A Wintry Winterburn Walk – on the first day of spring

Last October I attempted this walk but long stretches of very muddy footpaths put me off completing it. I suppose I walked about a third of the route and then diverted from it taking an alternative track to a tarmaced country lane back to the start. So I was delighted when this month’s Weekday Wanderers ‘leader’ told us we were going to do the Winterburn Reservoir Walk yesterday. There was every chance that the paths, although muddy, would be frozen so we would be able to complete the route without being too bogged down in mud.

Muddy moor lane

Our leader’s walk – although also extracted from the Yorkshire Post – followed the reverse route. Parking in Hetton in front of the Angel Inn, we headed along a quiet lane out of the village then we struck out across fields until we reached Friar’s Head House. A slight diversion was well worth it to see the front of this Grade 2* listed building which is now a farmhouse.

Friars Head 1

The manor of Winterburn was gifted to Furness Abbey during the 12th century. Nearby Winterburn Grange was the abbey’s administrative centre for the surrounding estates and Friar’s Head was supposedly a hunting lodge for the Abbots of Furness. The present building has a much later date however. After the Dissolution of the Monasteries a long dispute arose over Friar’s Head between its tenants under the Abbey, the Proctor family, and the Earl of Cumberland who tried to put his own tenants in. The three-storey house now at Friar’s Head was eventually built by Stephen Proctor around 1590. It is the most prominent example of a late Tudor gentry house in the Dales.”

Source : http://www.outofoblivion.org.uk/record.asp?id=237

The quiet Winterburn Lane leads to the village of Winterburn itself where we were delighted to see new born lambs in their pac-a-mac raincoats!

Lambs in Plastic Macs

Lambs in Plastic Macs

Latest style in plastic rainwear

The Latest Style in Rainwear!

Eventually we left the track to climb up to fields above the hamlet and we had wide views of the Cracoe Fell with its cross and war memorial (I have yet to walk that ridge).

Winterburn walk

Dropping down to the reservoir itself we had to negotiate the muddy paths before joining the long Moor Lane track back to the village of Hetton.

Winterburn res.

Winterburn Reservoir

Cracoe Fell from Moor Lane

Cracoe Fell from Moor Lane

Returning to Hetton

Returning to Hetton

We experienced freezing cold winds but lovely clear views of the fells covered with snow. Today we have as much snow in our garden! And to think, Easter is a week away and spring has already begun!

Snow today

Snow today!


9 comments on “A Wintry Winterburn Walk – on the first day of spring

  1. ms6282 says:

    Good job you went for the walk when you did. Wouldn’t have been so good today. What has happened to Spring?

    I don’t kmow where Winerburn is. But I agree that that ridge looks very tempting

    • We couldn’t have gone today and tomorrow’s plan has been curtailed, too. Winterburn is between Malham and Grassington. To be atop the ridge looks tempting … but getting up to it would be another matter! Maybe one day, before I’m too old.

  2. Nilly says:

    I haven’t dined at the Angel for many years, but often remember it. However I’d forgotten all about Friar’s Head House and I once knew an old man who in his youth walked to work every day over Cracoe Fell.
    Thank you for the memories!

    • Great memories, Nilly. Thank you. Did you live nearer there at one time? After the aborted walk last October we popped in the Angel for a snack and came away with a flyer for New Year’s Dinner and Quiz. The four of us went and came second in the quiz winning a bottle of champagne. The other couple drove so we suggested they have it.

  3. Erika W. says:

    First time read of your blog. Thank you for this lovely evocative walk. I felt I was there with you although I lived always in the home counties and west country before moving to the US.

  4. Lyn says:

    Lovely post, Barbara & beautiful photos. I envy you the chance to walk through past such places as Friar’s Head House. I hope you make it to the top of the ridge one day.

  5. […] to try a different one to present to the group. Twice this year we have walked from Hetton around Winterburn Reservoir, with slight variations each time. Memories of the wonderful views across to Cracoe Pinnacle […]

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