Thursday, 13 October 2011

Semer Water

"Semerwater rise! Semerwater sink! And swallow the town, all save this house, Where they gave me meat and drink."
Semer Water is a beautiful and quiet location, in fact I was amazed at how few people I encountered on this walk on what was the last weekend of the school Summer holidays.It is also home to a legendary city that was drowned by after an old man visiting the town was turned away from all but one house - that one house on the hill was saved from the watery grave.

After a number of trips to the Lakes recently, I though it was about time I paid a visit to the Yorkshire Dales again. I decided on visiting Semer Water and the surrounding Dale as the route description in my AA guide to the Yorkshire Dales sounded promising.

It was also not too far away, and seeing as I had a busy day planned this sounded about right. The drive in itself is really enjoyable as you come through Wensleydale turning off the main road just before Bainbridge.

The walk started right on the lake shore and was a great place to start. I headed up the road to a farm before crossing a stile and heading out across the meadows. There was a lot to see here, with the head of Raydale up ahead and the lake to the right. I stopped for a brief look around the ruins of Stalling Busk church and small graveyard.

From here the walk led away from the lake and into the Dale reaching the village of Marsett before long. By now the sun was emerging from the clouds and was casting shafts of light onto the surrounding daleside.

Leaving Marsett meant a steep climb up 250 metres. This was well worth the effort as the top rewarded me with some great views of Semer Water and the distinctive shape of Addleborough behind reminiscent of Ingleborough, and on the top of the open access land there were views westwards all the way over to the Yorkshire Three Peaks.

I didn't cross a single other person after having left Marsett and up on the Dale I certainly felt cut off from the rest of the world, with only countryside and the occasional farm in site. The path came back down slightly more gently than the hike uphill and soon I was on the road leading back to Semer water.

It was even quieter there than when I arrived, with maybe two or three cars parked, with people reading, drinking cups of tea and enjoying the serenity, the only noise came from the ducks on the edge of the water. All in all a really nice moderate walk and definitely one to repeat.

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