Walk No. 11 to SIMON's SEAT (485m) Simon reputedly a shepherd who found an abandoned baby here at the 'saetr' (Norse) house at the summer pastures VALLEY OF DESOLATION and STRID watery grave of The Boy Egremond 1251 who misjudged his usual leap whilst out hunting with his hound from BARDEN BRIDGE graceful three-arched bridge along with nearby Barden Tower, a hunting lodge, both rebuilt by legendary Lady Anne Clifford 1676.

Route map from Ordnance Survey Open Space service.

(This route was contributed by Phil Dance - thanks for this one Phil!)
(There is also a description of a similar route in my walking diary - Route no. 007 11 September 2001)

Park: Barden Bridge (east) free, room for 20 cars, but busy weekends, summer.
Dippers, herons, ducks, geese. [alt. P, room for 4 cars by Waterfall Cottage on minor road south of Posforth Bridge]
Length 9 m. 14 km. 3 - 4 hours. Map OS Explorer 297. (walked 2 Dec 06)

Walk north soon leaving the road on to a green path by Wharfe bank (Dales Way, part) bear right with beck across road on high walled narrow lane (packhorse) into Howgill. Cross Howgill Lane (packhorse between Pateley Bridge, and Pinder Hawes Hill and Grassington; a nearby milestone in the wall announces ' To Pateley Bridge M6') heading on east and uphill, past open access board, on a snaking permissive lane to the moor.

Follow a defined shooting track north east uphill. Simon's Seat is the highest millstone grit rock outcrop - just keep going NE and N and you're there. It's crowned with a Trig. point (485) courtesy Wm. Roy, the '45 Jacobite Rebellion and the founding of the Ordnance Survey. Fine views to the north of Skyreholme, Appletreewick and the Wharfe Valley.

The return follows the same rough path to a T junction where turn left (SE) parting company with the original path. Downhill the path improves - gentrified gravel - to take you on the east side of Great Agill Beck. The path is well defined and heads S through a coniferous plantation. Leaving the trees behind you are in a small sheltered valley - 'Dales Alpine'- the Valley of Desolation. The interpretation board soon seen advises that this prospect has been sculpted by at least four glacial periods and more particularly by a local devastating flood of 1826.

We are now in the Cavendish family (married into the Cliffords) estate held by the Duke of Devonshire of Chatsworth. The path, at Waterfall Cottage, exits onto the minor motor road (Barden-Storiths) where turn left for a few minutes walk downhill to Posforth Bridge. A permissive path along the riverside (with footbridge) can be picked up just before the road bridge. Walk just over a mile through SSI woods overlooking the Wharfe and frothy turbulent Strid. Pass a castellated aqueduct bridge and through a low ings pasture to return to Barden Bridge.