An anti-clockwise walk from Conistone up to Capplestone Gate via Conistone Dib and returning by the superb viewpoint of Conistone Pie.
|Parking:||Roadside, Conistone Bridge|
|Route:||Download Route [GPX]|
Over the last few years I’ve enjoyed leading a number of group walks of friends and colleagues from work. Over time a number of them have left and the last one we did was way back on New Year’s Eve in 2017 when I took Sam and Tony on a walk up Skipton Moor. Sadly Sam was also now leaving so we arranged a final walk before her last day. As usually happens a few people dropped out at the last minute so it was just myself, Mick, Sam and Tony.
The weather forecast was quite promising so I decided to take us back to Wharfedale and revisit the Conistone Moor walk we’d done back in January 2017. On that occasion we encountered lots of low cloud and even a bit of snow. Everyone had to take my word for it when I told them that there were great views from Conistone Pie and the Conistone Moor trig point. In other words I wanted to show them what they’d missed last time.
“After we were allowed through there was plenty of evidence of the shoot’s grisly work. There were several piles of spent cartridges, lots of feathers and dogs racing around the hillside collecting the poor dead birds.”
Unfortunately the weather did not turn out as expected at all. Rather than the sunny day that was promised a blanket of cloud covered the Dales. Thankfully though it wasn’t low cloud and so whilst we did not get any blue sky at least visibility was a big improvement!
As with the previous visit we started off with a visit to Conistone Dib. The entrance to Conistone Dib is via the steep sided stone corridor of Gurling Trough. It is one of my favourite places in the Yorkshire Dales. Just as we were about to enter though an elderly gentleman politely asked us to wait ten minutes. The reason was that they were holding a partridge shoot in the Dib. Sure enough there soon came the crackle of guns.
After we were allowed through there was plenty of evidence of the shoot’s grisly work. There were several piles of spent cartridges, lots of feathers and dogs racing around the hillside collecting the poor dead birds. The shooting party themselves were nice enough but these kind of blood sports don’t appeal to me at all.
Leaving the shooters behind us we walked to the fine little scramble at the end of the Dib. Arriving at a crossroads I decided to do the rest of the route the opposite way to the last time. So, instead of heading towards Conistone Pie we instead turned right up Bycliffe Road. Following this firm track for a while we then turned off on to a grassy path known as the Conistone Peat Road. This swung around to a small plantation before continuing a steady ascent to Capplestone Gate.
Just to the left of Capplestone Gate is the Conistone Moor trig point. It is a great viewpoint for Wharfedale and this time we did have a view. Still, this was about my sixth visit to this trig point and I’ve not had truly nice weather to appreciate the viewpoint. From the trig point we returned to the gate, passed through and then set off north on a thin path through an area of gritstone and old mine workings.
Passing a very large walking party we soon came to a high ladder stile over the wall to our left. This gave us access to the grassy track that was our route of descent. The path itself was quite slick and both Tony and I slipped over within minutes of each other. It was a pleasant descent through typically green limestone pastures. Towards the bottom we saw a kestrel hovering in its hunt. I was too slow getting my larger lens on the camera though so was unable to get a decent picture.
Reaching Scar Gill Wood we turned left to walk between limestone scars and on to Conistone Pie. Down below us to the right were some fine views, including the houses at Kilnsey to the left of its famous crag. Like Gurling Trough, Comistone Pie is one of my favourite places in the Yorkshire Dales. I have particularly happy memories of taking my daughter there in 2016. It is superbly placed for its view of both Wharfedale and Littondale. On this occasion it also happily provided us with shelter from the cold breeze so that we could enjoy some lunch.
From Conistone Pie we continued on our way to soon reach Bycliffe Road again. Turning right on this it was then a simple walk back down to Conistone. Along the way we had the occasional view back down into Conistone Dib, now seemingly empty after all the activity earlier in the day.