Our little walking group set off on a beautiful March morning, the birds were determined to sing above our chatter and it wasn’t long before the early morning clouds disappeared and we were stripping off the layers, it was nearly hot even! A walk of many contrasts, about ten miles, with sensational views towards the North York Moors and into Wensleydale, a few villages to explore, moorland, lush pastureland and the river Ure almost constantly in sight. In Thornton Steward we found that the village hall was open where we could make a ‘cuppa’ and have a chocolate biscuit for a small donation! So thoughtful of the village residents. Finishing back at the Cover Bridge Inn for a well earned lunch and pint completed our day. Memories are definitely made of this!
Park your car, if you came by car, in the Coverbridge Inn car park, no charge or restrictions, and head off over the bridge by the pub. Immediately over the bridge, on your right, you’ll see a finger post for East Witton, take this path to come out on the green at East Witton. Turn left down the road, then right at the main junction onto Low Thorpe. Have a peek in the telephone box here too! Onward along Low Thorpe, keep going, through Waterloo Farm, past Thirsting Castle Lodge, ever upwards to come out at a junction where the track and footpath have been diverted around Hammer Farm. Left here then, after few yards, right through the metal gate and up into the wood, Great Yaud Plantation, some of it has now been felled. Keep going until you come out into high pastureland, ever upwards and through the gate on your left, here you will see a little pack horse bridge, over here and along the top of the felled wood then following the arrows around Moor Cote Farm continuing along the track which will eventually come out onto Stark Bank Road. Keep straight on eventually turning left for Ellingstring and wander down through the village. Keep a look out for a finger post indicating the Six Dales Trail, if you pass the post box you’ve missed it so just back track a few yards. Left down here keeping to the left hand track, soon you will see buildings in the near distance, this is Brymor Ice Cream at High Jervaulx, keeping this in view go down the fields but make your way into corner going in a north easterly direction. There is a large hedge in the next field running north and a ladder stile. These are for reference only here but go through the metal hand gate on the right and continue along the edge of the field to the A6108. For years I’ve been wanting to know where this led to and today was the day I found out! Whoopy Doo!
From here turn right and walk along the road for a few yards then turn left at the finger post and down through the fields, passing through two metal hand gates and across a very large field in the direction of Ramshaw, the way will soon be visible and will bring you out onto the driveway to the house. Walk to the house and to the rear onto the gravel and immediately turn left after the first little building, here you will pick up the footpath again. Through the gate and the fields, eventually on to Kilgram Lane. Turn right when on the road past Kilgram Grange, over another bridge and after the bridge take the finger post on the left. Continue on here to Thornton Steward, the path is quite well defined but remember to turn sharp right up the field to the farm and then left at the farm and then it’s well defined again through the fields coming out at Thornton Steward. Walk through the village, stopping at the village hall, if open, for a sit and a ‘cuppa’ if you wish and then onward through a large gate at the end of the village, down the hill, past the church and along in front of Danby Hall. Keep going until you come out onto the road. Down the road, past the church at Ulshaw, well worth a peep if open, turn left at the junction and you’ll soon be able to see Cover Bridge Inn.
Do stay for lunch or whatever, always a warm welcome and a very traditional dales pub.
As always, please wear appropriate footwear and clothing, take drinks and snacks if not a picnic. Always plan your route before you set off and take the map, and compass if unsure, with you and most of all enjoy!