Harrogate | Saturday 12 October 2019

Walk Leader: Robert Cope
Participants: 13
Mileage: 21 miles
Ascent: 2,200 ft
Walk Register: Yes
Walk Report: Robert Cope


A pleasantly dry and mild October day.  But not so underfoot where the farms and fields were pretty boggy - to say the very least!

We set-off from Harrogate’s Valley Gardens initially on the Harrogate Link (linking Harrogate to the Dales Way at Ilkley), but then diverged south at RHS Harlow Carr to Beckwith Head.  From there we headed broadly south-west through muddy farms and fields to Beckwith, Shaw Green, Beckside Farm and High Moor Farm.  A tricky half mile stretch along the busy Otley Road then lead us to the start of the track over Stainburn Moor - where we enjoyed our mid morning coffee.

Continuing westwards over Stainburn Moor we passed the landmark Norwood radio mast before dropping down from Norwood Edge via Scow Hall to the embankment at Swinsty Reservoir.  The clockwise track around the reservoir took us to the car park where we took advantage of the picnic benches for our lunch.

After lunch we continued clockwise around the remainder of Swinsty Reservoir, before turning sharp left to pick up the Harrogate Link again (but this time in the Harrogate (east-bound) direction).  This craggy uphill track, which at times resembled a shallow stream, soon lead us to the Sun Inn.  We then continued east along the Harrogate Link for over four miles, past Beaver Dyke Reservoir.  More muddy tracks, fields and farmyards - but picturesque views across Haverah  Park.

Not content with simply following the Harrogate Link all the way home, on reaching the periphery of Harlow Carr our leader (that’s me), chose the somewhat tougher Harrogate Ringway alternative via Birk Crag - claiming that the mud alongside Oak Beck would be of the highest quality.  It was!  We left the Ringway at Oakdale golf course to return home via local residential roads.

As usual good company and a rewarding turnout.  Thanks to all for coming.

Photos by Robert Cope