The River Wharfe passes through the cataracts of the Strid up river of Bolton Abbey. There is a lovely woodland walk that continues up to Barden Bridge on one side of the river. Return on the far bank.
I think the estate has done a wonderful job creating and maintaining the banks of the River Wharfe known as the Strid (stride). The river at this point is squeezed through a narrow valley. At one point it is only two foot wide. It creates rapids of immense power intermixed with patches of tranquil waters. However I walked the banks of the Strid during an exceptionally dry period making the river less spectacular to look at but still pleasant to walk beside. In places the waters reach 30 foot deep as it has gouged its way through the ancient millstone grit leaving pools and eddies, ideal for fly fishermen.
The Site of Special Scientific Interest was awarded to this part of the Duke of Devonshire’s estate. This was in part for the acidic Oak Trees but also the other rare plants and fungi which grow here. To find out more there are special tours arranged from the Strid Woods visitor centre. There is also a a shop and cafe, Dusty Bluebells. However my highlight was the graceful heron that I sat and watched for a while. My efforts at photographing the bird were poor but it was all part of the enjoyment of a day on the Strid.
Reading up on the geographical background to the cataracts of the the Strid and other things to look out for on the walk.
It is very easy to follow the route along the Strid. There are many signposts set up by the estate. Just follow them.
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