Posforth Force and Simon's Seat.

Start. Cavendish Pavillion.

Route. Cavendish Pavillion - Posforth Gill - Valley of Desolation - Laund Pasture Plantation - Great Agill Bottom - Truckle Crags - Simon's Seat - Howgill - River Wharfe - Barden Bridge - Strid Wood - Cavendish Pavillion.

Notes. This is a wonderful walk taking in a little of everything Wharfedale has to offer, an easy ascent through a wonderful hidden dell, don't let the name put you off, The Valley of Desolation named after a violent storm ripped through the valley in 1826 leads to Barden Fell, a vast expanse of open grouse moor. The summit Simon's Seat a grit stone outcrop one of many on the moor opens up opportunities for would-be scramblers, the views are stunning. The walk ends along one of the finest stretches of the River Wharfe, passing through Strid Wood rich in wild flowers before reaching journeys end.

Opposite the Cavendish Pavillion a wooden bridge leads to a tarmac lane, we followed this lane up the hill, at the brow of the hill next to Waterfall Cottage a wooden gate allowed access to the grounds of Bolton Abbey Estate, the path lead to Posforth Force and the Valley of Desolation. Onwards up the valley before entering the forestry, the forest track quickly conveyed us to the intake wall where we entered the lower slopes of Barden Fell. Free of the forestry ascending in the company of Great Agill Beck, striding out on a land rover track quickly gaining height with every step, we strolled passed Truckle Crags before reaching the grit stone summit of Simon's Seat.

Leaving Simon's Seat a good path guided us south-west descending the fell side before entering a lane that lead through dense pine plantations. The steep descent that followed was a real knee cruncher it soon brought us to Howgill, we crossed the lane to descend to the banks of the Wharfe. A long walk south followed, the path hugged the east bank of this unspoiled river, passing Bardon Bridge before crossing an aqueduct onto the opposite bank, this allowed us to access Strid Wood a real delight to wander through, eventually we stepped onto the car park at the Cavendish Pavillion.

Are you a dog owner? if so this walk is out of bounds, well behaved dogs are allowed on the river side paths but unfortunately Barden Fell is strictly a no go area, even to dogs on leads.

view route map.


From the Wooden Bridge views north up the River Wharfe.

The Caverndish Pavillion built in memory of Lord Frederick Cavendish 7th Duke of Devonshire, murdered in Dublin in 1882, it now houses toilets, cafe and gift shop.

Bluebells in the woods above Lud Stream Brow.

Sue enterers the Valley of Desolation, so named after a great storm ripped through the valley in 1826, most of the trees were leveled, if you look around it is still possible to find the remains of shattered and split oaks.

The 50ft mares tail of a waterfall Posforth Force.

Looking to Carncliff Top.

Colourful views back down our ascent route, above the pine trees of Laund Pasture Plantation, across the skyline Beamslay Moor.

Sue strides out over the surface of a well constructed track, built to allow access for grouse-shooting parties between August and September.

Viewing Hen Stones from Truckle Crags.

Striding out on a wonderful path between various shades of heather, looking down on Hazlewood Moor.

Sue soaks up the views from the summit of Simon's Seat.

Our route of descent, this is the kind of path we like.

Earl Seat with views over lower Wharfedale.

In the middle distance Lower Barden Reservoir sits in a hollow on the slopes of Barden Moor.

Blossom on the Dales Way, striding out along the banks of the River Wharfe.

Looking down the River Wharfe viewing Barden Bridge.

This early 19th century battlemented aqueduct was our route across the river.

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