Over the last eight years, I have come to know and love the X84 service - comfortable double-decker buses that ply between Leeds, Otley, Ilkley and Skipton. I don't know what they are like in the morning rush hour - I only board after 9.30am (with my bus pass!) and then they almost always have ample seating and several walkers.
The route passes through some great Yorkshire scenery - not the full grandeur of the Dales or North Yorkshire Moors, but much of the delight of Wharfedale is to be seen through the windows of the bus, without even leaving your seat. Stepping out into that scenery is not only straightforward, but also hugely rewarding.
Bit by bit, I have explored the paths that launch off from various bus stops. I soon found that I could walk from bus stop to bus stop through a fantastic range of scenery, mainly off-road. So I’ve assembled a series of routes that would let me walk all the way to Skipton on country paths, stage by stage, and still be home for tea, or even lunch, in Headingley each day.
It’s all set out in a website and over the next few months I’ll re-visit the different sections - and hopefully see some readers out on the trails.
Visit the website at http://dickdowning.wordpress.com