Offlist Walk: Aysgarth Falls & Bolton Castle

10 11 2011
10th November 2011
Mrs NLW
6.8 miles
Explorer OL30 (Yorkshire Dales: Northern & Central areas)
Cloudy, then foggy

Middle Falls, Aysgarth

Starting from the Yorkshire Dales National park Authority car park just north of the bridge over the River Ure between Aysgarth & Carperby. We exit the car park onto the road and cross onto a footpath through Freeholder’s Wood and the river, after a quarter of a mile we take a path down steps for a good view of Middle Falls. We rejoin the path and head gently uphill past Hollins House, and then across fields towards High Thoresby, turning just before the farm onto a track which becomes Thoresby Lane. Thoresby Lane is little more than a ditch running between high field boundary hedges, it is very muddy and saps our strength before spitting us out onto a farm access track at Low Thoresby Farm, we follow this track to Low Bolton where we join a proper lane on the outskirts of Redmire.

Bolton Castle

We turn north towards Castle Bolton and head up through fields, over the old Wensleydale railway track and up into the village of Castle Bolton. The castle itself is closed for the winter, but the gardens are open so we find a bench and take the opportunity for a spot of lunch. From here it is all downhill, so we head southwest across fields towards West Bolton, encountering on the way some of the biggest cows I have ever seen! After West Bolton the fog really begins to thicken, and at times navigation becomes quite tricky, but we seem to make the right decisions and drop down to East End Farm in Carperby, through an incredibly muddy yard, and onto the main road on the north side of the dale. We walk through Carperby and come to the point where we have to decide whether to finish across the fields (risking getting lost in the fog) or stick to the roads (risking getting mown down by cars who can’t see us in the fog), we elect to stick to the roads, but with extreme care, and reach the car park muddy and exhausted.

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