If your thinking of partaking in a Woodland walk this October, you can’t go far wrong with a wander along the woodland trails at the Bolton Abbey Estate in the Yorkshire Dales. We took our dog Hugo here this morning and despite it being a soggy rainy day, we had a fab time enjoying the sights and sounds of Strid Wood. The Autumn colours are stunning at this time of year. And after despairing of not finding any fungi on local walks near where I live in Clitheroe, here at Bolton Abbey there are mushrooms and toadstools galore…. Here are a few images from our time on the estate. If you can identify any of the fungi I haven’t ( which is most of it! ) I would love your help. 🙂
Its December everyone! Is it to early to do a bit of a round-up post?? 2018 has been a pretty good year for spotting wildlife I’ve never seen before. I glimpsed my first Gannets plunging into the ocean for fish off Skye, my first Stonechats darting between fence posts and gorse bushes in Ravenglass and my first Great Crested Grebes fishing in the lagoon at Hodbarrow Nature Reserve. I witnessed my first Eider Ducks bobbing along an aquamarine blue sea in the Outer Hebrides and watched for the first time, wild otters swimming and playing in a sheltered cove there.
And this year I have tried to identify and record every flower, mammal, bird, butterfly and moth I have come across whilst out and about , in a Nature Diary. Doing this has definitely got me busy looking up everything in my often neglected wildlife guides. My diary has gotten quite full, though I know there are still so many plants and animals, that I haven’t had the pleasure of viewing in our beautiful British Isles.
Here are just a few photos of some of the wildlife I have managed to capture on camera this year. 🙂
Hope you enjoyed the photos.
What are your own favourite wildlife moments of 2018?
I have visited the beautiful Bolton Abbey Estate on the banks of the river Wharfe many times in both the Spring and Summer, but never in Autumn before. A mistake I believe, as this is now my favourite time of year to explore the Priory ruins and the acres and acres of woodland trails. We were meeting up with my Sister and her family as well as our cousin and her husband, who were holidaying in the area.
Autumn Half Term is a great time to visit with the kids, as spooky goings on are happening deep in the woods. A family friendly Pumpkin Trail with hidden clues to unravel a witches spell, is proving a spooktacular attraction. 🍄 You can pick up a leaflet from the Cavendish Pavillion Shop.
The estate is also pet friendly with miles of on and off lead walks to enjoy. And plenty of chances for a dip in the river. 😉
Car parking is quite expensive. £10 per vehicle, although the ticket does let you move round the various car parks on the estate. Make the most of your day there and pack a picnic or visit one of the cafes on site. We liked The StridTearooms , a short walk from the end of the pumpkin trail, and they welcome four legged friends.
As well as completing the trail, the kids also enjoyed the Welly Walk, playing in the river and looking for wildlife. The Wharfe was teaming with various bird life including Herons, Dippers, Kingfisher, Grey Wagtails and Ducks.
Here are a few photos from our day. We spent a good five hours exploring and loved the Autumn colours. 🙂
The 30,000 acre Bolton Abbey estate encapsulates all that is typical of the beautiful Yorkshire Dales countryside. Rugged moorland, colourful wildflower meadows, shady woodland and meandering riverside walks. As well as the ruins of a magnificent old Priory.
From 1154 to 1539 Augustinian canons lived and worked here until the dissolution of the monasteries. Fortunately the accompanying church was left intact after Prior Moone negotiated with Oliver Cromwell, to keep it as a place of worship for the local community .
I have stayed on nearby campsites in the village of Appletreewick, but never at Catgill Campsite , which is on the Bolton Abbey Estate itself, just a few minutes walk from Bolton Abbey Village.
Wil, Hugo ( our labrador) and I arrived at the site early on a Friday afternoon . The campsite accepts tents and camper vans and has a relaxed check-in and departure policy . You can roll up or depart at any time during the day before 9pm. Dogs are welcome too at no extra charge. We payed £40 for 2 nights camping in a tent.
After checking in at reception we were told to pitch up anywhere we wished in either of the two fields. We chose the lower field and set up camp by the stream. Catgill campsite is part of a working farm and has been open since 2014. The facilities still feeling fresh and new, include separate ladies and gents shower blocks, a pot washing room with two fridge freezers, kettle, microwave and plug sockets and a small shop that sells the basics. We were soon ready to explore.
Bolton Abbey village is a small picturesque parish adjacent to the Abbey grounds. It boasts a couple of tea rooms, book shop, village shop/post office and a large car park. We entered the grounds through a small archway called the ‘ Hole in the wall.’ 🙂
Instead of turning left towards the Priory ruins , we headed right along the river Wharfe, in search of the Devonshire Arms pub, which is also a rather posh hotel and spa. Sure enough after a pleasant 15 minute walk , we arrived at the pub and enjoyed a couple of drinks in the beer garden. Named for the Duke and Duchess of Devonshire , the hostelry is part of their Chatsworth Estate. After a while it got a bit chilly, so I asked the young bar staff if we could move into the ‘Dog Lounge’ which I had previously read about here. Unfortunately I was told that the entire hotel had been booked out for a two day wedding! But he kindly agreed to let me take a peek at the cosy dog – themed salon, where guests can relax with a drink and their pampered pooch.
We spent most of the weekend at Catgill either walking on the estate or chilling by the tent, but there is plenty more to entertain anyone who visits. A stones throw from the site ( well literally next door!) is Hesketh Farm Park , which is a popular family day out. If you fancy a ride on a steam train, The Embsay & Bolton Abbey Railway runs between both villages. And there are miles of walks including a kids adventure trail Welly Walk.
The estate is popular with dog walkers and Hugo had plenty of off-lead time, racing through the woodland and paddling in the river.
Catgill Campsite is a relaxed family-friendly site with helpful amiable hosts and attractive modern facilities.
Shower blocks have family wash rooms.
Pot wash room with two large communal Fridge freezers, Microwave & Kettle.
Small shop selling the basics.
Fire Pit and BBQ hire.
Morning Coffee Shop serving fresh coffee, hot drinks, juice, croissants and other pastries. We especially liked this idea. 🙂
The only downside is trying to find a level pitch as the site is quite sloping in places. Otherwise this is a cracking little find , in the beautiful Wharfedale countryside. 😊
Hope you enjoyed this campsite review. Our next camping trip is to a family-friendly festival in Gisburn Forest next weekend!
I was fortunate enough to stay at a campsite on the Bolton Abbey Estate , over the weekend. But more about that later. 🙂
The river Wharfe winds serenely through the priory grounds and theres always plenty of wildlife to see , in arguably the prettiest of the Yorkshire Dales, Wharfedale. Wil and I always seem to return to the area every year, enjoying riverside walks with Hugo and glimpses of the varied wildlife that resides here.
Here are a few photos of what birds, animals and plant life, we saw on our walks.
Also in Stridd Wood ,we noticed that some trees were covered in what looked like eerie white cobwebs. On closer inspection we saw that the silky webbing was covered in hundreds of tiny catterpillars! I looked up the phenomenon and found that the catterpillar culprits actually turn into White ermine moths. See below. How wonderful to come accross these snazzy fellows.
Although not really Wild, this impressive looking peacock and his turkey friend lived on the farm, nextdoor to our campsite. 😊
Thanks for dropping by. Will return soon with a blog about the campsite we stayed at on the Bolton Abbey Estate.
Day 23 ~ Set up Camp. Less than a week to go now, of the Wildlife Trusts 30 Days Wild challenge. It is becoming a challenge to find new things to do in the wild, but a camping trip can surely help with that. However looking back to my wild moments of 2015 , I can see we went camping then too. And to the same place! Still, you can’t go wrong with a firm favourite, and Appletreewick in the Yorkshire Dales is somewhere we have returned to again and again. Howgill Lodge Campsite is a 30 minutes walk along the river from the village, and is a great little site, popular with families and walkers. And it’s dog friendly too. 🙂
Howgill Lodge tries to do its bit for the environment and encourage wildlife. There are bird boxes around the site, wildflower areas, and solar panels for water, heating and lighting in the shower blocks.
After setting up camp in the Yorkshire drizzle, we walked along the River Wharfe and ended up in one of the pubs in Appletreewick for a few drinks. Then we got comfy , the rain got worse, so we stopped for tea and more liquid refreshment! If you find yourself in the area I can definitely recommend the Craven Arms and Cruck Barn for real ales, ciders and amazing food, adorned with wildflowers. 🙂
And the walk along the river is always beautiful, even in the rain. Some things reassuringly never change. Lots of glorious Common spotted orchids in bloom and a young Wild Swimmer, forever immortalised by a poignant plaque, as the Wharfe winds it’s way through the woodland.
Day 24 ~ Wildlife along the River Wharfe. As is tradition when we visit these parts, we decided to walk to Bolton Abbey and back. With a lunch break, and me forever stopping to take pictures ( much to the annoyance of my other half, tee hee) , we were probably out walking for about 6 hours. Anyone else would be much quicker! Here are a few million photos from the day.
Day 25 ~ More from the Riverside. Before heading home we took Hugo a walk from nearby Burnsall village to Hebden. There is a choice of wibbly wobbly suspension bridge or stepping stones to cross the river. Which would you choose?
And look out for these beautiful yellow flowers that adorn the river bank. I have seen them on previous visits, but only just managed to Id them.
How is 30 Days Wild going for you? Thanks for joining me in the Dales. 🙂
A few days away camping in the Yorkshire Dales is always an excuse to record the local wildlife pictorially. Here are a few snapshots of some of the local plants and birdlife I spied along the banks of the river Wharfe between Burnsall and Bolton Abbey. Along with a few additions. 🙂
There was of course wildlife that I didn’t manage to photograph. Stridd Wood at Bolton Abbey is home to Black Caps and Pied Flycatchers. We saw Dippers and even spied the turquoise gleam of a Kingfisher. Every morning we were woke by a rousing Dawn Chorus that included the calls of curlews and a cuckoo. 🙂 There is nothing so beautiful than the English Countryside. Even if a few nights under canvas is a lot noisier than you would imagine! 🙂
On Friday I took the day off work and had a bit of a girls day out. 🙂 My lovely friends Fi and Jo invited me to accompany them and another friend to Bolton Abbey in the Yorkshire Dales. The Abbey’s grounds are perfect for exploring, so the kids came too. 🙂
From May onwards there is even a Welly Walk designed especially for little people. But in Spring there is plenty to see too. If you go look out for several Money Trees. The girls had fun knocking penny’s into the bark and making a wish. 🙂
April means that along with the showers there are plentiful Spring flowers. I spotted Wood Anemones and Cowslips amongst others.
The Easter Egg Hunt at Bolton Abbey was what we really came for though of course! But first it was time for a spot of lunch. The grounds are perfect for picnics but we thought we would treat ourselves and eat inside the The Cavendish Pavillion Cafe located by the riverside, near where the hunt started.
They are testing out a new menu in the Cavendish which includes lots of delicious Pizza and Flatbread varieties. I really enjoyed my Pea,Feta and courgette Flatbread. And do look out for the cakes! There is an amazing selection…which I completely forgot to photograph! The cafe is a little pricey but very child friendly with baby changing facilities,high chairs and a microwave. If you have a dog ( Bolton Abbey is popular with walkers, cyclists and dog owners) there is lots of outside seating with plans for a weather proof canopy.
The Easter Egg Hunt followed the riverside and the kids really got into it. It involved counting the eggs painted on the front of the different bunny’s and adding them up at the end. The prizes were stickers. We also had our own impromptu chocolate bunny hunt. Its got to be done!
There is plenty to discover along the riverside including this Woodman’s Hut which sells carvings.
Lots of different wildlife. …
And meandering path adventures. 🙂
Our day finished with some riverside fun and an ice cream. X
The Easter Egg Hunt at Bolton Abbey continues until the 24th April.
Car parking for the day costs £8 but you can move your car from one car park to another.
Hi there progress is continuing on the #30dayswild challenge. Half way through now! Some days are proving more difficult than others but I had the perfect excuse to connect with nature this weekend gone as we went camping in the Yorkshire Dales. The Campsite was located right next to the River Wharfe which is a haven for all sorts of wildlife especially birds and wild flowers. This might become a rather picture heavy post!
Day Eleven ~ Bees on Lavender. This year my lavender plant seems to have recovered all its purple glory ( it didn’t look to good last summer) and the bees are loving it. This morning I enjoyed a quick brew in the back yard accompanied by the buzzing of happy bees. 🙂
Day Twelve ~ Do you like Butter? . This was taken on a walk from the campsite to the nearby village of Burnsall. We pitched the tent and enjoyed a stroll along the river. Buttercups seemed to adorn many a meadow so I had to check whether I still liked butter. The golden reflection on my chin proves I do. Obviously. 🙂
Day Thirteen ~ Wharfe Wildlife. Today our walk to the Bolton Abbey estate passed through meadows and woods as well as a long the banks of the river Wharfe. I saw and heard so many different birds and unfortunately I couldn’t photograph them all. Black Caps in Strid Wood were one of the highlights but I didn’t manage to capture any. 😦 Kingfishers too were very camera shy, streaking by in a gleam of turquoise. We heard a cuckoo ( the first time I have listened to one in years) and also the call of lapwings and curlews. But here is what I did photograph. I may need some identification help with a few if any of you nature buffs can help? 🙂
A few of these birds and flowers I could not identify even with the help of my Collins Gem guide books so any help would be appreciated.
Day Fourteen ~ Hug a tree. A-hem so here I am hugging a tree. I’m not sure if it was the most affectionate big old hug but I guess It made me feel giddily cheerful. 😛
Day Fifteen ~Smell the Roses.. The Wild roses in the hedgerows smell gorgeous. I made sure I inhaled their sweet scent on my walk on day 15. What is your favourite wild flower scent?
June means dusting down the tent and heading off into the Yorkshire dales for the weekend. 🙂 We picked Masons Farm at Appletreewick as it is a site we’ve visited before, enjoying its close proximity to the river Wharfe….and a couple of good real ale pubs.
Masons Farm is a friendly family run site with all the facilities you could possibly need, including shower blocks with hairdryers, a small shop/reception in a retro airstream van and a mobile bakery/coffee van that proves very popular on weekend mornings.
The River Wharfe flows past the bottom of the site and is a haven for wildlife such as Herons, Kingfisher and Goosander, more of which in my next #30dayswild update! As soon as we had pitched the tent on Friday we headed out along the river to the nearby village of Burnsall with its attractive stone cottages,pub, shop and tea rooms. 🙂
On the Saturday we turned left at the bottom of the site and walked the two hour gentle trek along the river, through Strid Wood and to the grounds of Bolton Abbey.We had lunch at the Pavilion cafe there and Hugo our black lab made the most of lots of dips in the river. 🙂 In the evening we strolled to one of the two pubs in Appletreewick for tea. Both the Craven Arms and the New Inn serve food and are dog friendly.
On Sunday morning it was time to pack up the tent and leave Mason’s Farm. We had a fab stay and I wouldn’t hesitate to book again. It was a perfect riverside camping experience. 🙂 oooh and the campsite is all geared up for glamping too, renting out an Airstream , vw campers and bell tents. Something to think about! On the way home we decided to call in at Bolton Abbey again and take a few photos of the romantic ruins of the old priory. The Bolton Abbey estate has beautiful grounds, riverside,tea rooms, gift shop, kids welly walk, picnic spots and hiking trails. Well worth a visit if you are in the area.
Do you go camping and if so what sites do you recommend?