Picture Post: A landscape for all seasons in heart of the Dales

With Autumn arriving a little later than usual this year, many of the county’s parks and attractions continued to enjoy unseasonally mild temperatures.

PIC: Bruce Rollinson
PIC: Bruce Rollinson

Halloween was the warmest on record and while October as a whole did not quite beat the balmy temperatures the country saw in 2001, for a while it seemed as though this year we had skipped the dark winter nights.

At the Strid in Bolton Abbey, families continued to enjoy the miles of walkways as the River Wharfe’s rapids and waterfalls basked in the last of the summer warmth.

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The Strid’s narrow chasm was formed by the circular motion of small stones which gradually wore away the softer rock. Eventually, a series of potholes were formed and over time these linked together, creating a deep channel of water.

It takes its name from the Anglo Saxon ‘Stryth’, meaning turmoil or tumult. This was later corrupted into ‘Strid’, so named because the narrow width between the rocks and the banks appears as if it may be crossed with a long stride.

While it offers visitors a picture postcard scene, the Strid can be a dangerous spot, with the water flowing between the gap at often great speed and force.

Crossing the bank is ill-advised as the rocks on each side are very slippery and the gap is said to be much wider than it first appears.

More serene, is the ancient woodland which surrounds the estate.

Providing a stunning backdrop for the area’s many walking trails, it is home to one of the largest areas of acidic oak woodland in the Yorkshire Dales and has been designated Site of Special Scientific Interest.

Renowned for its flora and fauna, the site is particularly popular during the spring when the grounds fill with masses of bluebells.

Today it is covered with a bright orange carpet of fallen autumn leaves and come the end of the year, the Strid may have had a dusting of snow.

However, whatever the season, the Bolton Abbey estate always has a certain beauty and remains one of Yorkshire’s most loved attractions.

Technical details: Nikon D3s, 17-55mm lens, 1/5 sec at F22, ISO200