CMC Walk Sunday 18 Feb 2018
Simon’s Seat is a rocky outcrop 485m above sea level, and the name is thought to relate to Druids who followed Simon Magus (who claimed to be one of the Three Wise Men). Make of the latter what you will, but 15 Sunday walkers followed a not-so-wise man on a pleasant amble to the summit.
After solving logistical parking problems, we walked SE by the River Wharfe on Bolton Abbey Estate for a short time until encountering an aqueduct, then turned NE onto steep open access moorland of the estate. Next by a wall with forested land to our left, we gradually ascended, often choosing footsteps with care on soggy but never overly boggy paths. Upon leaving the trees the, the view opened to the left with hazy pastel shades of Wharfedale and Barden Moor, the focal point on the pretty Dales village of Appletreewick. The path now became paved, and reducing visibility became rather dull and grey, until a darker area which loomed increasingly large in the foreground became defined as the massive gritstone boulders which crown the summit.
Picking narrow paths between the boulders, we clambered to find the trig point, but didn’t linger in the now biting wind, instead took a steep northerly downward path, being again appreciative of others who have set steps into peaty land. Having warmed out of the wind, we found additional shelter in an old sheep fold for our lunch stop. We next continued our descent, soon finding the farm track of Howgill Lane. Soon after passing the campsite of Howgill Lodge, we turned R down a track to once again meet the River Wharfe, and continued L along the Dales Way and back the the start.
Most regrouped for welcome refreshments, chat and banter in the Abbey Tearooms near Bolton Abbey. All safe back and NO rain. Result!
Thanks to all who came for making a memorable CMC day, also support and reassurance along the route was much appreciated.
Simon’s Seat is one of several large outcrops of Namurian gritstone in this area. The gritstone is thought to have been deposited in a deltaic environment. (Although perhaps Frank already knows this?)