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An area full of interest including many carved rocks and several stone circles easily accessible from Leeds and Bradford by car train or bus.
Carved Rock Grid ref 126463 and 12 Apostles
Map reading is essential for this walk. The relevant map is OS Explorer 27 Lower Wharfedale
Walk 1 - Menston to Ilkley - 6 miles - Start at Menston Railway Station and proceed through along alleyway (at rear of station) and along Fairfax Road to centre of village. Turn left at top of Fairfax Road and immediately right to pass Menston Arms. Continue up Main Street and after 400m (at bend) bear right on to un-metalled track (Bleach Mill Lane). Continue past ponds until mill reached. Footpath proceeds to left of drive. Cross stream and turn immediately left up ravine over two stiles. Cross footbridge at top and up drive between two houses, Cross road at top and up further track ½ mile until gate reached (edge of Moor). Turn right along moor edge for 300m and then bear left (uphill) across open moorland (with reservoir and dam on left hand side). After ½ mile Lower Lanshaw reservoir comes into view.
Follow more distinct path to right of Lower Lanshaw reservoir and proceed to stones at the top of the moor and timber shooting hut. NB Hawksworth Moor Circle is located in the heather about 50m from the hut . Follow well used footpath across open moorland to high point on horizon ignoring right hand fork to Upper Lanshaw Reservoir dam. NB Upper Lanshaw Reservoir should be down below on right. After ½ mile a junction with the Ilkley-Bingley path reached. Turn right and proceed for 200m passing Twelve Apostles stone circle on right hand side until cairn reached. Continue downhill across duck boarding until eventually reaching stream in little ravine. Turn right soon after leaving ravine and follow track. (Look for Bronze Age carving to right hand side of path) After ½mile path crosses stream. Follow path on right hand side of stream past waterfall descending downhill towards Ilkley. Cross footbridge and path emerges at Ilkley Tarn and thence down into Ilkley and the station.
Get train back to Menston. NB Trains run at 15-20min frequency weekdays and Saturday and hourly on Sunday
Conversely this can be turned into a circuit returning via the Iron Age settlement [close to the ravine/stream mentioned above]. In which case follow the contour back towards Burley Woodhead soon following the edge of the moor. Drop down the path alongside the ravine above Burley Woodhead to meet the road. Turn right for a short while and then bear left at footpath sign pointing down private drive. This now proceeds directly to Menston crossing several fields drive ways and after passing Hag Farm regains Bleach Mill Lane and thence into Menston
References: Prehistoric Rock Art Of The West Riding - published by English Heritage and the West Yorkshire Archeological Service - this gives details of locations and descriptions together with many photographs. The use of a GPS is recommended to assist in tracking the approximate locations - but this sometimes requires perseverance! Some are difficult to spot or obscure by undergrowth
Important note:- Whilst the author has taken every care in assembling the information on this site, no responsibility can be accepted for any error or omission herein. If in any doubt walkers should consult the relevant OS map.
www.northernrail.org- train services to Ilkley and Menston
This page was last updated on 03-Jan-2015
©John Carey 2009