Walking around Semer water near Bainbridge

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

There were two guide books we picked up for our week away in the Dales; the first one being the Crimson short walks for the Yorkshire Dales which is where we took inspiration to walk around Semer water (walk 11). As often is the way with SatNav the road in was long, narrow and steep. The way we took out was much better but there was no escaping the 25% stretch (although short). I cannot tell you what the regular provision for parking looks like as the notice boards and nearby trees and bushes were underwater leaving a relatively short stretch of dry land/offroad parking. Aside from an old man only pausing to empty his dog we were the only people arriving that morning - before 10am. It was only on very close inspection we realised the pay and display ticket had to be purchased from a farm up the road which meant a detour on foot before starting our walk. I imagine in peak season space is at a premium but we only saw a camper van upon our return.
The walk itself was due to be 3.5 miles, circular and started at the bridge. Although we shadowed the route as the initial set of footpaths to the hamlet of Stalling Busk entered a cow field so I skipped that ordeal and set about walking up the road. The area was very quiet, virtually no traffic to speak of.

The day may have dawned grey but the air was still, the water lay calmly as a looking glass.

It was unclear where the usual body of water extended too; the flooding spilled out into the valley, presumably receding. Apparently Semer water would have once filled more area and is only one of two significant natural lakes in the Yorkshire Dales.
The remnants of the week before's heavy snow continued to linger on in dips, against walls and dusting the hill peaks. Can you spy the hare and the partridge?

I imagine this scene would look so different in 4 month's time, winter washes all the colour away.

We saw this incredibly fresh lamb being cleaned up by it's mother, it occasionally made an attempt to get up but we didn't want to be a nuisance watching too near by so moved along.
I noticed quite a few old nests in the hedge and wondered who lived in a house like that...
No wading required, the paths used a footbridge. In fact the route takes you from Stalling Busk to Marsett on a track which is only suitable for farm quads, so both tiny villages are cut off from each other to vehicles, requiring a drive the long way round. But it made for pleasant walking - though a soggy footpath across a field almost gave us soaked boots, it was lapping at my laces.

We are convinced we saw a gooseberry bush along the roadside.

You can imagine how much snow there would have been a week or so before!
The final stretch was supposed to be through a field on a footpath but the field was absolutely boggy as heck and contained a surprise contingent of cows as well so I'm doubly glad to have maintained our march on tarmac to the end.

It was a lovely quiet couple of hours; the roads weren't a bother and it was a peaceful part of the Dales to explore.
Take care,

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