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We saw serveral herons along the Dales Way from Ilkley to Addingham, this one was near Addingham
We saw several herons along the Dales Way from Ilkley to Addingham, this one was near Addingham

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Route No. 695 - Saturday 4 November 2017
Addingham Bark Lane, Nesfield, Owler Park Road,
Ilkley Bridge, Riverside park, Dales Way circuit - 9km
Wharfedale . . .

Route map from Ordnance Survey Open Space service.

Map: OS Explorer 297 Lower Wharfedale & Washburn Valley

Note: This walk is also described on the AA web site


The start of our walk at the lay-by where Bark Lane becomes North Street
The start of our walk at the lay-by where Bark Lane becomes North Street

Setting off from the lay-by on Bark Lane
Setting off from the lay-by on Bark Lane

Suspension footbridge over the River Wharfs below Bark Lane
Suspension footbridge over the River Wharfs below Bark Lane

We passed through the gap in the wall to a ramp that zig-zagged down the steep bank to a pedestrian suspension bridge over the River Wharfe. We crossed the river on the suspension bridge and continued along a track at the edge of a field where there was a large flock of sheep grazing. From the suspension bridge we followed this track for about 250m to West Hall farm where we joined the farm access road. We followed the farm access road out to a minor road at map ref. SE 085 502.

This morning I met the usual group of friends for our regular monthly walk together. Today's walk is led by our friend Geoff and we all met at a little lay-by at the eastern side of Addingham above the River Wharfe where Bark Lane becomes North Street at map ref. SE 083 498. We set off along Bark Lane for a few metres to the top end of the lay-by. Here there was a way through the wall on our right hand side.

The ramp down from Bark Lane to the River Wharfe
The ramp down from Bark Lane to the River Wharfe

Track from the suspension bridge to West Hall farm
Track from the suspension bridge to West Hall farm

Turning left on to the farm access road at West Hall farm
Turning left on to the farm access road at West Hall farm

Turning right on to the road to Nesfield
Turning right on to the road to Nesfield

Passing the road junction in Nesfield
Passing the road junction in Nesfield

At the road junction in Nesfield there a little wooden shelter with a seat that was apparently built in 1926 for the use of the local postman who delivered mail twice a day on foot.

At the public road, called West Hall Lane, we turned right and followed the road to the hamlet of Nesfield. The road through Nesfield is clearly popular with cyclists and numerous groups of riders passed us along this road.

Heading for Nesfield along the road
Heading for Nesfield along the road

Sign on the Postman's Shelter
Sign on the Postman's Shelter

The Postman's Shelter at the road junction in Nesfield
The Postman's Shelter at the road junction in Nesfield

Leaving Nesfield along the road
Leaving Nesfield along the road

Stile off the farm track to the path across the fields
Stile off the farm track to the path across the fields

Path across the fields nearing Low Austby
Path across the fields nearing Low Austby

We followed a public footpath along the edge of the fields to Low Austby. There was a small duck pond here below the path with various ducks & geese and a statue holding a large bird aloft.

From Nesfield we continued along the road for another 150m to a wide farm track bearing left off the road. We followed this farm track for a few metres to a stile into a field.

Turning left off the road about 150m from Nesfield
Turning left off the road about 150m from Nesfield

Path across the fields to Low Austby
Path across the fields to Low Austby

Ducks & geese by the little pond at Low Austby
Ducks & geese by the little pond at Low Austby

Stile into the woods above Low Austby
Stile into the woods above Low Austby

Path through the wood next to Low Austby
Path through the wood next to Low Austby

Path through Owler Park woods
Path through Owler Park woods

Walking down Owler Park road from the woods
Walking down Owler Park road from the woods

Looking straight ahead along Owler Park Road there were the distant Cow & Calf rocks on the sky line. We followed Owler Park Road down the hillside to the junction at the bottom where Common Holme Lane becomes Nesfield Road.

We crossed the stile above Low Austby into some woodland and continued along the public footpath across a field and through the pretty woodland of Owler Park. At the edge of Owler Park woods we came out onto a very well-to-do residential street called Owler Park Road.

Crossing the field to Owler Park woods
Crossing the field to Owler Park woods

Path through Owler Park woods
Path through Owler Park woods

Cow & calf rocks in the distance looking straight ahead along Owler Park Road
Cow & calf rocks in the distance straight ahead

Crossing Nesfield Road from Owler Park Road to the footpath opposite leading to the River Wharfe
Crossing Nesfield Road from Owler Park Road to the footpath opposite leading to the River Wharfe

Footpath to the River Wharfe from Nesfield Road
Footpath to the River Wharfe from Nesfield Road

2 female goosanders on the River Wharfe amongst the foliage
2 female goosanders on the River Wharfe amongst the foliage

Heading for the Riverside Park from the Ilkley Old Bridge
Heading for lunch in the Riverside Park from the Old Bridge

As we crossed the bridge there was the heron fishing at the river side. They are normally very shy & fly off long before being in camera range. Here the bird seemed to be used to people passing by all the time and took no notice of us at all, so I managed to get a decent photo.

We crossed the main road here to a public footpath opposite. This footpath led us down to the River Wharfe. We met two ladies walking their dogs who were keen to tell us about a heron standing at the edge of the river a little way ahead. We continued along the river bank path to the twin arched Ilkley Old Bridge.

Footpath to the River Wharfe from Nesfield Road
Footpath to the River Wharfe from Nesfield Road

Crossing the Ilkley Old Bridge
Crossing the Ilkley Old Bridge

Heron by the riverside path ignoring the passers-by
Heron by the riverside path ignoring the passers-by

The Ilkley Old Bridge where we joined the start of the Dales Way route
The Ilkley Old Bridge where we joined the start of the Dales Way route

Start of the Dales Way at the Ilkley Old Bridge
Start of the Dales Way at the Ilkley Old Bridge

Heron fishing in the River Wharfe upstream of the Old Bridge
Heron fishing in the River Wharfe upstream of the Old Bridge

The Old Bridge is the official start of the Dales Way long distance route of 82km to Bowness in the Lake District. From the Old Bridge we followed the Dales Way route along the river side path. About 150m from the Old Bridge along the river side path there was another heron fishing in the river by a large willow tree. We continued along the Dales Way route to the Ilkley Tennis Club. Next to the club house buildings we turned left off the club access road to a public footpath across the fields.

Just across the bridge we turned left through a gap in the wall and down some steps to the river bank. We walked along the river bank path towards the Ilkley Riverside Park to some bench seats overlooking the river. We stopped here for our lunch. A van came through the park to deliver a stack of wooden pallets and boxes for a bonfire tomorrow. After our lunch we retraced our steps back to the Old Bridge and the heron was still fishing but on the opposite side of the river.

Bend in the River Wharfe just upstream of the Old Bridge
Bend in the River Wharfe just upstream of the Old Bridge

Dales Way along the access road to Ilkey Tennis Club
Dales Way along the access road to Ilkley Tennis Club

Kissing gate from the tennis club access road to the Dales Way path across the field, but we turned right along the field edge
Kissing gate from the tennis club access road to the Dales Way path across the field, but we turned right along the field edge

Path along the field edge to some woodland
Path along the field edge to some woodland

Path entering the woodland
Path entering the woodland

The woodland path led us to the river bank
The woodland path led us to the river bank

A small group of sheep were heading through the 'fetch' gates at high speed but I couldn't see the dog anywhere. We continued on from this field corner to follow a well walked path through some woodland for about 400m and then along the river bank for another 150m to rejoin the route of the Dales Way at map ref. SE 099 483.

The Dales Way route along this path is well signed. However we took an unsigned path along the field edge on our right to the start of some woodland next to the river. There was a large field here with numerous off-road vehicles parked and as we approached we could see that a sheep dog trial was in progress.

Sheepdog trial, gallopping sheep but no dog
Sheep dog trial, galloping sheep but no dog

Path through the woodland
Path through the woodland

Following the riverside path upstream
Following the riverside path upstream

Rejoining the route of the Dales Way at map ref. SE 099 483
Rejoining the route of the Dales Way at map ref. SE 099 483

The Dales Way route along the river bank
The Dales Way route along the river bank

Dales Way heading upstream towards Ilkley Road
Dales Way heading upstream towards Ilkley Road

Gate from the riverside path on to Ilkley Road
Gate from the riverside path on to Ilkley Road

We walked along this road next to the river and there we saw yet another heron fishing at some stony rapids.

We followed the Dales Way route along the wooded river bank for about 1km to a gate on to a minor road (called Ilkley Road) at map ref. SE 092 484.

The Dales Way route past 'The Hollins' boundary fence
The Dales Way route past 'The Hollins' boundary fence

Dales Way heading upstream towards Ilkley Road
Dales Way heading upstream towards Ilkley Road

Heron seen over the wall at the roadside
Heron seen over the wall at the roadside

Footpath beside Ilkley Road with the River Wharfe on our right
Footpath beside Ilkley Road with the River Wharfe on our right

Continuing along Ilkley Road towards Addingham
Continuing along Ilkley Road towards Addingham

Finger post at the Old Lane turning
Finger post at the Old Lane turning

Walking along Old Lane towards Addingham
Walking along Old Lane towards Addingham

The gate clearly had not been opened for at least 10 years! We walked along Old Lane to a bend with a weir across the river on our right and into a pleasant stone-built residential street called Smithy Greaves. We followed an alleyway from this residential street into Low Mill Lane.

After about 400m along this road we turned right on to Old Lane still on the Dales Way route with the River Wharfe on our right. At the corner on our right there was a gate with a substantial ash sapling growing through the gate and securing it in position.

Turning off Ilkley Road on to Old Lane
Turning off Ilkley Road on to Old Lane

This end of the gate is supposed to open!
This end of the gate is supposed to open!

Dales Way route through a stone-built housing development
Dales Way route through a stone-built housing development

Walking along Smithy Greaves to the alleyway ahead leading to Low MIll Lane
Walking along Smithy Greaves to the alleyway ahead leading to Low Mill Lane

Low Mill Lane beside the Town Beck
Low Mill Lane beside the Town Beck

Turning right down some steps off Low Mill Lane
Turning right down some steps off Low Mill Lane

Bridge over Town Beck to the field next to St Peter's Church
Bridge over Town Beck to the field next to St Peter's Church

We continued along the Dales Way route beside Town Beck and then across the beck on a little stone arch footbridge into a grass field next to St. Peter's Church, Addingham.

We walked along Low Mill Lane with the River Wharfe below on our right. About 50m before the junction of Low Mill Lane with Church Street we turned right off Low Mill Lane down some stone steps.

Low Mill Lane beside the Town Beck
Low Mill Lane beside the Town Beck

Dales Way route from Low Mill Lane beside Town Beck
Dales Way route from Low Mill Lane beside Town Beck

Dales Way route across the field next to St. Peter's Church
Dales Way route across the field next to St. Peter's Church

St. Peter's Church, Addinghamon the Dales Way you can walk through the churchyard or by-pass it through the field as we did
St. Peter's Church, Addingham on the Dales Way you can walk through the churchyard or by-pass it through the field as we did

Crossing the church access road to the bridge over Town Beck
Crossing the church access road to the bridge over Town Beck

Stone arch footbridge over Town Beck leading to North Street
Stone arch footbridge over Town Beck leading to North Street

At the road we turned right, still following the route of the Dales Way. We walked up North Street for about 120m back to the lay-by and the end of our walk. The whole route had been 9km and it had taken us over three hours to walk including our lunch stop by the River Wharfe in Ilkley. The weather forecast had been accurate and the weather had stayed fine and improved to blue sky & sunshine as the day progressed.

We turned left here to cross the field with the church on our right. At the western end of the field joined the access road to the church for a few metres and the turned right off the access road to cross another little stone arch footbridge over the Town Beck with a pretty box hedge design next to the beck. The path across the footbridge led us out through a small development of stone-built houses into North Street.

Pretty box hedge by the bridge over Town Beck
Pretty box hedge by the bridge over Town Beck

Back at Bark Lane/North Street lay-by
Back at Bark Lane/North Street lay-by

Heading up North Street from the road bridge over Town Beck to the lay-by at the end of our walk
Heading up North Street from the road bridge over Town Beck to the lay-by at the end of our walk

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