On a beautiful autumn afternoon my friend Denny and I set off from Wensley Bridge at Wensley near Leyburn in the Yorkshire Dales. The footpaths we were going to follow we’ve walked many times before but never really as the route we had planned.
As you go along you get terrific views across Wensleydale, into Bishopdale and Walden and a couple of villages to explore along the way and depending on how much time you have and how you feel, returning alongside the River Ure. Again please research your route before you set off, wear appropriate footwear and clothing and don’t forget to pack a drink and some snacks. The walk is seven miles plus, easy going with only one little steep hill.
We parked at the layby at Wensley Bridge or you can park by Wensley Park gates in Wensley. In any case make your way to Wensley Park gates and follow the concrete road, soon over the cattle grid and continue past Bolton Hall on your right after about a mile. Just past the hall take a right turn up the hill, the only steep little bit on the walk, which brings you out eventually onto the road between Wensley and Redmire at Stoneham Cottage. Over the road and up the stone steps to the first stile, through the field, and over the railway line. (Don’t forget to look both ways, and don’t forget to whistle!!) Into the next field and you can see Preston under Scar a couple of fields away to the north. Of course as we would be, Den and I were talking so much we didn’t realise until too late that we had landed into a very, very wet field, made even worse by many hooves trampling over it, and had some difficulty getting out of this very large boggy bit. If we’d been a little more aware of where we were walking we could have skirted round it all, you live and learn!
Onwards and upwards to the stile, through here, up again and watch out for the next stile in the wall where houses are. Through this little snicket and out into Preston under Scar. If you’re ready for a little break there is a convenient bench just across the road, if not turn left, west, and follow the road through to the end of the village. Continue as the road deteriorates, past a footpath sign on the left then look out for a stile gate on the left. Through here and looking south west you will see two telegraph poles near to one another and a stile in the middle of them. Head for this, go through then looking to your left you will see another stile which will take you out onto the road, turn to your right. Be careful on here, it can be busy and there is no verge, walk for about 300 yards if that. Look out for a stile on your left, it is quite hidden as it’s lower than the level of the road but definitely there. Magnificent views from here, quite, quite breath taking. Over this next stile and head across the fields again coming out at the railway line, over the line, by this time Redmire will be coming into view, make your way to the lodges, through and along Elm House driveway, again coming out onto the road. Go just a little way along the road and head off down the bank on the left through the hedge following the direction of another finger post. Follow the footpath into the field but do not go through the stile at the bottom of the field in front of you but turn right and follow to the houses. Pause awhile in Redmire, there are convenient benches if you need to have a proper break or even pop to the pub, the Bolton Arms, if in need of something more substantial.
Continue down the road, south, past the bus stop, two in fact, to the right hand bend. Off to the left on the bend there is a sign to the church, follow this ignoring the track in front of you but continue for a little way, we’re now going in an easterly direction, until you come to another junction. Here you can either walk along Wood End Lane, past Wood End Farm and Livery, to West Wood which is a good track or through the fields. Go along the start of Well Lane, but leave Well Lane to arrive in West Wood. Den and I walked along Wood End Lane as we felt after our previous episode it may be less muddy. Once in the wood follow the main track until you eventually come to a footpath sign. Here again you have a choice, proceed straight ahead to take you straight back to Bolton Hall and the concrete road or follow the finger post, south east, to bring you out at Lords Bridge. If going to Lords Bridge, cross over the bridge and take the footpath on the left and follow the river which will eventually bring you out at the layby at Wensley Bridge.
A lovely walk, not be missed if you haven’t done it before and even if you have it’s enjoyable enough to do many times. Call in at the Three Horse Shoes in Wensley if you wish, always a warm welcome there or go up into Leyburn.
If you’d like to stay nearby do have a look at our cottages and availability or call me, Nadine, or my daughter Joanne, for friendly help and advice. Hear from you soon!
Written By Nadine Bell