Friday, 3 January 2014

Billing Hill and Plane Tree Hill from Horsforth, Leeds 1.1.14

A circular walk, 6.1 miles - 3 hours.

A small walk taking in two of the highest points in the Leeds area.

As is tradition on New Years Day, it was time for a walk. This year I decided to take in a walk that I had been meaning to do for a while, a couple of notable high points in the north west of Leeds. Billing Hill is a well known and recognisable local land mark. And included in the walk would be the high point of Plane Tree Hill - situated about half mile north from Billing Hill.
 I had probably decided on one of the toughest days available to do the walk. Firstly the buses were not running, meaning that I would have to get a train to Horsforth. Normally I could get a bus directly along the ring road to Horsforth taking around 20 minutes. My journey on New Years Day would consist of a taxi to my local railway station of Cross Gates, then a train into Leeds, then a connecting train for Horsforth - a journey of about an hour! Secondly, anyone who can remember New Years Day 2014 will remember one distinct memory of it, it was lashing down.
 Here landing at Horsforth station at 13:40pm...
Horsforth and Rawdon circular 001
Remarkably considering the mornings weather, it had actually stopped raining when I arrived. Here heading out of the station and turning right up onto Station Road...
Horsforth and Rawdon circular 003
At the top of Station Road I turned right at the roundabout in front of the Old Ball pub...
Horsforth and Rawdon circular 004
Onto Brownberrie Lane now...
Horsforth and Rawdon circular 005
Here passing Leeds Trinity University...
Horsforth and Rawdon circular 006
Some good views from here...
Horsforth and Rawdon circular 007
Brownberrie Lane eventually becomes Layton Road about a mile in from Horsforth station. Here, now in Rawdon, cutting right from Layton Road onto Layton Avenue...
Horsforth and Rawdon circular 010
About 400 yards further on, a footpath cuts right sign posted to 'The Billing'...
Horsforth and Rawdon circular 012
Horsforth and Rawdon circular 013
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The footpath brings you to a gate that allows you out onto the lower slopes of Billing Hill...
Horsforth and Rawdon circular 017
It's a bit muddy...
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The footpath follows the edge of a small dry stone wall as you ascend the hill...
Horsforth and Rawdon circular 019
A fence with a gate intersects the path at the brow of the hill...
Horsforth and Rawdon circular 020
Here cutting left and following the fence...
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Billing Hill Trig Point is situated at 223 metres...
Horsforth and Rawdon circular 024
Billing Hill commands some good views of the surrounding area. Here looking south towards Pudsey...
Horsforth and Rawdon circular 027
The weather on the top of Billing Hill was starting to worsen, high winds with rain had started to lash the area. I made my way back along the fence towards the footpath that I ascended Billing Hill, and back towards the gate...
Horsforth and Rawdon circular 032
The gate allows you out onto the fields on the northern side of Billing Hill. Here looking towards the next highpoint of Plane Tree Hill up ahead...
Horsforth and Rawdon circular 033
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The path remains easy to follow across the boggy fields as you approach Bayton Lane...
Horsforth and Rawdon circular 036
When I reached Bayton Lane, I crossed over and continued along the lane opposite...
Horsforth and Rawdon circular 037
The lane appears to be a small service lane for the Leeds and Bradford airport. After 300 yards I cut left here...
Horsforth and Rawdon circular 038
Horsforth and Rawdon circular 039
Probably one of the muddiest tracks I've ever followed, a real slippy squelchy affair was this part of the walk...
Horsforth and Rawdon circular 040
The track continues uphill for another 400 yards to a seemingly popular viewing area for the airport. An airport security Land Rover was sat at the top of the track with security officers observing the area, so I nearly missed the - blink and you'll miss it - Trig Point on Plane Tree Hill at 224 metres...
Horsforth and Rawdon circular 041
Plane Tree Hill is a fitting name for the place, but it's just coincidence they built an airport next to it, the name of the hill actually dates back much further.
 Here looking into the gloom towards the shadow of Ilkley Moor from the airport viewing area...
Horsforth and Rawdon circular 042
Here a plane on the runway ready for take off, with the high point of Otley Chevin beyond...
Horsforth and Rawdon circular 046
Heading from the viewing area back onto Bayton Lane, I turned right and headed downhill along the roadside...
Horsforth and Rawdon circular 047
Eventually you come to a cross roads where I turned left from Bayton Lane onto the A658 which I followed for about 100 yards. I then cut left here along Moorfield Drive, which is sign posted for 'The Billing' via a public footpath...
Horsforth and Rawdon circular 048
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Moorfield Drive brings you out onto fields at the rear of Cold Harbour Farm. Here Billing Hill comes back into view...
Horsforth and Rawdon circular 051
An easy to follow path through the mud...
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Horsforth and Rawdon circular 055
Here coming down from Billing Hill back towards Rawdon...
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This waterlogged pitch allows you onto Town Street...
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Turning left onto Town Street I followed the road for about half a mile. Here passing Rawdon Parish Church...
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Where Town Street intersects with Layton Lane a public footpath cuts between houses that I followed into fields beyond...
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Here passing over an area down on the map as Lane Ends...
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Here approaching West End Lane on the outskirts of Horsforth...
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Cutting right and following West End Lane now...
Horsforth and Rawdon circular 065
The route continues to the rear of Leeds Trinity University, before cutting along a small footpath bringing you out onto St Margaret's Road...
Horsforth and Rawdon circular 066
This road brings you back onto Station Road at the roundabout where the Old Ball pub is situated to make your way back into Horsforth station completing the walk.
Overall a nice little walk in the Leeds area. It would have been a lot nicer walk if the weather had been better, but for the 1st of January I can't complain too much.
 So, probably not the most interesting walk I've ever uploaded, but certainly one of the muddiest!
Thanks for reading.
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