Yes, we are in lockdown but the Yorkshire Dales are still here waiting for you whenever you’re ready and able to return. January 2021 hasn’t been the best of months weather wise, it is winter after all, or has it just seemed so because of the situation we are all in. However on a good, clear, very still day with the ground hard and crunchy under foot I set off in the direction of Bishopdale.

A beautiful walk with stunning views along the way, varied terrain and no really steep hills. About eight miles but you can vary it as you wish and make it longer if feeling more intrepid! Do check the route on your map, either paper or online, and wear suitable clothing for the day and good strong footwear. As always take drinks and snacks, if not a picnic.

Living in West Burton, here will be the starting point but you can pick up the trail from Thoralby or Newbiggin as we will be walking through both. If in West Burton, park your car by the side of the green or at the waterfall area and head off to find the Back Nook. Look for the village shop and turn to go down the hill, after a while, just past a junction into a cul-de-sac on your right, on the left you will see a stile and gate leading down a narrow lane to the right of The Reading Room, this will take you to the B6160. Cross over, bear a little to the right to stile on the other side of the road. Through here, follow a well used footpath to the river, continue along eventually coming out at Eshington Bridge.

Over the bridge bear left onto Eastfield Lane (known as Spickels to the locals) and follow until you arrive at Thoralby in a westerly direction. Into Thoralby, bear right at the junction by the shop and walk past the green, the pub and the village hall. (If perchance you would like a shorter walk then park behind the village hall and set off from here but turn left to come back into the village when you're at the top of the steep hill instead of right*) follow to the end and again bear right as the road begins to go uphill, always going west. Do not follow the little arrow to Littleburn. Continue up the hill, past the last houses by now the road becomes a track, shown as Side Road on the map. Keep going along the track past Swinacote until you get to Barker, sweep round the front of Barker and pick up the footpath, now the view changes completely as we start to travel downhill, east.

Pass in front of Cote Bottom and Blind Syke following the footpath downhill until you come out at Littleburn. Walk down through the driveway to come out on Westfield Lane. Over the little bridge, taking note of the plaque there, the original is now in Thoralby Village Hall, and on your right you will see a stile into a large field. Over the stile and cut diagonally across the field to Bishopdale Beck, again we’re more or less keeping going in an easterly direction, coming out onto the road at the top of a short, steep hill*. Turn right, over Mill Bridge and follow to the junction of the B6160, Cross Lanes. Turn left, look right and cross over the road.

Through the gate and follow the footpath up the fields to come out on another track. This track takes you down to Newbiggin if you wish explore the village. Otherwise cross over to the stile opposite, through here and follow the footpath diagonally up hill to the left. Again a well worn footpath, lots of stiles, wonderful views, which eventually will bring you to Town Head Farm at the very top of West Burton. Over the narrow wooden bridge, through the farm yard, up the little hill, over the brow and depending on where you’ve parked your vehicle you just might be able to see it.

A really lovely walk, not to be missed and if you’re staying in one of our cottages in West Burton or Newbiggin, from the doorstep! Check out availability on the website or call me Nadine or my daughter Joanne on 01969 663559 for friendly help and advice.