Bolton Abbey to Simon's Seat

Walk 1- Bolton Abbey-Simon's Seat 9.5 miles - A classic walk in Lower Wharfedale - By bus or car. Start at Cavendish Pavilion Carpark [fee payable],  Bolton Abbey. Back to Lower Wharfedale

Bolton Abbey.jpg (42616 bytes)
Bolton Abbey Posforth Falls

Cross the wooden bridge opposite Cavendish Pavilion and turn right over the stile. Follow the well surfaced path alongside the river. The path deviates to cross a stream near a ford. Crossing the road regain the path progressing slightly uphill. Upon reaching a point on the hillside looking down on the Abbey bear left initially along a minor path maintaining the same height. After 200m or so turn left into a walled track (signposted to Storriths). This progresses steeply uphill and emerges in a farmyard at Storriths. Follow the farm road for a short distance to cross the minor road from Beamsley. On the far side of the road proceed along a grassy track and after 300m or so this emerges at a junction and a signboard for the Access Area.

Turn Left along the vehicle track. Pass Town End Farm on the left. Continue along Gill Bank, a vehicle track and take the right hand  fork at the sign post to follow less used vehicle track. Do not descend to the next farm! This becomes a more distinct land rover track and follows contour of the valley side eventually descending slightly to meet Pickles Gill Beck and a ford. Cross the ford and follow zigzag track steeply up hill. After approx 1 mile the track arrives at a T junction (Note there is a useful shooting hut slightly uphill on the right). Turn right at the T junction to proceed on a north easterly direction. After 1/2 mile take the left hand fork and continue for another 1/2 mile until a wall is reached at Rom Shaw Head. Turn left and follow the well defined vehicle track alongside the wall for approximately 2 miles crossing momentarily to the right hand side of the wall and back to the left. This becomes more of a footpath eventually arrives at Lord's Seat, a rocky outcrop.

Turn left and following faint path across quite boggy moorland for 1/4 mile to reach Simons Seat. There is a spectacular view up Wharfedale from this elevated position. However please be aware of the steep drop in mist. Two paths leave Simons Seat. Take the left hand one of these (rather than steep decent to Howgill). This twists several times becoming a landrover track descending gradually into a small valley. Cross the ford following which the track eventually emerges at plantation edge then following the plantation track for 1/4 mile until a stile is reached. Cross the stile into The Valley of Desolation. Close to the beck there is a slight detour which can be made to the left to reach Upper Posforth Falls.

Track towards Simons Seat Across to Simons Seat and Desolation Valley
Posforth Falls Simons Seat

Retrace steps and progress down the valley crossing a footbridge. The path divides here, either cross the footbridge or keep right and cross the stream at the lower footbridge. This gives a better view of  the main Posforth Falls a spectacle following wet weather. After leaving the falls cross a field passing a pond  recently constructed to encourage bird-life, emerging at Waterfall Cottage. Turn left on to the minor road  for short while. The footpath then bears right descending to River Wharfe. Follow the riverside path back to Cavendish Pavilion and finish.

NB This walk can be extended by walking from Bolton Bridge parking area. This adds approx 2 miles . Also an alternative start point for bus users would be Bolton Abbey village and involve a short stroll down to the footbridge (near the abbey). Turn left over the bridge and when the path reaches a summit overlooking the abbey turn right into the wall path to Storriths as described above. Back to Lower Wharfedale

The path down from Simons Seat Bolton Abbey

Important note:- Whilst the author has taken every care in assembling the information on this site no responsibility can be taken for any error or omission herein. If in any doubt walkers should consult the relevant OS map. All timings are approximate and for a person of average fitness and ability.

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This page was last updated on 14-May-2020


©John Carey 2009