At the weekend we found ourselves having no commitments at short notice and decided to go on a little amble somewhere. I let Chris ponder where we should go whilst I got ready and he decided on Otley.
I’d never been to Otley before (other than on the bus to Ilkley) but had seen photos of the Chevin from a couple of people I follow on Instagram. I wasn’t entirely sure what to expect but by the time we got there (it took 2 hours from leaving the house due to REALLY slow buses) I knew we would only have a couple more hours of daylight.
We grabbed some nondescript food from a local cafe (they preferred salad leaves over flavour) to give us enough sustenance and picked up a bottle of water from Sainsburys. Chris led us up a rather steep road and as cars revved past as speed I wondered if it would actually take us to where we wanted to go.
After walking for a little longer we reached the Otley Chevin Forest Park and decided to continue our walk through the park. From the looks of the map in the entrance we would be able to walk through and exit at Bramhope where we would be able to get the X84 bus back into Leeds.
After stopping a number of times to take some photos, meandering along and spying some deer we reached a point where we needed to be sure we were following the right muddy, snowy path and asked some dog walkers.
We were sent up along a less muddy route than the one the dog walkers had taken and hoped that we would be able to make it out of the forest before it became too dark for us to see what was in front of us.
We had to consult Google Maps further up the path and luckily we were in 3G range to double-check. We snaked out of the park towards a country road and walked towards the main road which brings you to the crossroads by the Dyneley Arms.
By the time we’d reached the Dyneley Arms we were bitterly cold and unsure of when the next bus would pass so we decided to warm up by the fire with a couple of drinks. It was soon apparent that it was going to take a little more than that for us to warm up so we decided to order some traditional pub grub.
The service, drinks and food was just what we’d needed after a long walk and slight anxiety of not quite knowing how far we’d have to walk to get to a bus stop to take us back into the city centre.