To be walking up Walden, a dale that adjoins Wensleydale in the Yorkshire Dales at West Burton, on a beautiful spring morning can be a wonderous thing to do, in fact any time of year, but in the spring it can indeed be extra special with the promise of seeing acres and acres of meadows covered in wild flowers. You have to get the timing right as they aren’t there for long so for me the calendar is marked on the 1st June to remind me that within the next two weeks or so I should be making my way into this most secret of little dales.
The walk is about five miles long and even though we are gaining height for most of the way there are no steep hills. Please go prepared with drinks and snacks and wear appropriate clothing and good footwear along with the obligatory map, GPS and don’t forget to plan your route beforehand.
Park in West Burton and head south to follow the sign for Walden by the Methodist Chapel at the meeting of roads. Continue up the hill and take the road left to south Walden, SE 01737 86154, continue on to Whiterow Farm, SE 01688 83875, it’s a single track road with the odd vehicle, usually a farm vehicle and you might even get a wave and a good morning. As you progress the valley opens out and you begin to ascend, you can hear the sheep, the birds calling, you may even hear a cuckoo if lucky, rabbits are scurrying but all in all a great peace descends and you feel you can breathe.
Go through the farm yard at Whiterow and follow the finger post into open fields, check with your map or GPS to keep you on the path but head for Bridge End Farm. You will find you are descending now eventually coming to Walden Beck and a little bridge. Over the bridge, up the little hill by the house, it is signed, through the stile and after a few yards the magic is happening as a riot of yellow, pinks, purples, blues opens up before you. Make your way over to the driveway to Bridge End Farm and turn left. Follow on here to a finger post which denotes where to turn right, north east, SE 00569 82299, to walk through the meadows, through the flowers. Please pick your way carefully, if more than one of you please keep to single file but as you look behind you your tracks seem to disappear and you don’t feel so bad about walking through. Evenutally the meadows stop and you’re out into open pasture. Follow the well worn path now taking you in the direction of Hargill Farm, then on to Cowstone Gill House.
From Cowstone Gill continue to descend, through rough pasture, through meadows with more wild flowers but seemingly different ones, the views are amazing now and you can see right over to Bolton Castle. You will come out through the last stile onto Walden South Road again, SE 01770 85671, turn left here and make your way down into the village and your vehicle.
If in need of refreshment there is the Fox and Hounds or go to the village shop for home made cake and ice cream and depending on which day you call as to whether their little café is open. Do call though you’ll be amazed at what there is in such a small space. We have beautiful cottages in West Burton and in the surrounding area, please do give us a call on 01969 663559 or of course book online if you wish. Hear from you quite soon!
Written By Nadine Bell