This was a stimulating short stroll in beautiful, rare, ancient woodland with warm autumnal colours and multiple water features of interest. The 15-hectare woods were once part of a much larger forest in the Manor of Skipton, which for over 1,000 years provided the castle owners with timber for fuel, construction, hunting and fishing.
The excellent hunting, abundant timber and water
convinced Baron Robert de
Romille to build his castle here in 1090 which in turn established a town.
Later the woodland helped power Skipton’s industrial revolution by supplying
timber and water to the cotton, wool and corn mills in the area.
Seasonal highlights include spring wild garlic when
the whole woodland is full of the heavy scents of this plant. At this time the
woods also have colourful patches of bluebells, wood anemone and wild primrose.
In autumn – one of the best times to visit – the paths are covered with golden
leaves, and beech nuts and pines cones are scattered across the woodland floor.
Red kites and buzzards are regularly seen over the
pine and spruce and woodpeckers often heard throughout the wood. Wagtails,
dippers, ducks, herons and kingfishers frequent the various water features.
Links: See here
and here for detailed and comprehensive information on the
features and attractions of the woods and here
for a useful trail map.