The Bridges of Bolton Abbey

Bolton Abbey

The weather lately here in Yorkshire has been so wet that it seemed only sensible for Weekday Wanderers to head for somewhere with prepared paths likely to be mud-free or at least reasonably clear of the stuff.

Bolton Abbey was the first place to come my mind, besides, the usually hefty car parking charges and summer crowds tend to put us off in summer. I’m happy to pay the charge for a car full of people taking advantage of the well-kept paths and the other facilities but £3 on winter weekdays suits us even better.

The walk we decided on is outlined here. Simply park at The Cavendish Pavilion and follow the banks of The River Wharfe up to Barden Bridge; cross the bridge and return on the opposite bank; eat lunch at the picnic tables provided (wet and icy yesterday) and add an extra loop by walking down to the Abbey ruins and returning along a high path to the Pavilion. Altogether our version of the walk was 7.5 miles.

Cavendish Pavilion

Cavendish Pavilion and Foot Bridge

Whatever time of year it is, there’s always something to interest along the river bank. We watched a heron and sat for quite some time in a hide watching coal tits, nut hatches, robins, chaffinches, mallards and other birds. At times the river was fast flowing, at times almost still and it rushes through the narrow, and very dangerous Strid like a waterfall. The main architectural features of the day were the bridges spanning the River Wharfe and a Memorial Fountain dedicated to Frederick Charles Cavendish for the whole of the Bolton Abbey Estate is property of the Dukes of Devonshire.

Quiet reach

A Quiet Start to the Walk

Bridge 1

The Aqueduct hides the pipe that carries water from the Nidderdale Reservoirs to towns and cities in West Yorkshire

Barden Bridge

Barden Bridge

From Barden Bridge

River Wharfe from Barden Bridge


Priory Foot Bridge

Wharfe and Abbey

The Priory Ruins


Cavendish Memorial Fountain

The rains began as we drove out of the car park on our way home.



6 comments on “The Bridges of Bolton Abbey

  1. Declan O'Brien says:

    One of our favourite walks in Yorkshire! A lovely read and great photos!

  2. ms6282 says:

    Your post reminds me that we’ve Not been there for a while. It’s only just over an hour away so I should perhaps retrace your steps before the car parking charges go up!

  3. Fran says:

    With the sound of running water, this appears an ideal tramp even if the weather wasn’t quite so enchanting.

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