Tuesday 27th September 2022
Raygill House Moor. SE 091 690. 458m.
6 miles. Ascent 1100 ft. +
Now we are into some quality walking in proper hill country.
Instead of the now tedious route over the A66 to Scotch Corner I am approaching by the A65 Skipton road - always nostalgia fro me; memories of hitch hiking to the Lakes in the late fifties and later driving there most weekends from Bradford.. This is a bit longer approach than that previous route but it doesn't seem so.
From Pateley Bridge the roads become narrower as I head up the lush wide valley of Nidderdale. I park in Ramsgill opposite the Yorke Arms, once a highly rated eating pub but now only catering for large parties and weddings and the like, and no longer a conventional pub or hotel.
I set off up a private road leading to the farm at Raygill but I have only gone about fifty yards before I am hailed by a woman down near the main road. I had passed her a few minutes earlier where she was just going into the church from her well appointed Range Rover, perhaps "doing" the flowers. She reminded me of Margot in The Good Life. She turned out to be the farmer's wife at Raygill and told me the road was private . She was mainly concerned that I knew what I was doing and would not be getting lost and she had no objection to me proceeding after I had verified my credentials.
The road was steep with a few hairpin bends but the views back up Nidderdale were superb.
At Raygill I had difficulty getting onto the footpath (not public) marked on the map but eventually I was onto moorland along a gently rising Land Rover track. As indicated on the map this track ended abruptly, tnow marked as a continuing footpath which after a kilometre again terminated on the map. From there I would have to beeline and climb moorland steeply across virgin heather to the trig. That path at the end of the Land Rover track was marked by a substantial cairn which would certainly be a welcome marker for anybody approaching from the other direction. Especially so because the footpath was almost invisible and I lost it for a couple of hundred yards and ended up flailing about in deep heather.
The one and a half kilometres continuation from the path end up to the trig was arduous and time consuming. At last the trig was visible standing in lonely isolation in the middle of a huge expanse of moorland, the only object sticking up above the level of the heather.
I headed north to pick up another Land Rover track after visiting the curious collection of large bouldery stones: Ray Gill House Wig Stones. They may be of interest to bouldering aficionados - see this website: "Unknown Stones, Wild Bouldering in Yorkshire"
A stop for coffee and a munch and then a walk back on the good track to Ramsgill completed a good walk in magnificent surroundings.
I had researched one other trig a short hop from the road only a couple of miles away. Trigpointing UK informed me of ascents up a private track to lead through a disused quarry and then a couple more fields. I had assumed this would be the most practical route. Parking at the road junction where the track lead off was fortuitous on this narrow country lane. Up the track I went leading through a field opening to a rusty old iron gate leading into the disused quarry, This gate was propped up by three huge stones. The gate had various metal stakes protruding threatening impalement and it was also leaning awkwardly. I tried to climb over but failed. I wandered up the wall side and found no other weak point. Back at the gate I heaved one of the stones away and managed to open the gate enough to squeeze through - there's always a way? I trekked across the quarry only to find the only exit was over a low wall with a low non-barbed fence, easy enough to stride over but with an eight foot drop into the field below. The thought of injuring myself and having to call out the boys for help and trying to explain that I was two fields and a quarry into private land, and they would probably need to identify the farmer and gain permission, was a sobering thought and I retreated, replacing the moved stone at the gate. That possibility definitely needs bearing in mind when on private land. Extra care and caution is advisable.
I now looked carefully at the map. I saw that the trig is actually on access land and a short drive up the road identified a gate leading onto that land with an easy walk up to the trig! It was now too late and I will have to leave that for next time but with the research done it will only be a short diversion.
|The Yorke Arms, Ramsgill|
|Looking down to Ramsgill church|
|My trig is up there somewhere|
|Land Rover track, easy going until...|
|...its termination at this cairn|
|And some time later after a lot of heather thrashing. Ah! But that is what I came for?|
|Ray Gill house Wig Stones (perhaps they look like the wigs of old?)|
|Clockwise from Ramsgill|
|The second trig. Route from Trig Pointing UK in blue. My researched route for next time in red|
|That trig in geographical context|