A bit of a surprise walk the other day! Our son Paul text me to ask if I would like to join him on a walk, I’d already been out in the morning but I couldn’t let him down could I? He said it was seven and a half miles and an hour later we were setting off from south Walden through West Burton, taking two cars, one to park at Thupton Gill, just past Cote Bridge, the other past the cattle grid above Whiterow Farm.

Paul being Paul wanted to go in a clockwise direction up Thupton Gill. For those of you who have been that way will know that it’s a long, long hill and you just have to keep going until the summit is reached! So, that was it, up Thupton Gill it was! This walk is more or less all on moorland, mostly on ancient tracks used as primary routes many years ago but there are magnificent views to enjoy and some wildlife.

Being spring the curlews were sorting out their territory between themselves and we could hear their call as we went along, one or two pheasant, grouse, partridge, skylarks all added to make a wonderful accompaniment to our walk. Hares, rabbits, the occasional sheep, lots of heather and peat hags and a few boggy bits on the high ground but nothing we couldn’t handle. For this walk please do plan your route beforehand, take the map and GPS if you have it. Wear good stout boots, plenty of layers as the temperature changes with the altitude, take plenty to eat and drink and be prepared to scale some hills!

As mentioned, we took two cars, but by no means essential, if only one car it’s a couple of miles more to walk down the road from the cattle grid or you could set off from West Burton if making a day of it. We set off in good spirits, Paul has one speed, not slow, but he just keeps going, luckily there were plenty of opportunities to take photos which kept him busy whilst I kept going onwards and upwards. The way is well defined, refer to your map if in doubt, and once onto the level ground you will see a wooden gate in front of you. Through here, again continue to follow the way, pass Howden Lodge on the decent and where the track forks, just in front of the house, turn right to take you in the direction of The Knowle as marked on the map. Eventually you will come to a junction sign posted Fleensop 2 miles.

Follow this way keeping an eye on where you are on the map, over a little stream with such a pretty waterfall and onward to Fleensop. When the farm buildings come into view you will need to keep to the left of the building and follow it round as it looks like the footpath has been diverted here rather than walking through the wood as on the map. Through the gateway where it asks for dogs to be on a lead and continue on to the house. Follow the road round to the left and start to ascend. On the right is a gateway and finger post. Take this route. A good spot here to have a break before you tackle the next climb.

When refreshed progress more or less south to the top and the corner of the wood and you come to a stile, over here, keeping to the wall side, progress to the top of the next rise. Still keeping the wall on your left all the time you change direction. Once walking more or less south westerly keep a look out for a gated stile on your left. Once here leave the wall and cut off in a westerly direction, the way is quite well defined but no signpost so it’s important to locate the stile. Eventually you will come out on the main track up from Braidley in Coverdale.

Turn right and follow this track, it is signed, over a stream which was dry when we walked over but looks like it might be quite spectacular when there is water flowing. Follow the track to White Hill, through a gate, still follow the track, not just quite as defined here but still visible, start to drop down, through another gateway and you’ll see a ruin of a train wagon in front of you and Walden and beyond. If you have used two cars you will be able to see your vehicle if not descend down to the cattle grid and down Whiterow Road to Thupton Gill.

Pick a good day to do this walk, the views really make it and if misty you would miss all the glory. We have cottages in West Burton and further afield of course, call me Nadine or my daughter Joanne on 01969 663559 for friendly help and advice or book your cottage online of course. Hope you enjoy!