Home > Things to Do > Hackfall, an ancient woodland near Masham in the Yorkshire Dales


Hackfall, an ancient woodland near Masham in the Yorkshire Dales


Hackfall woods, in between Grewelthorpe and Masham, is so much more than trees, now a designated Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) there are of course many trees, oak, beech, sycamore, limes and ash trees but go any time of year and you’re sure to find wildlife, wildflowers, fungi, and of course footpaths for you to explore with other little surprises along the way.

Hackfall was bought in 1731 by John Aislabie whose son William transformed it by creating grottos, glades, rustic temples, waterfalls and follies. Although most of the woodland was felled in the 1930’s, after The Woodland Trust purchased it in 1989, and working with The Hackfall Trust and Landmark Trust, the site was restored to William Aislabie’s initial vision. William Wordsworth was inspired and JW Taylor wielded his paintbrush here too.

We have been a few times over the years and have been enchanted with the riverside walk and the various follies etc but always found some little nook overlooked before. A great place to take the kids, have a picnic, spend some time exploring and make a day of it! Little did we know though that there are designated routes to follow enabling you to explore Hackfall’s best features to the full. These walks range from a 30 minute stroll to all day treks.

Unfortunately I can’t find these walks on line but there is leaflet published for you to follow them which you will be able to pick up at Masham Community Office and other Tourist Information Centres and probably in your accommodation. I would also think there may well be some information at the car park at Hackfall.

I can feel another walk coming on or two even! Will have to wait a little while though as out of my lockdown area at the moment. Hackfall will still be there when all this over!

If you’d like to stay nearby we have cottages in Masham and the surrounding area, sleeping two to six people, some allowing pets too. Have a look on our website for availability or call me, Nadine, or my daughter Joanne, on 01969 663559 for friendly help and advice.


Country Hideaways

Written By Nadine Bell

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