2019_04_20 West Burton.

Leader : David Anderson.      Distance : 7 miles.

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Bill reports :-

Blessed with another beautiful spring day, the journey along Wensleydale to our walk start at West Burton sitting just on the edge of Bishopdale, was a real aperitif for the day ahead. Dave, who was enjoying a spell of bachelor life with Elaine gallivanting along the Coast to Coast trail, was our pilot for the day. It was ominous though that Mum had delegated daughter Megan as chaperone to tag along and keep dad on the proverbial straight and narrow.

West Burton, with its magnificent village green flanked by characterful stone houses, is often regarded as the prettiest village in the dales and on such a wonderful day who were we to argue. So off we went, initially as all walks from the village do past the wonderful Cauldron Falls and then up the uneven stone steps onto an undulating stony track which eventually led us past temple farm to the ruins of the Knights Templar chapel in whose serene surroundings we paused for elevenses. Dating originally from around the 12C the  the ruins remain as relics of the now pretty much discredited organisation, which coincidentally was delisted from current social media platforms the day of our visit.

Mid coffee break we had an entertaining interlude with the appearance of, shall we say, a slightly eccentric gentleman and his lady disciple.

“Here to meditate” we were reliably informed and he duly did just that including a number of Tai Chi type movements for our entertainment.

Well he had a nice day for it: we left.

Continuing to climb gently the valley views below opened with the edifice of Bolton Castle, the scene for  many club walks, dominating the landscape, Conditions underfoot generally made for comfortable walking although stiles occasionally posed problems for some of a certain age. Ere long as we neared the half way point of our journey we began our descent to the village of West Witton famous for the ‘Burning of Bartle’ among other things. There we found a pleasant convenient village green with equally convenient benches to park ourselves and enjoy a Saturday picnic in the sun.

Soon though we were off again and as is normal geologically what goes down must go up so we began a reasonably gentle climb out of the village deviating off piste for just one brief spell, dealing with one or two more recalcitrant stiles én route until we reached the narrow cattle track on the lower reaches of Penhill and heading downwards. The conditions underfoot were a bit on the rough side, fine perhaps for sure footed ovines but a tad uncomfortable for our tired feet.

Soon though we had the majestic falls in view and  after crossing the little stone bridge we were soon back to base and comfortably ensconced in the local Fox & Hounds enjoying our traditional post walk refreshments.  Yet another great day out in the dales, here’s to the next time.