Thornton Rust sits at the rocky edge of an escarpment running along the lower slopes of the stately Addlebrough, one of the most prominent and recognisable skyline features in mid-Wensleydale. The lofty position on the escarpment gives splendid views over upper and mid-Wensleydale and the plateau it forms is fertile meadowland but soon meets the steeper slopes of pasture rising to the peat moor in the shadow of Addlebrough. A sleepy backwater with little through traffic and linked by minor roads to the A684 at Worton near Bainbridge to the west and Aysgarth to the east. A picturesque village formed around two straggling greens with a charming diversity of stone houses typical of the Yorkshire Dales.
The Wensleydale Harriers, formed in 1833 kennelled their hounds in purpose built brick kennels on the hillside just behind Thornton Rust for two periods during the last century. The pack was moved in the late 1970’s and the Thornton Rust kennels were left derelict and became ruined and were finally demolished in 1998 leaving only the stone built mash house where the hounds’ food was prepared. The site of the kennels is still known as the Kennel Field and is a Yorkshire Wildlife Trust reserve and is a fine example of an upland flowering meadow and also supports some relatively rare mammals. It is an easy walk from Thornton Rust up a wide farm track but for those more intrepid there is the footpath route to Addlebrough and the sheer rapture in some of the best dales views from its summit. This and many other nearby footpaths are a marvellous opportunity to explore the local area.