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Bridge to Round Hill farm across an arm of Roundhill Reservoir
Bridge to Round Hill farm across an arm of Roundhill Reservoir

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Route No. 606 - Thursday 11 February 2016
Leighton Res, Roundhill Res, old county road,
6 Dales Trail, Low Ash Head fm, East Summer Side,
Pott Bank circuit - 9km
Yorkshire Dales . . .

Route map from Ordnance Survey Open Space service.

Map: OS Explorer 298 Nidderdale


Leighton Reservoir at the start of our walk
Leighton Reservoir at the start of our walk

Setting off from the lay-by at Leighton Reservoir
Setting off from the lay-by at Leighton Reservoir

Leighton Reservoir from the access road to Roundhill Reservoir
Leighton Reservoir from the access road to Roundhill Reservoir

Ilton-cum-Pott Sighting Tower
Ilton-cum-Pott Sighting Tower

After about 200m where the road had just begun to climb up Pott Bank we turned left off the road and over a cattle grid to follow the access road to the dam of Roundhill Reservoir a little further up the valley. We followed the access road above Leighton Reservoir with a fine view across the water to the craggy hillside of Ilton Moor. On the moor opposite was a striking stone built tower called the Ilton-cum-Pott Sighting Tower and it is a listed building.

The weather forecast for today is cold but bright and clear, so a great day for a walk on the hills. My friend, Jim, and I drove to Leighton Reservoir in the River Ure catchment area but also inside the Nidderdale area of outstanding natural beauty. We parked in a small informal lay-by off the road beside the reservoir at map ref. SE 156 784. Below us there was a large flock of greylag geese on the reservoir and a few flying overhead honking to each other. From our parking spot we continued along the road with the reservoir on our left.

Turning on to the access road to Roundhill Reservoir
Turning on to the access road to Roundhill Reservoir

The access road to Roundhill Reservoir
The access road to Roundhill Reservoir

Approaching the dam at Roundhill Reservoir
Approaching the dam at Roundhill Reservoir

The dam at Roundhill Reservoir
The dam at Roundhill Reservoir

Crossing the dam at Roundhill Reservoir
Crossing the dam at Roundhill Reservoir

Climbing up on to the moor from Roundhill Reservoir dam
Climbing up on to the moor from Roundhill Reservoir dam

Lovely view from this rock down to Round Hill farm
Lovely view from this rock down to Round Hill farm


Track across the moor leading to one of the old county roads


Arngill tower to our right as we climbed across the moor

We continued climbing up towards the moor top and noticed Arnagill Tower (map ref. SE 152 757) below us to our right near the head of the little valley. This circular stone tower was built to enhance the landscape by William Danby, the then owner of Swinton Estate in the early 1800's. About 2km from the Roundhill Reservoir dam we reached one of the old county roads across the moor at map ref. SE 154 753. This stony track is one of several routes across these moors that have been part of the public highway network for hundreds of years.

After about 850m along the access road we came to the dam of Roundhill Reservoir. We followed the access road across the dam and peered over the high parapet to see the long spillway slot over which water was flowing at about 150mm deep. At the south eastern end of the dam we followed a public footpath climbing up the hillside in a generally southerly direction. Below us on our right there was a lovely view of the stone bridge across the eastern arm of Roundhill Reservoir leading to Round Hill farm.

The spillway at Roundhill Reservoir
The spillway at Roundhill Reservoir

Gate with stile steps welded to it
Gate with stile steps welded to it

Bridge to Round Hill farm across an arm of Roundhill Reservoir
Bridge to Round Hill farm across an arm of Roundhill Reservoir


Arngill Tower in the little valley to our right

Track across the moor leading to one of the old county roads
Track across the moor leading to one of the old county roads

When we reached the stony track of the old county road we turned right
When we reached the stony track of the old county road we turned right & walked along it

Following the old county road south west
Following the old county road south west

We turned right at the junction to follow the route of the Six Dales Trail. This walking route was launched in June 2010 and goes from Otley in Wharfedale to Middleham in Wensleydale, a distance of 61km (38 miles).

At the stony track of the old county road we turned right and walked along the track for about 1km to map ref. SE 146 750 where there is a junction in the track.

Following the old county road south west
Following the old county road south west

Turning off the old county road to follow the Six Dales Trail along a track heading north west
Turning off the old county road to follow the Six Dales Trail along a track heading north west

Way marker for the Six Dales Trail
Way marker for the Six Dales Trail

The shooting houses are on the far side of this rocky outcrop
The shooting houses are on the far side of this rocky outcrop

We continued along the route of the Six dales Trail following a footpath through the heather. The start of the path may be a bit awkward to spot but it's directly in front of the first shooting house heading down the hillside.

We followed the Six Dales Trail along this track for about 500m to some shooting houses built up to the foot of a large gritstone crag at map ref. SE 143 753 where the track ended.

Following the Six Dales Trail along a moorland track
Following the Six Dales Trail along a moorland track


Walking away from the shooting houses along the 6 dales way

 Approaching the shooting houses at the foot of a large rocky outcrop
Approaching the shooting houses at the foot of a large rocky outcrop

Following the 6 dales trail down across the moor
Following the 6 dales trail down across the moor

View along Leighton Reservoir from the 6 dales trail
View along Leighton Reservoir from the 6 dales trail

These Swaledale ewes had found some grass by the path
These Swaledale ewes had found some grass by the path

From here we passed through a gateway in the next wall a few metres on our left and then across a field in front of the derelict Low Ash Head farm.

We followed the path down the hillside to the edge of the open access land where there is a metal gate through the wall.

Heading for the edge of the open access land
Heading for the edge of the open access land

The derelict High Ash Head farm away to our left
The derelict High Ash Head farm away to our left

Gate from the open access moor to the farm pasture land
Gate from the open access moor to the farm pasture land

The 6 dales trail led us through the derelict Low Ash Head farm
The 6 dales trail led us through the derelict Low Ash Head farm

Ruined buildings at Low Ash Head farm
Ruined buildings at Low Ash Head farm

Following the 6 dales trail down to Agill Beck
Following the 6 dales trail down to Agill Beck


Continuing along the 6 dales trail over the first of 3 streams

Six dales trail heading up to Summer Side
Six dales trail heading up to Summer Side

Arriving at Summer Side along the Six dales trail
Arriving at Summer Side along the Six dales trail

The path was well way-marked and we continued up to a farm access track at map ref. SE 141 773 next to Summer Side farm. At the farm access track we turned right to follow the track past Moorhead Cottages.

From the farm we followed the way-marked Six Dales Trail across the fields down to a farm access track at the head of a tiny reservoir formed by Agill Dam. We continued to follow the route of the Six Dales Trail that led us across three fields each with a small fast flowing stream at its edge crossed by a wooden footbridge.

Following the 6 dales trail from the ruined farm
Following the 6 dales trail from the ruined farm

Crossing Agill Beck on a farm access track
Crossing Agill Beck on a farm access track

Six dales trail heading up to Summer Side
Six dales trail heading up to Summer Side

Six dales trail heading up to Summer Side
Six dales trail heading up to Summer Side


Finger post on the six dales trail at Summer Side

Following the six dales trail past Moorhead Cottage
Following the six dales trail past Moorhead Cottage

Six dales trail turns left here to head across the field
Six dales trail turns left here to head across the field . . .

Nearing the junction at the top od Pott Bank
Nearing the junction at the top of Pott Bank

A face off about grazing rights
A face off about grazing rights

Here we turned right and walked down Pott Bank, past Pott Hall Farm and down to the edge of Leighton Reservoir. We continued along the road beside the reservoir for another 200m back to our parking spot and the end of the walk.

Here the Six Dales Trail turns left off the farm access road heading northwards across the fields, but we continued along the farm access road which becomes a public road at this point. We followed the road past Stott Fold and out to Pott Bank at map ref. SE 147 779.

we kept straight on along the road, leaving the 6 dales trail
. . . we kept straight on along the road, leaving the 6 dales trail

Passing Pott Hall Farm on our way down Pott Bank
Passing Pott Hall Farm on our way down Pott Bank

Leighton Reservoir at the bottom of Pott Bank
Leighton Reservoir at the bottom of Pott Bank

Back at our parking spot by Leighton Reservoir at the bottom of Pott Bank
Back at our parking spot by Leighton Reservoir at the bottom of Pott Bank and the end of our walk

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