The walk to Beamsley Moor from Ilkley passes through some rich moorland and tarns before arriving on the fine grassy ridge with excellent views across the south eastern Dales.
I had never thought to explore Beamsley Moor from Ilkley until recently. Previously I preferred the popular walks over Ilkley Moor. However north of the town was an area that I was keen to explore. I was particularly interested in a better and more satisfying approach to combine Beamsley Beacon with Round Hill . In addition was looking forward to the virgin territory on the climb.
The far reaching views I was expecting were sadly limited by the murky weather. In addition the fine ridge from Round Hill to Beamsley Beacon was in to the teeth of a strong wind but despite this it was enjoyable. Once off the ridge the three hour walk was even better. The climb is typical Pennine walking. Peat moors capped a sandstone base, grouse butts and a man looking threatening with a rifle signified the pre-eminent land use. It is not often visited by walkers.
Round Hill on Beamsley Moor is unimpressive but the twin summits of the Old Pike and Beamsley Beacon are well worth the wait. A plaque next to the large cairn on the Beacon explains its history. Amongst other uses it used to be an Iron Age fort and a signal point during Napoleonic times. The walk back is through some remote Pennine farmland, interesting and quiet.However it is on quiet roads and lanes, a contrast to the ascent.
Despite the wind I encountered I do suggest the route should be done anti clockwise. The views along the ridge are at their best and the walk back (albeit on tarmac) is surprisingly interesting.
The walk to the ridge is through grouse shooting countryside. Stick to the public right of way here as the gamekeepers are always out and about!
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