Thursday, September 29, 2011

Skipton Woods

We recently paid a visit to Skipton Woods - which are well worth exploring if you are in that part of North Yorkshire. It's just five minutes walk from Skipton High Street and to find it you need to walk down the steps near the castle, by the little canal known as the Spring Branch, that used to connect the limestone quarries to the Leeds-Liverpool canal.

On the way to the woods you pass the old Corn Mill, still with intact waterwheel.


Looking back along the main path through the woods, with the Eller Beck down on the left and the so-called Long Dam - a sort of long, shallow pond, on the right. The woods are managed by the Woodland Trust - click for details.


After a few minutes walk you come to the Round Dam, a more-or-less circular lake that has a resident heron that's something of a local celebrity, that already features on YouTube and on Facebook.

 Here he (or she) is, in profile.....

... and head on. I hadn't realised until I looked closely at this photo (double-click) that herons are cross-eyed.

A little further on, upstream of the round dam. Hard to believe that this is just a few mintes walk from a busy shopping street...

.... and this is the most picturesque bit, where the Eller Beck tumbles over rock ledges in this little gorge.


There are various possible circular walks, but this one takes you back into town, via this very attractive path that runs alongside moss-covered walls.


It's only a short walk but I'd recommend taking a pork pie or two with you from this fantastic butchers, near the start of the walk,  that makes the Supreme Champion Great Northern Pork Pie. To my taste buds, they're just about perfection. Their sausages are also legendary...


  1. Cross eyed Herons? Surely they'd have difficulty in catching fish? It's a beautiful area Phil but then most of Great Britain is if you know where to go.

    I want a pie now!

  2. A great little walk - I haven't been out of doors today, despite the weather so thank you.

  3. are a star.........I like short walks and this looks brilliant. On my list.
    Plants everywhere and you kept walking? Must be a good pub about.

  4. Hi Toffeeapple, I've often wondered how young herons learn to catch fish, because diffraction (the 'bent straw effect in a glass of water') means that they actually have to aim to miss if they are going to catch it, plus the fish is a moving target. So maybe being cross-eyed is the least of their worries...........

  5. Hi Scriptor Senex, It was my first visit to Skipton - it's a delightful town..

  6. Hi Adrian, Actually there's a pub right at the start of the walk .... if you go have a look inside the Town Hall, at the meeting room - it has an impressive ceiling and art noveau lights - see
    There's also a pie shop there that makes pork pie wedding cakes - if I'd known about it when me and the missus got hitched we would have ordered one and had the reception in Skipton Woods, as a picnic..


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