Spring had definitely sprung on April’s walk. A Group started at Linton Bridge, with a short bit of road walking. B Group started at Stockeld Park. Bypassing the spa near Sicklinghall we turned into a wood, thick with ransoms in flower. That’s wild garlic to the you and me. Though widespread in wet areas across the UK it is illegal to uproot wild garlic. However its quite alright to add the leaves or the flowers to salads. Let us know what it tastes like!
It was the first of many floral spectacles – lilac, violet and wisteria, all in their shades of purple, contrasting with delicate cherry blossom, bright acconite and sweet wood anemone. Very soon we entered a bluebell wood, such a wondrous sight which made us all gasp. We lingered for a while. Some of our walkers fulfilled their lifelong ambition to sit in a glade of bluebells.
The A Group rambled through country lanes, over stiles and stepping stones, while the B Group succeeded in their quest for a coffee stop, made all the more exciting with an egg-cup of Smarties.
Both Groups stopped at the pretty village of Spofforth for lunch. In 2018, Spofforth won RHS Britain in Bloom, and they placed their plaque upon the park wall along with their awards from preceeding years. The avid photographers among us scarpered off to the ruins of 13thC. Spofforth Castle.
After lunch our leaders Phil and Bev lead us to Plumpton Rocks. Plumpton Rocks is a large garden and man-made lake which takes its name from the wind-eroded and strangely shaped rocks thereabouts. There is lots to see, but we were just passing through.
The morning walk ended at the atmospheric 16th C. Mother Shipton’s Inn in Knaresborough. Feeling rested and refreshed, a large group set off again. We walked by the river with stunning views of the town to Nidd Viaduct. Our walk ended with a delightful circuit of Nidd Gorge, ancient woodland in a deep ravine with even more bluebells. A special place of tranquillity to be preserved and protected for others to enjoy.
What a lovely walk! Thank you to Phil, Bev and Len for planning and leading. Thank you to everyone else for your good company and laughter and for the fantastic photos. Do you wish that you had been there? Well, email Phil, firstname.lastname@example.org. If anyone drops out, he may be able to offer you a seat. Next time we are off to Masham, lead by Len and Bev on Sunday 19th May, leaving Doncaster Market Place at 8am.