It’s May and the time of year for bluebells and they are quite magnificent, must have been the perfect weather for them. We do have lots of places where you can wander through bluebell woods, Hackfall Wood  and Nutwith Wood near Masham, Cauldron Falls at West Burton, Freeholders Wood near Aysgarth Falls but thought it would be nice to combine a walk with bluebells, spectacular views and not too far. So…………………..

Setting off from Aysgarth Falls, park in the Falls car park or in the Yorkshire Dales National Park centre car park and make your way to the A684.  Opposite the Aysgarth Falls Hotel you’ll see a finger post. Over the stile here, cross the field diagonally nye on south to another stile and then onwards to the wood and a little gate. Through here and behold the bluebells, follow the well defined path after pausing to admire the sight, through another stile out into the field and follow to a junction of finger posts. From here go south west in the direction of Tomgill Bridge coming out onto the road. Down the road and you can either continue on the road to Thoralby* (pick up the walk at the next *) or take the first footpath on the right and thread your way through another little wood, over a bridge out onto the driveway of Heaning Hall Farm go over the fence and follow the footpath behind the house and buildings. When you’ve passed the buildings it can be a little confusing here but where there is no sign go through the gateway on the left but then keep right. Keep going straight on on the same level eventually coming out onto a track, Haw Lane. Turn left down the hill coming out in Thoralby. Turn left again and walk down through the village, past the pub, The George Inn (it may not open so don’t have your spirits too raised) then right at the next junction. *Onward along the road, down a steep hill, over a bridge and up to the junction. Cross over the road and head in the direction of Newbiggin.

Once you come to the houses, by all means walk down the village to explore but come back to this point, turn left past East Farm and follow the track which eventually peters out, then through the fields to come out onto the road again near West Burton. Again walk along the road, you will come to some steps on the right hand side, from here you can go up  in to West Burton and have a wander in the village or look left and you’ll see a finger post in the direction of Eshington Bridge. This is where you need to be whether you’ve gone into West Burton or not. Once at Eshington Bridge take the little lane immediately in front of you, through the stile on the bend, up through the fields, the path is well defined coming out eventually where you were at the junction of finger posts. Off to the right, enjoy the wood and the bluebells again, coming out onto the A684 where you started off. Don’t forget to have a wander down to look in the church, it’s usually open and if in need of lunch/afternoon tea etc there is the Mill Race Tea Shop, The Falls Café and the Coppice Coffee Shop, all excellent.

As always please plan your route beforehand, wear appropriate clothing and footwear and take a drinks and snacks but most of all enjoy!