I have just viewed this blog and was horrified to discover that it is over a year since I last posted anything! I had no idea it was that long, sincere apologies if you follow me. I will try to post much more frequently from now on.
I do have an excuse though. I have been extremely busy with my photography business and I have an exhibition coming up and there is a lot of work involved with that – and also a certain little virus has stopped me from getting out for the best part of a year.
Anyway – back to the business in hand!
This is the story of a long walk – my grandson Mackenzie’s longest yet – we clocked 14 miles – not too bad for an 11 yr. old and a 65 yr. old!
We decided to walk to ‘Simons Seat’ in Wharfedale – a large clump of rocks on top of a large hill with stunning views from the top. Standing at 1591 ft. Simons Seat is famous as it can be seen for miles around.
For many, the name ‘Simons Seat’ refers to a Giant who sat on the top of the rocks and surveyed his domain, however Druids were thought to have been active here and the legendary ‘Simon Druid’ may have unwittingly lent his name to the rocks. Another story comes from one Frederick Montague who told “It was upon the top of this mountain that an infant was found by a shepherd, who took it to his home, and after feeding and clothing it, he had the child named Simon; being himself but a poor man, he was unable to maintain the foundling, when it was ultimately agreed to by the shepherds, that the child should be kept “amang ’em. (among them)” The child was called Simon Amangham and the descendants of this child are now living in Wharfedale.”
Most people who venture up to Simons Seat go by way of Bolton Abbey and the Valley of Desolation, but on this day Mackenzie and I decided to take the long way from the South – along Barden moor.
This involved a long walk to Rocking Hall (see The King Once Came Here) and stopping there for a break, whilst Mackenzie took some photos. I had given him one of my Nikons and a couple of lenses – I had ‘jumped ship’ and moved on to Olympus mirrorless cameras and lenses.
From Rocking Hall we headed East for half a mile, then picked up the dry stone wall and path and followed it for a few miles. The moors are beautiful, with an abundance of Lapwings and Curlews to keep us company. We didn’t see anyone else all day!
When we got to Simons Seat, the heavens opened and it poured down. Mackenzie and I sheltered under a rocky overhang and drank chicken noodle soup from a flask and ate cheese and tomato sandwiches. We waited for a good half hour before we dared venture out again, but sadly the views we were hoping to see from the top of the rocks were not to be – it was misty in the valley bottom was disappointing.
The stone path, which volunteers had laid down to stop the erosion of the natural paths, were extremely slippery and with the very real possibility of a twisted or sprained ankle, we progressed through the wet heather, getting soaked in the process.
We had a walk around for a couple of miles to nearby ‘Little Simons Seat’ and ‘Lords Seat’ – but by then the mist had come down and photographs were almost impossible.
Being November, I wanted to set off early because I didn’t want to be on the moors at dark. The paths were easy enough to follow but there is absolutely no light up there and there were a few ‘dodgy’ areas where we had to go through some bogs – not fun in pitch dark.
By the time we got to Rocking Hall, the mist had lifted and the rain clouds were gathering elsewhere in the East. It was light enough to make our way home and not be in the dark.
We arrived back at the car after a superb, all day walk and the gps clocked it at 13.4 miles. After a hot bath at or house, and some food we rounded the day off by Mackenzie beating me on the XBox (it is impossible to beat a 12 year old on a gaming console)!