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Looking back to Sypeland Crags from the Jenny Twigg rocks
Looking back to Sypeland Crags from the Jenny Twigg rocks

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Route No. 349 - Wednesday 7 July 2010
Jenny Twigg & her daughter Tib circuit - 7km
Nidderdale . . .

Route map from Ordnance Survey Open Space service.

Map: OS Explorer 298 Nidderdale at 1:25000


<span class="caption">Our starting point about 2.5km out of Lofthouse on the road to Masham</span>
Our starting point about 2.5km out of Lofthouse on the road to Masham

The road back towards Lofthouse
The road back towards Lofthouse

Lapwing Too far away for a photo
Lapwing too far away for a good photo

The old County road to the Sype Land
The old County road to the Sype Land

We set offback along the road we had just driven up for about 600m to map ref. SE114750. Here we turned left onto a track heading out across the moor. We continued on the track for about 700m to a fork in the track at map ref. SE120746. Here we took the right hand fork and followed the track down the moor with the little valley of a beck on our left hand side. This part of the moor is called Sype Land and above us on our left were Sypeland Crags.

The weather forecast for today was poor with a low pressure area bringing us winds and rain. There did however seem to be an area on the eastern edge of the dales that could escape the worst of it. So we drove through Pateley Bridge to Lofthouse in Nidderdale, and drove up the steep narrow road that leads to Masham. We parked at the top of the hill where the road crosses a cattle grid onto the open moor at map ref. SE119754. We were just below the cloud base with a strong wind hurling a show at us when we got out of the car.

The old County road to the Sype Land
The old County road to the Sype Land

The old County road to the Sype Land
The old County road to the Sype Land

Lul Beck valley
Lul Beck valley

Sypeland Crags up to our left
Sypeland Crags up to our left

Lul Beck from the stone bridge
Lul Beck from the stone bridge

After about 2km we crossed a stone bridge over Lul Beck and after another 150m, at map ref. SE135727, we came to a junction in the track. Here we turned left onto another track climbing up the moor alongside Lul Beck.

The weather had improved and there were quite warm sunny spells and the occasional short blustery shower for the rest of the walk, so despite the bad forecast it turned out not to be too bad a day for a walk after all.

County road climbing up by Lul Beck
County road climbing up by Lul Beck

County road climbing up towards Sypeland Crags
County road climbing up towards Sypeland Crags

Lul Beck crags
Lul Beck crags

<span class="caption">Heath speedwell flowers by our path</span>
Heath speedwell flowers by our path

About 100m beyond the crags we turned left off the track to cross Lul Beck and climb up across the moor behind Lulbeck Crags. We sat in the heather with a pleasant view down the valley of Lul Beck to have our lunch.

We continued to climb along the track for about 1km to map ref. SE139738. Here on our left were Lulbeck Crags, a small outcrop of millstone grit standing at the confluence of two small becks (there are some more crags also called Lulbeck Crags about 1.5km to the south).

Heading across the moor
Heading across the moor

Rocks on Sypeland Crags
Rocks on Sypeland Crags

Wind erroded rocks on Sypeland Crags
Wind erroded rocks on Sypeland Crags

Wind erroded rock on Sypeland Crags
Wind erroded rock on Sypeland Crags

Bright red fruiting bodies on the moorland lichen
Bright red fruiting bodies on the moorland lichen

All the rocks along Sypeland Crags have been subject to wind errosion, producing some unusual shapes. The errosion has highlighted the bedding planes of the sedimentary material laid down to form these rocks showing subsequent layers at very different angles. I'm not sure how this happened.

After our break we made our way across the moor to the edge of Sypeland Crags and followed the rocky outcrop around the hillside in a large arc until we came to the two rocks called "Jenny Twigg and her daughter Tib".

Small moorland fungus
Small moorland fungus

Wind erroded rocks on Sypeland Crags
Wind erroded rocks on Sypeland Crags

Wind erroded rocks on Sypeland Crags
Wind erroded rocks on Sypeland Crags

Jenny twigg seen from Sypeland Crags
Jenny twigg seen from Sypeland Crags

Jenny Twigg and her daughter
Jenny Twigg and her daughter Tib from the South

It is rumoured that they were responsible for the murders of three pedlars whose bodies were found at Dead Man's Hill near Scar House Reservoir.

Two large freestanding rocks have been named Jenny Twigg and her daughter Tib after the proprietress and her daughter of an inn at Arkleside.

Jenny Twigg and her daughter
Jenny Twigg and her daughter Tib

Jenny Twigg and her daughter
Jenny Twigg and her daughter Tib from the North

Jenny Twigg and her daughter
Jenny Twigg and her daughter Tib looking south from the old County road

One of a line of stone grouse shooting butts
One of a line of stone grouse shooting butts

Trig point on Ouster Bank
Trig point on Ouster Bank

The worn inscription reads Malham 18 mile
The worn inscription on the mile post reads
Malham 18 mile. The route goes via Lofthouse,
Conistone and Mastiles Lane to Malham

The route around Sypeland Crags and the Jenny Twigg rocks is on open access land but there is no path and the going can be rough. The tracks we walked are part of the old highway network, I believe know as the Old County Roads. They are still public highways and as such I do not think that they are subject to the restrictions that can be applied to open access land.

From these two rocks we made our way north to a gate onto a track at map ref. SE130746, next to a shooting hut. We turned left to walk along the track for about 250m to a gate across the track. Here we turned right off the track to follow a path next to a wall heading across the moor to the trig point on Ouster Bank at map ref. SE120751. The trig point is on the opposite side of the wall to the path, but we did pass within a couple of metres of it. We continued to follow the path by the wall for another 500m back to the road where we had started. The whole walk had been about 7km and it had taken us around four hours to walk including our lunch break and several stops to look at the rock formations.

Track over Ouster Bank
Track over Ouster Bank

Old mile post next to our parking spot
Old mile post next to our parking spot