A short walk between two lovely Dales villages, Feizor & Austwick. The walk passes through farmland and a rolling landscape along bridleways and quiet country roads.
It was a typically windy day in early March when I decided on a whim to take the short Feizor and Austwick walk. I had faint hopes of some spring sunshine (no chance) but really I was looking for my first lambs of the year. Fortunately I found some, a sure sign Spring has nearly arrived. It was too early for the buds on the trees though.
The walk offers a proper taste of a working Yorkshire Dales landscape. There is a mix of of small grey stone hamlets and barns, fields of sheep (and lambs) all with a backdrop of limestone scars and rock falls. There are always farmers about their business, repairing walls, calling their sheep or one of the many other jobs they undertake.
The walking is easy on good bridlepaths unless you want to climb the hill and explore the SSSI of Oxenber & Wharfe Woods. Here the limestone bedrock is rich in ash, hazel and hawthorn trees and the grykes in the rock full of such rare plants as Green Spleenwort and Mountain Melick. It is a geologically modern landscape, it was only 15,000 years ago that the entire walk would have been under a glacier.
I prefer to start this walk from Feizor, because I like the cafe. However it is just as easy to start from Austwick, particularly for those preferring a pint.
The walk is spread over two maps which is always vaguely irritating. The majority is in OL2 but Feizor itself sits in OL41. It is also definitely worth cutting the corner on the western slopes of Oxenber Woods.
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