This is one of those walks that we have enjoyed again and again. Perhaps all walks are as such but walking from Leyburn in Wensleydale along The Shawl on a clear day and giving yourself a moment to pause and take in the view is exceptional. Try it and you’ll see what I mean! The walk is about five or six miles, please do wear appropriate clothing and footwear, takes snacks and drinks. Always essential is the map, GPS, compass and plan your route beforehand. Read on and the photo above does become appropriate!
Park in Leyburn wherever you can and set off towards Commercial Square which is to the right of the Bolton Arms. In the right hand corner inbetween The Dalesman Club and Campbell’s the grocers is Shawl Terrace, walk up here and at the top turn left through the kissing gate then walk up the field through another little gate and continue on. Here take your time to enjoy what is before you and breathe, that’s all that’s necessary just at this moment and enjoy. The Shawl is not to be hurried not as with Mary Queen of Scots who was fleeing and was reputed to have dropped her own shawl along the way.
When you’re ready continue on up the field to the next way through, keeping the wood to your left follow the well walked path and you will eventually come to a gate which takes you into the wood, SE 10034 90815. Follow through here, so pretty with glimpses through the trees of Wensleydale, you’ll come to fork in the path keep on the high path, past Lady Algithas Cave (I’ve never seen it although have always forgotten to look!) after while you start to decend and leave the wood, SE 08568 91326. Again wonderful views of Wensleydale, you feel on top of the world although there are much higher places to be in Wensleydale. Keeping going down through the field, south west, through the little gate, cut diagonally across to the next point of the fence. You’ll meet up with a track follow this, still descending, pass some farm buildings and where there is the junction of track and footpaths turn left. Onward again and down the hill, do not follow round to the left, soon old mining buildings will come into view with a large chimney all disused now. Follow the track coming out onto the little road to Preston under Scar, SE 07898 90699.
Over the road, over the stile and proceed more or less south west, over the railway line, don’t forget to whistle, over the stile, down the field coming out on the road from Wensley to Carperby. Turn left here, walk along the road for a few yards then turn off right into the wood to follow the path again. Turn left through a little gate before the bungalow and follow the path south east to Bolton Hall driveway, SE 08876 89618. Here turn left, walk along the driveway until you come out at Wensley.
In Wensley cross the road, head down the green to the church, Low Lane, pass the church, go down a dip in the road and then take the next turn on the left. Up a steep hill to a stile on your right, SE 09371 89679. Through here out into the fields again and continue to follow the path and past the little wood on your right. You’ll walk through Leyburn Old Glebe Natural Reserve, when we walked through this time the field was a sea of cowslips but by now there will be many more enchanting wild flowers to find. Where the path splits keep straight on, east, careful to follow the path, it is well walked but there’s a little bit where it’s a bit ambiguous as you leave the open fields and walk with a fence on either side for a little way. Walk along until you eventually come to Low Wood Lane. Turn left, north, quite stony up here a way but then the ground smooths and it’s easier although the steepness doesn’t get any better!. At the top you are back on the A684 going into Leyburn. Turn right, make your way up the hill to the market place and your vehicle.
We enjoyed a delicious lunch at The Black Swan but there are lots of places to choose from in Leyburn. Please do contact us and stay in on of our beautiful Country Hideaways cottages so that you can experience this walk for yourselves. Call me Nadine or my daughter Joanne on 01969 663559 for friendly help and advice or of course book online if you wish. Hear from you quite soon!
Written By Nadine Bell