As you trudge through the snow from the Royalty Pub on York Gate you reach one of the sights of Yorkshire. ‘Surprise View’ a site and sight that must have inspired generations since the neolithic man first ventured into Yorkshire.
There are neolithic bones rescued from the gravel pits down in the Wharfe valley that have been preserved and stored in Otley Museum. Currently they are not on display as political posturing and pathetic pecuniary performance has closed the museum (for years) and only the archives are accessible.
This is the view from Surprise View at the crest of the ridge north to York, Pateley Bridge and the dales beyond. Any early version of Google maps satellite.
There is a cairn and graphic displaying the key sites you can observe on a clear day, all the better viewing with a bit of snow relection.
At Easter this is the location for the erection of the large 40′ wooden cross that can be seen for miles from the valley and slopes below.
There are many walks on the Chevin and you could do a lot worse than obtaining the Arthur Gemmell ‘Footpath Map & Guide of the Chevin Area’.
The multitude of walks are printed in red with stiles, field boundaries, lanes and features all meticulously marked.
Moving east from the ridge you can head towards Yeadon and Carlton viewing the Leeds Bradford airport runway from above, an unusual opportunity to see planes below you landing and taking off.
Alternatively you can go down towards East Chevin Road and Danefield Wood even on to Harewood and York Minster. For the step climbers loop around bearing left then turn left up Johnny Lane to climb back to Surprise View.
Heading west from Surprise View lies Rombalds Moor which can be accessed by the Dales Way Leeds link or Ebor Way both of which run through this Chevin area.
Leeds Council Owners of Surpirse View
‘Walking – in 2008 Otley became a Walkers Are Welcome town in recognition of it being a great area to walk. There are two walks from Otley to the Chevin and you can download these on the pdf walking map. You can also download a pdf guide to four walks in Otley. There are many other routes to explore such as the downloadable walk route featured on this page that includes Surprise View. ‘
Chevin Forest Park has been improved significantly over recent years and there are lots of activities for the able bodied.