Bolton Abbey

Saturday 1 March. Well, it’s the first day of Spring. Here in Grassington it started foggy and cold but by the time that I started my walk, at a little after 9 o’clock, the sun was starting to win out although the temperature hadn’t risen much. It was only a 15 mile drive to the start of the walk at Draughton, near Skipton. A country lane and a nice path across a number of fields made up the first 2½ miles to Bolton Bridge where I stopped at the Abbey café for tea and a bacon sandwich. I must be on holiday!

Suitably refreshed I then walked alongside the River Wharfe to Bolton Abbey. The amount of water in the river meant that the stepping stones were out of action but as I didn’t need to cross, it didn’t matter and there is a footbridge alongside. I took the opportunity to cross to the other bank, if only to get better pictures of the Bolton Abbey.

It was at this point that the battery in my camera died and the same thing happened to my spare battery. There must be something about this location as the same thing happened with a different camera on winter visit many years ago. It is well known that Lithium Ion batteries don’t perform well in the cold and it couldn’t have been much more than 3c today. Thankfully, I’d taken most of my pictures for the day and still had my smartphone and tablet to fall back on. I didn’t bring my camera battery charger with me and was worried that I wouldn’t be able to use the camera for the remainder of the holiday. My fears proved ill founded as on returning to the warmth of my caravan the batteries sprang back into life. I hope that the outdoor temperatures increase a little for the rest of the holiday.

Leaving Bolton Abbey there was a significant increase in the gradient of the walk as I climbed over 700ft to the summit of Middle Hare Head. Although it is only 306m or 1,000ft high, it is lower than Beacon Hill, the highest point in Norfolk where I was on Wednesday. Oddly, Middle Hare Head seemed much higher and it afforded magnificent views of God’s own county.

A steady downhill track soon took me to the crossing of the A59 before a final steep climb back to the car in Draughton. The walk leaflet suggested that the route was 7½ miles but my GPS measured it as 9¼ miles with 1,270ft of ascent and it felt like it.

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