Last Saturday brought beautiful weather and we decided how nice it would be to meet at Pinker’s Pond, have a picnic by the tarn and then enjoy a walk into Coverdale. Our walk was just four miles long and no tricky hills. Pinker’s Pond is just a mile west of Middleham below the Low Moor which is where many a racehorse has been trained, also their jockeys, Willie Carson being one. Willie rode his first winner at nearby Catterick Bridge Racecourse on 19 July 1962 and the horse’s name was Pinker’s Pond! I’ve tried to do a little research as to how the pond was named but have drawn a blank, sorry.

There is a large swathe of grass which was beautifully looked after where we could park, a few cars were there before us but plenty of room for our cars. After a very entertaining picnic watching the ducks, loads of them came up from the pond hopeful for tit bits but left disappointed after a while. The dog was a bit keen so she was definitely kept tightly on the lead! All was cleared and the area carefully checked and we set off to go further into Coverdale. Look to the west and just on the edge of the pond on the left of the road is a finger post. Over into fields keeping the fence on your right follow the path through the stiles in the direction of Coverham Abbey. You’ll notice an entrance gateway after a couple of fields, through the next stile then veer diagonally to the left, south west, and eventually you will see a stile nearly in the middle of the next fence. Two stiles together here, make your way down the hill to the metal fence but loosely follow the wood on your left until you see a small gate by the buildings in front of you and Coverham Abbey which is now a private house. Once onto the track turn left.

Follow the footpath now through the wood, open grassland and eventually a little way by the River Cover then leave the river to go up hill to the larger wood in front of you. Over two stiles again then keep to the right here. This is off the proper path as indicated on the map but it looks well walked. Keep going until you meet the path which will take you to Hullo Bridge. Pause at the bridge a while, if weather perfect have a quick dip but be warned the water will be very cold! We topped up with drinks and had a snack, no hurry was needed. Don’t go over the bridge but keep to the north of the river and follow a well worn path to the Six Dales Trail. Turn left, north, onto here going up hill and just keep going straight along until Middleham Castle comes into view as you start to descend again. Down into Middleham past William’s Hill Ring and Bailey, a late 11th century earth and timber ringwork fortress, there is a footpath to this so you can go and explore.  After gazing at the castle we ventured for a welcome ice cream at the general store, lots of pubs to find though if something more is needed. We then retraced our steps again along the side of the castle and after a few yards turned into the fields through a stile to take us round the back of the castle and the houses and more importantly we could miss walking on the road. You will eventually come out onto the road at the start of the gallops on Low Moor. Turn left here and follow the path which will take you back to Pinker’s Pond!

If you’d like to stay nearby we have stunning cottages in Wensleydale, have a look on our website for ideas and availability or do call me, Nadine, or my daughter Joanne on 01969 663559 for friendly help and advice.