After a morning spent training for our triathlon events, with weary bodies and aching legs we head out for a Saturday afternoon mini-adventure. August 1st is Yorkshire day and what better way to pay homage to this incredible shire than by venturing into the magnificent hills.
Not really knowing what to expect we arrived at The Swinton Bivouac. A ridiculous spot, high up on the hill just overlooking a neat little valley. Unfortunately missing out on Yorkshire Day festivities we did catch the end of some amazing fist sized scones! Proper coffee and jam… can’t go wrong! As we sat looking at the quirky little tea rooms, reading our GoYorkshire magazine, perhaps it was our weary post exercise bodies or lack of coffee but we felt a lovely sense of calm.
Then the real mini-adventure started! As we followed the kids’ “hedgehog hunt” into the woods, we found ourselves quickly away from people and into a beautiful mixed woodland. A signpost indicated native trees were planted along a trail to commemorate [something I can’t remember] and it certainly added to the beauty. One moment walking through low-lying grasses the next being towered over by brilliant Scott’s Pines.
After a very short while, the temple emerged from the bracken. An incredible structure built from huge slabs of stone, 2,3 and sometimes 4 layers deep in a huge circle. Archways, nooks and standing stones formed to create an impressive monument. As we tiptoed through the first circle, an adjoining area emerged ahead of us showing what seemed to be a giant stone table complete with seats against a deep dark cave backdrop. It literally took our breath away. Timidly we crept inside the cave and stopped, turning back to take in the moment. Amazing!
Lots of little paths and tracks led off the main bridleway and whilst adventuring through the woods it felt incredibly ethereal, helped by the fly agaric mushrooms dotted along way. I truly believe should we have turned around there’d be fairies dancing behind us!
Whilst dodging rain clouds and wondering how on earth the giant rocks could be stacked on top of one another, we thought what a privilege it was to stumble upon such a place. Just an hour from our house we can safely say we’ll be visiting again!