The mooring at the top of Bingley five rise is tricky. It’s either too shallow or there is a concrete shelf running just under the waterline. It’s frustrating because you don’t know you can’t get in until you try and fail, but this time it worked in our favour because we were forced to cruise on another 10 minutes to Micklethwaite. Close enough to walk back into Bingley and with a number of good country walks.
My trusty OS map showed me that we were right on the edge of Ilkey Moor, so off we went, humming that famous Yorkshire anthem to ourselves
The heather was stunning, and we could see for miles. That’s Keighley (pronounced keithly) on the hill on the far right. The canal meanders along the valley contours below Keighley towards Skipton.
And when we got to the top we realised just how vast and bleak the moor was. Can you imagine what it would be like in winter. Or how easy it would be to get lost. It was less than 4 miles to Ilkey but we decided we weren’t dressed for a proper hike.
It was blowing a gale up here, so yes even if we’d brought our hats we wouldn’t still be wearing them.
It was a bracing and invigorating walk. And as we descended back to the canal we found a nice pub for Sunday Lunch . And enjoyed looking back up the hill, which was a lot higher than the photo suggests.
The next day Eric needed to catch up on a few things so I took myself off to visit Riddlesden Hall, a NT property on outskirts of Keighley
A small but interesting manorial farm house, one of its outstanding features is the 400 year old Great Barn.
It’s collosal and virtually unchanged since it was built. It was used as a threshing barn and also house 42 animals in stalls around the edge.
Inside the house is a collection of ornate needlework and some spinning equipment.
Micklethwaite was another lovely base to spend a few days exploring away from the canal. If we had moored at the top of the five rise, we would only have stayed one night and missed all of this.
And for those of you that don’t know the full Ballard of Ilkley moor here are the words and a translation