Blogtober 2022 : Day 20

How do you fancy a walk around the Bolton Abbey estate?

Come on, put your boots on, you can come with Lucy and me as we walk from the car park near to the cafe to the Priory Church to see the Museum of the Moon and back to the car again.  It’s a circular walk, not too far, a few miles maybe, and it’s a beautiful day to be outside!

Here’s where we’re starting from – or rather, there across the river.  That’s the Bolton Abbey cafe and I can tell you that the hot chocolate in my hand really hit the spot!

A view across the river to the Bolton Abbey cafe and a bridge with an out of focus paper cup of hot chocolate in the foreground

Oh, that blue sky!  And I wonder where those people are going in that aeroplane?  Do you ever wonder that, miles and miles below the people sitting up in the sky reading their books or watching a film and with no idea at all that we are looking up at them?

A white aeroplane vapour trail splits the blue sky looking up between trees

We’re going over this bridge here (I do like a bridge in the woods!).  It’s quite narrow so we can only go over in single file but just follow Lucy.  It’s narrow but it’s very solid so it feels quite safe.

A narrow wooden bridge across a stream in a wood

There are lots of beech trees around.  They drop these lovely copper-coloured leaves and there are twisted roots everywhere – if you were the type of person to think that there were fairies or elves living in these woods, you could well imagine them sitting on the tree roots, especially some of the ones that hang down lower over the side of the path.

Twisted tree roots next to a footpath. There are copper-coloured leaves between the roots

This tree has been here for years, Lucy says.  Those are coins which have been hammered into the tree trunk (the tree has long since fallen, it’s not a living one that has been mutilated) and there are three of them along the pathway, along with other activities for children to try out along the walk.  Climbing, balancing, making sounds, there are plenty of fun things for youngsters to look out for.

A fallen tree with coins embedded into it so that the tree is covered in them

Another favourite feature of mine but a gap in the wall this time, not a hedge.

A gap in a dry stone wall where the footpath cuts through into the woodland

We can stop for a breather here.  The path isn’t too steep but you can feel it on your legs, can’t you, after climbing up from the money tree and through the wall.  Look!  There’s our first view of Bolton Abbey!  Can you see it through the trees?

A glimpse of Bolton Abbey in the distance through the trees

We’ve not got too much further to go to get to the Abbey but we always detour onto the river beach.  The trees are looking lovely, a whole stretch of them in their Autumn finery.

A pebble river beach surrounded by trees in autumn colours

It’s a wide beach, full of stones that have been turned over and over by the water until they are round and smooth.  I want to pick them all up, feel them cold and smooth in my hands and then fill my pockets with them all … but I never do.  I don’t need pockets full of river pebbles that lose their magic as soon as you get them home and become just another stone on the bookcase.  I can hear my Mum saying, “If everyone took a stone home, the beach would be empty!” and she’s right … but there may be a couple of stones from special places in my house 🙂

Grey and brown rounded pebbles on a river beach, Christine's boots are in the photo for context

The River Wharfe is very brown and peaty and even though we’re right at the edge, you can still see that it’s not completely clear.  It gives the stones a whole new colour when they’re wet … but it’s time to walk on so maybe just throw one or two more into the water to hear that satisfying “sploosh” sound and then we’ll go round to see the moon.

Christine is standing on the water's edge where the river meets the land.

Doesn’t the Abbey look lovely from here?  So peaceful now, although I imagine it hasn’t always been.  The Abbey was built on land gifted to Augustinian canons in 1154 and they lived and worshipped here until the dissolution of the monasteries by King Henry VIII in 1539.  The existing Priory Church at the back of the Abbey where the Museum of the Moon exhibition is, was the original nave of the abbey saved from destruction by Prior Moone, the last prior of the Abbey, who negotiated with Oliver Cromwell to provide a place of worship for the local community.

A view across the river and the pebble beach to the remains of Bolton Abbey on a hillA view across the river to the ruins of Bolton Abbey. It's a bright day but the sun is covered by clouds momentarily and the abbey's stonework looks very dark

If you want to see photos from the Museum of the Moon exhibition, you can find them in yesterday’s post here.

We’re almost back to the car now.  We’ve got another bit of a hill to walk up but isn’t the view worth it?  We were right next to that river just a few short minutes ago!

Looking out over the River Wharfe as it winds into the distance between trees on one side and a meadow on the other

Look!  That’s the beach that we were standing on opposite the Abbey where the river bends round to the bridge in the distance.  There are stepping stones across the river just next to the bridge but some of them are missing now and I can’t imagine that many people cross them without getting wet.  They were just visible today but some days they are completely under water – those are not the days to try crossing them!

A view across the river and a meadow to the ruins of Bolton Abbey

Here were are, back at the car park.  Look at the colours of those trees, they are just beautiful!

Trees with yellow, orange and green leaves against a bright blue sky

Thank you for coming with us – I hope you enjoyed the walk.  It wasn’t too arduous, was it? 🙂


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21 Responses

  1. Margaret says:

    “Bare ruined choirs where late the sweet birds sang.”

  2. Charlotte says:

    What an outstanding place to walk. Thank you for sharing.

  3. Simon says:

    Such beautiful blue skies, and the surroundings are lovely! Do you ever see fish in the river?

  4. Wilma says:

    Loved going over walk with you. We walked it often when we stayed at campsitr.

  5. Helen says:

    That blue sky 💙

  6. Barbara says:

    A beautiful walk and a beautiful place. I can imagine all the chatter between you too :). I have fond memories of skimming stones there a good few years ago with my family. B x

    • winwickmum says:

      Ha! I tried skimming stones and they all sank like … a stone! 🙂 I’m not usually that bad but there was no way it was happening for me that day! xx

  7. Julie Culshaw says:

    You can find where flights are going at this site.

  8. Barbara says:

    So beautiful. I would definitely love to visit some day! I was wondering about the stepping stones – I don’t know if I would have the nerve to cross that way! I love seeing your photos of your surrounding area and I really appreciate all of the links you share so I can go read about things. Thank you for taking me with you on your walk with Lucy, another favorite blogger of mine! Enjoy your weekend!

    • winwickmum says:

      I don’t think I would cross the stepping stones either (and there is a warning sign about them too as some are missing) – I think I’d probably end up getting very wet! I’m glad you find the links useful, thank you for telling me, I really appreciate that! xx

  9. Teresa says:

    the joy of reading your blog post I could just imagine myself walking alongside you and Lucy uncomfort of my armchair autumn is my favourite time of year the colours and the changing

    • winwickmum says:

      It really was beautiful and the way the light was shining through the leaves was something I wanted to bottle up and keep! I’m glad you enjoyed walking with us! 🙂 xx

  10. Ursula Uphof says:

    I so loved going on your walk…you were an excellent guide. thank you xxx

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