29th July 2017
Looking through these photos, you might think they were taken on different days, going by the various skies. Let's just say, the weather was 'changable'.
The walk begins at the FC car park to the north of Simonside. The initial ascent of Simonside is a lovely woodland path strewn with its fair share of roots and rocks.
It turns out we were on the Sandstone Way, but this is where we leave it. We turn left for a short stint on forest track, before turning off, to head up to Dove Crag.
The path is paved using some interesting slabs of rock...
There's a bit of fun to be done at Old Steel Crag, if you explore even just a little.
So after our journey over the Simonside 'ridge', we head south. This path is a little hard to follow, so keep an eye out for the usual sign posts which crop up ever so slightly later than would be ideal. Of course, basic map reading skills will also keep you on track.
Alongside Selby's Cove, the bracken gets rather tall.
Out of the bracken, and a good clear view across to Harwood Forest. Boardwalk visible, just above center.
At the boardwalk keep your eyes peeled for lizards. They obviously like it sitting on the boards. I saw four.
This section should have a warning sign. Because when you reach the end, if you were to step straight off, you would end up in a very deep peat bog. I spotted it, so I stook a foot in for fun, and the whole thing wobbled like jelly. I wonder how many unsuspecting walkers step off, thinking that because the boardwalk ends, the bog ends. Probably not many, but it must happen.
Continuing southwards, into Harwood Forest. I've cycled in here, but only once, and it was at night, so I would never know if I was retracing any of that route.
Reaching the southernmost point of the route, we join St. Oswald's Way.
Coquet Cairn (just off the right of this photo) is at the forest boundry, as we head back over the moorland, towards Whelp Law.
Funny story. When we reached the car park, there were several chaps about to bump start a car, presumably because of a dead battery. There was a young man behind the wheel being given instructions on what to do, by one of the other three older chaps. So they pushed the car, and after gaining a little speed, the 'instructor' shouted for the driver to release the clutch. He did, and the engine started. But for reasons unknown, the driver kept driving. Just slowly, but faster than walking pace. He turned onto the road, and kept going, leaving his companions on the side of the road, looking slightly bemused. As we continued on our way, I kept looking back to see what was happening, and eventually the car re-emerged from the copse of trees further up the road. Still moving slowly, but this time backwards. Reversing to pick up the stranded souls.
Cup and ringed rocks on Birky Hill.
Thanks for reading, and well done if you got this far. I think I need to go easy on the shutter release!
Please comment in the section below if you have anything to share in relation to the route, or if you have any questions.