Monthly Archives: March 2018

Fearless Five beat the Beamsley Beast

Having had to cancel last month’s extended Probus walk because of heavy snow, this month we embarked on a circular 7mile walk that started with a steep climb up to Beamsley Beacon. The Beacon (400metres above sea level) has long views over Wharfedale and associated moorland. It’s a tough start for a walk, with frequent breaks to look at the views (even when there weren’t any, due to low mist!). As we pressed on beyond the snow line (well, there were small patches of snow in sheltered spots!), we reached the Beacon – apparently a Bronze Age burial site and subsequently a warning beacon for a possible Napoleonic invasion! Our photo shows a more modern use – as a photo opportunity! (Bill, our walk leader is taking the photo)
Walking on across the moor along an encouragingly clear, straight path (with interesting stone boundary markers), our spirits rose (as did the sun – now a glorious morning).
Our luck ran out, as did the path, but we persevered along a 4X4 track past an impressive line of Grouse butts. Lots of grouse/grouses/grice rose at our feet as we walked along. Confident enough to take a ‘short cut’, we encountered a T junction of paths where we were expecting a crossroads. We were faced with the option of a shorter but more upward path towards the Beacon, and then back – or a gently downward sloping path that took us in the wrong direction. Easy choice!
Having reached the outskirts of Ilkley (it seemed), we found a path and then a lovely minor road leading us back to the cars. Contrary to repeated reassurances that ‘the hardest part has been done’, ‘it’s all downhill from now on’, and ‘it’s just over the next hill/round the next corner’ we encountered a hill or two (or three) on our return leg before completing our 8 (not 7!) mile walk. We could see kites and buzzards (but not vultures) circling in the thermals above the Beacon – so it was a narrow escape from the Beamsley Beast!
We managed a rather late but excellent lunch at the Station Hotel, Birstwith – to complete a fabulous walk.