An easy ramble from Airton heading south along the River Aire to Eshton Moor and Haw Crag before returning via Bell Busk and Kirk Syke Lane.
|Parking:||Roadside, Airton Bridge|
|Route:||Download Route [GPX]|
Between Gargrave and Airton there is a small quarried hill called Haw Crag which is situated just outside the boundary of the Yorkshire Dales National Park. On the top of the hill is an Ordnance Survey trig point. I'd visited the trig point on a walk with my wife and daughter when the latter was only two years old. Unfortunately the photos I'd got of the trig point weren't quite in focus so it had been on my to-do list to revisit for sometime.
On this occasion I thought I'd take a different route, this time starting from Airton to the north. Parking next to Airton Bridge the outward route was fairly straightforward. I started off by following the Pennine Way south alongside the river. After braving a field of cattle I crossed over Newfield Bridge to resume my riverside walk on the opposite bank.
"The trig point sits atop an old quarry which has largely been reclaimed by nature. The view was excellent but unfortunately high cloud made the sun hazy and the skies a rather bright white."
At a sharp bend in the river I continued along the Pennine Way and then up on to Eshton Moor. Well, actually I circled around the edge of one particularly long cattle-filled pasture before regaining the Pennine Way at the top of the pasture. In the next field I turned right at a crossways of paths to access the trig point on Haw Crag.
The trig point sits atop an old quarry which has largely been reclaimed by nature. The view was excellent but unfortunately high cloud made the sun hazy and the skies a rather bright white. In other words having done this walk specifically to get some better photos of the trig point I was somewhat disappointed.
From the trig point I descended along the edge of the quarry to a gate leading to a corner of two tracks. Taking the option continuing straight on I followed this enclosed lane to cross over the River Aire and then on to a road. Ignoring the minor road to my right I crossed over Red Bridge (where I noted an Ordnance Survey benchmark) and continued on to the outskirts of the small hamlet of Bell Busk.
Passing between buildings I emerged out in to a field. Following the route of a bridleway the path climbed up towards Well Head Hill before swinging round to reach a large barn called Well Head Laithe. Here I was rather pleased to spot another Ordnance Survey benchmark. Not long afterwards the path met up with the head of Kirk Syke Lane. I followed this to reach another minor road. Turning left I then arrived back in Airton. All that was left was to descend through the village back to the bridge.