a group of friends at the car park off the A59 at Blubberhouses next to the inlet to Fewston Reservoir, map ref. SE169553. It was a perfect day for a walk with clear blue sky and bright autumn sunshine. From the car park we set off along the road, up the hill past the church.

Old waterpump by the track at Blubberhouses
Old waterpump by the track at Blubberhouses

Following the old byway to the Roman Road
Following the old byway to the Roman Road

The Roman Road with a few foundation stones still visible
Roman Road with a few foundation stones still visible

Crossing Sun Bank Gill on the line of the Roman Road
Crossing Sun Bank Gill on the line of the Roman Road

We crossed the little valley of Gill Beck, called Sun Bank Gill and continued up the slope.

We walked along the route of the Roman Road for about 2.5km. The route is well walked but it's still easy to loose the track in the boggy areas of marsh grass.

Following the Roman Road across the moor
Following the Roman Road across the moor

In places the boggy ground and coarse marsh grass make the path easy to loose
Boggy ground & coarse marsh grass can make the path easy to loose

Crossing Sun Bank Gill on the line of the Roman Road
Crossing Sun Bank Gill on the line of the Roman Road

Walkers on Lipersley Ridge
Walkers on Lippersley Ridge

Heading for Gawk Hill Gate
Heading for Gawk Hill Gate

Heading for Gawk Hill Gate
Heading for Gawk Hill Gate

However on the ground there was little sign of a path continuing along the Roman Road and we simply kept to the only path we noticed which was the path to Gawk Hill Gate. Once there we stopped to sit on a bank next to the wall for our lunch with a fine view Northeast, across the moor.

Ahead of us we could see a large party of walkers making their way along Lippersley Ridge, silhouetted against the bright sun light, and the ladder stile at Gawk Hill gate. At map ref. SE139536 the map shows a path off to the left heading across to Gawk Hill Gate about 800m away to the Southwest.

Ladder stile at Gawk Hill Gate  about 1km away
Ladder stile at Gawk Hill Gate about 1km away

Boundary stone built into the wall
Boundary stone built into the wall

Arriving at Gawk Hill Gate
Arriving at Gawk Hill Gate

Lunch stop at Gawk Hill Gate
Lippersley Ridge and the open moor from our lunch stop at Gawk Hill Gate

About to leave Gawk Hill Gate
About to leave Gawk Hill Gate

Path from Gawk Hill Gate to Lippersley ridge
Path from Gawk Hill Gate to Lippersley Ridge

Path along Lippersley Ridge
Path along Lippersley Ridge

After about 1.5km we reached the edge of the conifer plantation called Back Allotment, at map ref. SE149525.

After our break we continued along Lippersley Ridge. At a high point on the ridge we came to a stone windbreak shelter where there was a good view over Wharfedale to Otley and Ilkley.

Path from Gawk Hill Gate to Lippersley ridge
Path from Gawk Hill Gate to Lippersley Ridge

Windbreak shelter on Lippersley Ridge
Windbreak shelter on Lippersley Ridge

Entering the conifer plantation at the end of Lippersley Ridge
Conifer plantation at the end of Lippersley Ridge


Windbreak shelter on Lippersley Ridge

Entering the conifer plantation at the end of Lippersley Ridge
Conifer plantation at the end of Lippersley Ridge

Stone track through the plantation
Stone track through the plantation

We continued along this track for another 1.5km to a road junction at map ref. SE170530.

There was a good gravel path through the plantation and after about 400m it became a stone forest access track.

Gravel path through the plantation
Gravel path through the plantation

The road towards Timble
The road towards Timble

Ponds by the Gravel path through the plantation
Ponds by the stone track through the plantation

Looking down the Washburn Valley towards Lindley Wood Reservoir
Looking down the Washburn Valley towards Lindley Wood Reservoir

Powerful tractor by the roadside
Powerful tractor by the roadside

Turning off the road into Beecroft moor Plantation
Turning off the road into Beecroft Moor Plantation

Footbridge over Thackray Beck
Footbridge over Thackray Beck

At this point we turned left off the road on to a path through Beecroft Moor Plantation. We followed the path through the trees for almost 700m to a footbridge over Thackray Beck at the edge of the plantation at map ref. SE174540.

We crossed the junction to follow the road towards Timble for about 250m to another junction. Here we turned left and continued along the road for another 400m to map ref. SE177534.

Road towards Fewston
Road towards Fewston

Path through Beecroft Moor Plantation
Path through Beecroft Moor Plantation

Path across the fields back to the car park
Path across the fields back to the car park

Path through Beecroft Moor Plantation
Path through Beecroft Moor Plantation

Path across the fields back to the car park
Path across the fields back to the car park

'Dalesbred' tupps ready to get the season's lambing underway
'Dalesbred' tupps ready to get the season's lambing underway

It had been a lovely walk of 12km in the autumn sunshine and quite varied with the open moor, conifer forest, pasture land and views of the reservoir. The whole walk had taken us about four and a half hours including our lunch stop.

Beyond the footbridge, the path continued over the fields for 1.5km back to the car park. Along the way there were lovely views of Fewston Reservoir surrounded by the trees in full autumn colour.

Path across the fields back to the car park
Path across the fields back to the car park

Blubberhouses Church above the car park
Blubberhouses Church above the car park

Path down the slope back to the car park
Path down the slope back to the car park at Blubberhouses next to Fewston Reservoir

Fewston Reservoir seen from the footpath across the fields
Fewston Reservoir seen from the footpath across the fields

Fewston Reservoir seen from the footpath across the fields
Fewston Reservoir seen from the footpath
Fewston Reservoir seen from the footpath across the fields
Fewston Reservoir seen from the footpath
Fewston Reservoir seen from the footpath across the fields
Fewston Reservoir seen from the footpath across the fields