We’re off to scale the heights of Snowdon next week and so with a mind that we should be upping our training thought we should walk up Penhill, not just once but twice! If you’re up for a bit of a challenge, want to keep it local and experience the most fantastic views then read further. Some of the terrain can be a bit soggy so please wear good boots and always take and wear appropriate clothing. Don’t forget it can get very cold the higher you go.
Set off from West Burton. Go out of the village onto the B6160 in the direction of Leyburn, after a few yards you will see a pretty little bridge, Burton Bridge, on the right, (SE 01863 87085) go over here and proceed along Morpeth Gate. Make your way up the hill following the track it does eventually level out and at the second track, Green Gate, you will see a ladder stile on the right, (SE 04458 87891) signposted to Black Scar one and half miles. Go over here, be careful, it isn’t in the best of repair, and make your way up hill always following the track, through a stile by a gate and then ascend an even steeper way continuing on until you come to another gate. Through here and veer off to the left.
You will see your destination now, the top of Penhill, the way can be a little difficult to find but you’ll get there. First you need to cross the little stream, sometimes you can just walk over other times you might find it easier to go to the wall on the left and creep along the wall side. Now off to the right, you’ll probably pick up a narrow footpath but you need to make your way to the bottom of the last hill, there’s a bit of a broken wall and you will see remains of quarrying. Look on the map it will give you some idea of where you are heading. Once on the upward footpath you’re on your way but do stop to enjoy the views unfolding and catch your breath if you need to but ever upward and onward until you come to a gateway right at the top, Black Scar (SE 04313 86684). Stop and have a breather and a snack perhaps, the perfect place to rest just a little while.
Now according to my map dated 2009 there is no path from here but…………. Walking straight on, in a southerly direction, you’ll immediately pick up the route always. Now we’re looking down into Coverdale, you can see Little and Great Whernside and Roova Crag. After a good couple of miles start to look out for a footpath that crosses the way you are on. (SE 06408 85785) This is the footpath that comes from Carlton and you need to turn left onto here. Soon you’ll have to cross a stream and you’ll be walking through the heather, it will be wonderful as the summer progresses. Keep going and this will bring you out at the cattle grid on the road on the north side of Melmerby Moor. From here progress down the road and turn left into the field that is signposted. Progress up the hill, ever upwards and again you’ll see your destination and the beacon. Perhaps have a break at the last gate before you tackle the last steep bit to the summit.
Once at the top again it’s time to admire the views, on top of the world would be the term. Here veer off to the right, the path is well defined, over a couple of stiles, keep going until you eventually come back to Black Scar. From here descend the way we came until we reach the High Lane again. Cross over to walk down Green Gate. When you reach where the road is tarmacked turn left here, (SE 05415 88267) through a gate, onto Langthwaite Lane. Follow the path eventually crossing the concrete road after a mile or so, keep straight on through the trees. I always think it’s such a wonderful view here into Wensleydale. You will arrive at Knights Templars Chapel, have a little explore then through the stile in the corner, cross the track to go through the next stile and then straight on again, it’s marked Spring Bank on the map. Keep going through fields and stiles, spectacular views into Bishopdale now, until you reach Morpeth Gate again. Turn right and make your way down into West Burton.
Well done! It’s a hard walk, or so it seemed but the views are so well worth the effort! Hope you enjoy! We drove back to Swinithwaite for lunch but you might fancy the Fox and Hounds in West Burton or Aysgarth Falls Hotel near Aysgarth Falls.
Written By Nadine Bell