Monday, 7 May 2012

Bainbridge and Semer Water

Looking out for somewhere to go this weekend, I found a route on the Walking Englishmans site: Romans, Raydale and Semer Water.  It looked just right in as much the tracks were clearly defined, it wasn't too far a drive or too long a walk, and I get to see Semer Water, somewhere new for me. I parked in Bainbridge, which was easy because even though the place was busy, there are loads of places to leave a car.  Then it was off on my way up School Hill to Cam High Road, which is actually an old Roman Road.  And yes, dead straight.
On his website the WE suggests that you nip off the Cam High Road to look at the  Horton Gill waterfalls, so I did, turning right down the road to the bridge.  The little waterfall at the bridge is quite lovely in it's own right, and I couldn't resist climbing down to see it better. 
I got back up onto the road and then turn left into the field to walk along the gill. The thing is, you are trespassing.  I didn't realise this at first (sort of from WE's comments)  and assumed there was a way out, but there isn't.  So I retraced my steps to leave the way I came.  At this point, the sheep in the field all bunched up behind me in that way that sheep do, and more or less chased me out.  I think that sort of paid me back for trespassing.   They were very noisy, Baaa baaa baaaing.  (I think it translates to "Gerrof my land").  The waterfalls were lovely though.....

So back onto the Cam High Road, take the next fingerpost left, and climb up, through the cut in the ridge and over the hill out of Wensleydale into Raydale.   I quite liked walking through that gap in the ridge, it was just a nice place to be.   Once through and at the top of the hill, you get your first sight of Semer Water.  I don't know why, I just thought it would be bigger.  I also thought it was a reservoir, I found out later it isn't.  
So down the hill  to Marsett, across Raydale floor and then turn left again to head towards the "Chapel (rems of)". As WE states on his website, the old chapel really is quite wonderful.  Sadly, when I arrived there were loads of visitors ahead of me, climbing all over and around it, or sitting on the walls, eating lunch.  It made it impossible to take photo's really, but it really worth a look if you're over that way.  Onwards then to Semer water.  This is proper Dales walking round here, lots of fields, stiles, sheep and boggy bits.  Lovely.  
Reaching Semer Water, I learned from the information board that the lake is actually glacial. Curious.  For me, water = birds, but as I walked towards the lake, most of the interesting ones were too far away even for my binoculars although  I did see loads of noisy Canada Geese.  The path then moves away from the water and through fields, so I didn't really get to see that much of the lake as I wanted.  

On now to Low Blean Farm.  The path has been rerouted and now runs behind the farm, over a very pretty little beck.
Then it's on to Low Force farm and up the hill onto Blean Lane.  From there it's mostly road, with a bit of field walking back to Bainbridge.  The final point of interest is crossing the road bridge over the River Bain.  At the time the WE walked this route, there was a lot more water in the becks and rivers, as can be seen in his photo's.  I'm happy with mine though.

On the way back up the car, I noticed a lovely little tea room near the green.  I didn't have any cash on me,  otherwise I would have indulged.  I'll know for next time though.  All in all a very pleasant day  Not too difficult a walk and with the Dales all around it was just very, very nice.
Just over 8 miles and about 1300 ft of up.  Map on WE site.  


  1. Considering Yorks Dales National Parks obsession with retaining the beauty of the area, even kicking up a fuss over the most minor plans I was totally gobsmacked to see the artesian screw contraption above the picturesque falls. Whoever let this happen wants sacking. Green energy at any cost!!

  2. I totally agree with you. Even though I hadn't really thought about it, it jars in the surroundings doesn't it. Horrible thing.