Due to an episode of pre-breakfast lassitude, I didn’t arrive at the Semer Water car park till lunchtime. I paid the two quid parking fee to Mrs Metcalfe at Low Blean Farm and me and superdawg romped off up the road for the bagging of Yokenthwaite Moor. This hill is also known as Middle Tongue and is another of the Yorkshire Dales 2000 foot tops walks. (getting close to the end of this by the way…)
We followed the byway towards Cray. This could well be a roman road. If it isn’t it doesn’t really matter. The point is, it gets you up high quickly and easily.
We turned off on the high limestone plateau and followed a wall for a bit. And then a fence. I was kind of hoping for some really duff weather – it was forecast. But it was just a bit cold and there was some spots of rain/sleet in the wind. We could see our breath and that was about as bad as it got.
Once off the limestone, though, the going was rough and peaty. On a wet day, this could be quite bad. As it was, it hasn’t really rained much up here since the snow melted , so the bogs are dried up and only occasionally a bit squishy. But its still rough. Rough? Don’ talk to me about rough…. this is the roughest 2000 foot top in Yorkshire.
After the trig point, the way turns sharp left, at which point it gets much easier. There are animal traps. Some contain dead animals. A larsen trap – meant to catch crows had , apparently, trapped a sheep. There was just a sad skeleton.
Navigation along this ridge is pretty easy. You just follow the fence, which at some points is a wall. The trick is to follow it in the correct direction. At one point, where there’s the only gate on the ridge, this is counter-intuitive. Turn Left. Honestly – turn left and just keep following the wall.
After the peculiar limestone corrie of Jeffrey Pot, we made a beeline for a place where Baydale beck and the footpath to Marsett meet. This went well despite not using a compass ( I used a wrinkle on the hill above Marsett which I’d spotted and headed for that)
Alongside the beck, spring was springing (and about time too…) There were primroses and violets and various daisy-related flowers – and blackthorn blossoming sweetly.
A bit of road walking and a lambing field and we were back at the start.
There’s nothing really complex about this walk. Its a boggy slog. But there are curlews and larks and the usual moorland stuff to entertain. The views aren’t remarkable, really, to be honest….. But there’s a lot of space and much hopping between heathery tussocks. After wet weather, there may be drownings…..
Me and the dog did about 14 miles and 1700 feet of up.
Yokenthwaite Moor, be warned, is a rough bugger. Expect hard work and soppy socks.