Dales Way: Burnsall to Bolton Abbey, November 16

Walk details

  • Route Dales Way from Burnsall to Bolton Abbey
  • Distance 11.4 miles
  • Duration 5 hrs plus an hour for a cup of tea to defrost at either end.
  • Getting there Dales Rambler ticket from Leeds and the 74 from Ilkley.
  • Weather Fantastic sunny autumn day, but significant windchill. The Met Office says it reached a max of 5 degrees C but with winds gusting at 30mph it really didn’t feel like it.

Why this route?

  • After dragging TOH up Mam Tor last weekend, he specified a walk that didn’t involve any hills. These are not easy to come by in Yorkshire.
  • You can’t walk in Yorkshire without visiting The Strid and Bolton Abbey, but they were far too busy for our taste in summer.
  • I had a theory that the Strid was best enjoyed when the leaves were turning. I was right.
  • The Dales Way is so local to us that it’s a good one to section walk. I initially planned to do Burnsall to Ilkley but when I plotted it and looked at what was on there, decided to save Bolton Abbey to Ilkley for another day. Section-walking it out of order slightly makes me twitch…

What did we learn?

  • Even valley bottoms can be surprisingly chilly in November. I’m also surprised that this surprises me as I’ve never owned a car, so the vagaries of British weather shouldn’t be a novelty.We will be adding more layers, as being cold with all your layers on is a bad thing, particularly if you get stranded.
  • We clearly look like “proper” walkers as a young couple with a 50 walks in Yorkshire or some such pocket book asked us where we were on their map. I had to explain that they weren’t anywhere on their map, but that if they followed the Dales Way for about a mile then they should get to the start of their walk. We met them at about 1pm and they were planning to climb Simon’s Seat, so I do hope they got down ok.

Walk highlights

  • The Strid
  • Autumn in Wharfedale in general
  • Burnsall Church
  • Bolton Abbey (though the stepping stones were mostly under water)

Photos

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