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Yorkshire Dales Walks

Parson's Pulpit via Cote Gill

Date: 12th July 2015
Distance: 7.8 miles
Ascent: 1285 feet
Time: 2 hours 50 mins
With: On my own
Start Grid Ref: SE070911

Walk Summary:
A lovely evening walk from Arncliffe in Littondale on to Parson's Pulpit via Cote Gill and returning on the Monk's Road above Cowside Beck.

Route Summary: Arncliffe - Out Gang Lane - Arncliffe Cote - Cote Gill - High Lineseed Head - Lee Gate High Mark - Parson's Pulpit - Monk's Road - Arncliffe.

Photos: Click on the photos below to enlarge.

St Oswald's Church in Arncliffe
The thin path along the River Skirfare
I saw plenty of Meadow Cranesbill alongside the path
Walking through one of the meadows in Littondale
A lovely bend in the River Skirfare
Arncliffe Cote
Looking back down into Littondale from the bridleway climbing away from Arncliffe Cote
Sadly the waterfall in Cote Gill was completely dry
The view down Cote Gill towards Littondale
Great Whernside from High Lineseed Head
Pendle Hill from Clapham High Mark
Proctor High Mark from Clapham High Mark
A weathered limestone outcrop with Parson's Pulpit beyond
On the top of Parson's Pulpit
The Ordnance Survey surface block that replaced the trig point on Parson's Pulpit
Looking back up at Parson's Pulpit
Following the wall to the Monk's Road with Birks Fell in the distance
Looking along Cowside Beck towards Fountains Fell
Looking down into Cowside Beck
Approaching Arncliffe on the Monk's Road above Cowside Beck
Another view down into Cowside Beck
Littondale from the Monk's Road
Looking down over Arncliffe
The view back from the edge of Arncliffe

Walk Detail: It has become something of a tradition that at the beginning of January I write out a list of all the walks I'd like to do over the course of the year. For the most part I stick to the list but occasionally I'll get a sudden urge to do a walk that I hadn't planned months before. This was one such walk.

Starting from Arncliffe the route was really very simple, initially making use of the lovely path along the valley towards Hawkswick. A mixture of riverside, sheep pastures and wild meadows were encountered along the way with the finest moment being a dramatic bend in the River Skirfare. Another memorable feature of this first stage of the walk were the number of wild flowers encountered with Meadow Cranesbill particularly prominent.

Upon arriving at the footbridge crossing the river I turned up the narrow Out Gang Lane to reach the 'main' road in Littondale. Turning briefly right I passed a couple of bends before turning off on the drive to Arnscliffe Cote. Once past the house I joined the bridleway climbing up on to the limestone pastures above and a gradual climb above Cote Gill.

My only previous encounter with Cote Gill was a fairly brief one eight years ago when I'd crossed the bottom of the gill with my friend Matt after we'd visited Dowkabottom. This time I wanted to make sure I visited the waterfall further up the gill. Unfortunately, after making the grassy detour from the path I found the stream was completely dry. While this was something of a disappointment ample compensation was to be found in the lovely view down Cote Gill towards Littondale.

Continuing along the bridleway I climbed up High Lineseed Head, where there was a great view of Great Whernside, then through the cow filled pastures of Lee Gate High Mark and then Proctor High Mark. Here I left the bridleway to double back back along a track leading to a gate and from there I walked north with a wall nearby on my right until finally climbing up to the left to reach the top of Parson's Pulpit.

Parson's Pulpit is one of a long, long list of Dales summits that conspired to shroud themselves in hill fog on my first acquaintance with them. It was wonderful therefore to belatedly enjoy the fine view from the summit, especially on such a lovely summer evening. Particularly prominent in the view were Great Whernside to the east and Fountains Fell and Darnbrook Fell to the north. The highest point itself was once marked by an Ordnance Survey trig column but this was replaced at some point by a surface block which is now surrounded by nettles.

Leaving Parson's Pulpit I dropped down north alongside the wall again until I reached the bridleway known as the Monk's Road. This provided me with my route back to Arncliffe, a wonderful section of walking with superb views down in to Cowside Beck and, towards the end, a fantastic view of Littondale bathed in late evening sunshine. A glorious end to what had been yet another thoroughly enjoyable walk in the Dales.

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