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Hiking

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Englands highest peak isn’t a playground for the inexperienced, especially this time of the year, mountain rescuers have warned.

Wasdale Mountain Rescue team has said is getting worrying the increase in the number of avoidable incidents on Scafell Pike, coming after the latest incident when two people got caught out on the hill in the dark.

The key word is “avoidable” they have no problem if it’s a real emergency they have no problems, but inexperienced people are taking to the hills when the weather is turning.

The pair had set off at 3pm with no navigation equipment or torches.

Team spokesman Richard Warren said it was: ‘a classic example of a totally avoidable situation where two young adult walkers can drive up to the Lakes that day, arriving at 3pm and set off for the summit when the clocks have just gone back.

“At 5pm it’s getting dark and at 6pm with only the light from their mobile phones they are lost and on very difficult ground near the summit of the highest mountain in England.”

The Wasdale team was called out by police at just after 6pm after two walkers rang 999.


Mr Warren said: “The team leader used smartphone technology to accurately locate their position but they did not have the map, the compass and torches or the skill and experience to make their way safely down, avoiding the danger areas.

“Due to the situation and the potential for injuries descending with just mobile phones, the team leader had no choice but to mobilise the team: two in the control room back at base and seven team members on the hill for a four-hour rescue.

“It is of great concern to the Wasdale team that this type of situation is becoming more and more frequent.

“Many teams across the Lake District are struggling to understand the lack of thought and consideration for the volunteers who go out in all weathers, day and night at any hour.

“The Wasdale team has dealt with nearly 100 callouts so far this year including five fatalities.

“We need to get the message across that Scafell Pike is not a playground for the inexperienced walkers who believe that setting off at 3pm to climb the highest mountain in England with inadequate equipment is a sensible thing to do.”

So if you are planning on heading to the hills this winter, make sure you are experienced or with someone who is experienced.

With snow starting to hit the hills as well, make sure you have decent clothing and footwear on.

Don’t let us stop you from hitting the hills this winter, the opposite actually, it’s amazing how much the hills and the countryside changes across the different seasons. We just want you to do it safely. It’s worth reading instructions on the details needs when calling Mountain Rescue.

Happy Hiking.

Hopefully you will never need to use these, but its always better to be prepared, anything can happen to you, someone in your party or you come across someone who needs help in the countryside.

If you need to call out mountain rescue, first make a note of all relevant details:

• Location (with a grid reference if possible)
• Name, gender and age of casualty
• Nature of injuries or emergency
• Number of people in the party
• Your mobile phone number.

Dial 999 or 112, then ask for ‘Police’ then ‘Mountain Rescue’.

Give all your prepared details of the incident and STAY WHERE YOU ARE until contacted by the rescue team. If you have to make a further 999 call, follow this procedure in full again.

Mountain Rescue

If you have hearing or speech difficulties, you can contact the 999 emergency services by text. You will only be able to use this service if you are registered with emergencySMS first, so register now — don’t wait for an emergency! Text ‘register’ to 999 then follow the instructions sent.

In an emergency, contact the emergencySMS service by texting 999. Your message should include ‘Police’ + details of incident + location.

It’s worth remembering you don’t need credit on your phone to make a 999 call and to dial 999 it just needs to find a network and it will call.

I do a lot of running in the hills and have a spare phone for emergencies, just in case. It’s an old nokia (not smartphone) and the battery lasts for days.

Hiking is an activity that is growing in popularity across the world with individuals of all ages and backgrounds enjoying the sense of freedom and achievement gained from exploring nature.  Whether taking a short-day long hike in your local Nature Reserve or considering an adventure to a distant destination, preparation is the key. 

Hiking can be dangerous especially when faced with a situation that was not planned for.  From not so urgent sprained ankles to falls that may be life-threatening, anything could happen whilst far away from hospitals and emergency clinics. 

Therefore, it is essential that all eventualities are at least considered during the planning process.

Hiking can provide huge amounts of fun, excitement, rewards and there is of course the connection to nature and the chance to gain some amazing health benefits.

 Immersing yourself in nature whilst embarking on a high intensity cardio workout will allow you to reap both physical and mental benefits.  Hiking has been shown to reduce mental health issues like stress and depression, taking time out to disconnect from the hectic everyday lives we all live.  Stress can be a big contributor to further health issues and reducing this is important for over all health, not matter what your age.

The last thing you need whilst hiking is stress.  Which leads us back to preparation being the key.  Taking only essential equipment, wearing proper clothing depending on weather expected, carrying a well packed First Aid Kit and planning your route thoroughly are all perfect factors to consider during the preparation process.  Follow these simple hiking tips to ensure that everyone on your exciting adventure remains safe and happy.

Plan the Hike & Hike the Plan

Thousands of people are injured whilst embarking on hikingtrails each year. 

Knowing which your route routes you will take will help immensely when it comes to knowing what to expect and therefore what to pack.  Not only will it allow hikers to pack suitably,  it will also massively reduce the chances of getting lost. 

Learn your route thoroughly, speak to other people that have walked the route before and see what they would have done differently. When planning the hike, set a clear idea of how long it should take. 

By following a formula known as Naismith’s rule, you should allow yourself one hour for every 5km or 3.1 miles and an additional 10 minutes for every 100 metres of ascent.

Many people find that writing the plan in good time before departure helps them understand it more.  To summarise, make sure your plan covers the following:

  • Hike route
  • Total time
  • Expected weather (check forecast regularly before departing)
  • Equipment checklist
  • Food
  • Emergency contact details for local area
  • Information of overnight locations (accommodation)

Do not rely on online maps to provide you with full details of your route.  It is worth seeking out an Ordnance Survey map with a waterproof cover and use a compass to ensure you are heading in your desired direction.  Last but certainly not least, it is one thing planning your hike, but it is the most important thing to stick with to it and let someone at home know your full plan.

Pack the Essentials

When it comes to packing your bag, over packing can often be more detrimental than good but it is important to include all necessary items of clothing and equipment for the chosen terrain and duration of hike.  Using a checklist is an extremely helpful option to ensure that you don’t miss any of the important pieces that may make or break your adventure.

  • Tops – both lightweight and thermal.
  • Hiking trousers/shorts – zip off trousers areperfect for a range of temperatures and weather conditions
  • Waterproof backpack
  • Hiking shoes – well fitting and already brokenin
  • Socks – invest in a pair that are specificallydesigned for hiking
  • Waterproof coat
  • Head torch
  • Whistle
  • Hat – type depends on weather expected
  • Insect repellent
  • First Aid Kit (see below)
  • Food & Water (see below)

This is by no means an exhaustive packing list, just the essentials that must be taken on any hiking trip.   The type and number of essentials will vary depending on the duration and environmental conditions of the trip – one more reason why thoroughly planning your hike and hiking your plan is extremely important.

Take Plenty of Food & Water

Ensuring proper hydration and maintaining energy levels can make the difference between a great camping trip and an uncomfortable, andpossibly dangerous, one. 

Again, the amount taken will vary depending on your expected hike time, for example, on longer planned hikes it may be sensible to factor in a stop off to replenish food and water items along the way and possibly so that the full amount does not have to be carried the whole way.

Make sure to include foods that can be had as snacks along the way, as well as ingredients for breakfast, lunch and dinner.  Pack snacks that are high in healthy energy, sugars and salts such as:

  • Nuts
  • Energy bars
  • Fruit
  • Granola bars
  • Trail Mixes

Do not fall victim to unhealthy junk food snacks – they may taste good at the time, but they will not provide you with the fuel needed to keep your body and mind active. 

How much drinking water needed is a bit more difficult to estimate.  Most people should be drinking at least 2litres of water a day but embarking on a ten-mile hike will mean that a lot more water should be taken, and enough in case of emergency.  The weather will also influence how much water is drunk as well as the intensity of the terrain and hike route.

Dealing with Accidents and Emergencies

A well-packed first aid kit should be one of the first priorities to consider to ensure a safe hiking experience. 

Many pre-packed emergency kits can be bought online that should contain all necessary items for cuts, grazes, to falls or stomach bugs.  They are also a great place to start for people who do not have the time to assemble their own. 

However, most hikers prefer to put their own kits together, especially when packing for specific environments or individual health concerns.  Three useful questions to ask yourself are

  1. Do I really need this?
  2. What could happen if I don’t have it?
  3. Is there something missing?

Some hikers often make the mistake of packing to many items that only remain redundant yet add an unnecessary weight to their bags.  Making a comprehensive first aid checklist helps and be sure to check the kit thoroughly before departing just in case something has been used and needs to be replaced. Items to consider are:

  • Antiseptic wipes
  • Antibacterial wipes/cream
  • Bandages of different sizes
  • Gauze pads
  • Medical tape
  • Pain relief medication
  • Insect sting treatment
  • Antihistamine
  • Tweezers
  • Document showing basic first aid instructions

As with the essentials list in the previous section, this is not an exhaustive list, and additions should be included depending on the individual hiking and the specific location. Every hiker hopes to not have to use their first aid kit, and most do not. 

Make sure that you use prevention rather than treatment, knowing your limits and hiking a trail that suits you and your fellow hikers!

We don’t want to put you off hiking in winter – the opposite in fact, its amazing how much the hills change during the seasons and should be explored in all different conditions. 

We just want you to do it safely.

Hiking is one of the best ways to keep fit and enjoy nature simultaneously. A quality pair of hiking boots is often the first part of kit that outdoor enthusiasts buy. 

A good set of hiking boots have to fit perfectly to ensure that blistering is not an issue- not only are poor footwear choices an annoyance, they can be extremely painful and may end up ruining your hiking trip. 

Hiking boots are also an expensive piece of essential that will be a worthwhile long-term investment and therefore must be chosen wisely!

They need to feel comfy and snug, supporting your feet and ankles in all the right places, but need not to restrict too much. 

If a pair fit well but feel a little tight around the ankle it is probably wise to steer clear of them as they will end up rubbing.

Quality hiking boots are very well made and are designed to be waterproof and breathable and made from either synthetic or leather materials, which make them especially ideal for winter excursions.

Best Value

The North Face Ultra 110 GTX

The North Face Ultra 110 Goretex

Comfort should not be an issue with these boots. 

Lined with waterproof and breathable GORE-TEX material makes them great for those wet and muddy winter months. 

They are quite a durable shoe and, at first glance, do not look like your average hiking boot. 

They are lightweight and consist of leather and tight mesh with a low-rise style that doesn’t fully cover the ankle. 

The soles are sturdy and provide excellent grip on a variety of terrain. 

Top comfort and great functionality make this a perfect option for many hikers.

Best Choice

Merrell Moab Polar Waterproof

Merrell Moab Polar Waterproof

A beautifully crafted design that uses suede and mesh upper with a tpu waterproof shell to ensure that water is kept outside the boot and the feet are kept dry. 

The lightweight and low bulk insulation keeps the feet warm and the sole is of high quality so that it lasts winter after winter without showing signs of wear. 

They are designed for heavy winter use, but they are lightweight and breathable enough that they can be used throughout the year.

Salomon Quest 4D 3 GTX

Salomon Quest 4D 3 GTX

This boot provides one of the most comfortable fits on the market, without compromising on its sturdiness.  

With a GORE-TEX lining, the boot guarantees dry feet yet can take a while to dry out once wet on the outside. 

Made with a mix of nubuck leather and textile materials, it is a great option for people looking for that reliable ankle support and excellent traction, thanks to the sophisticated and recently evolved lug pattern.

Timberland White Ledge Men’s Waterproof

Timberland White Ledge Men%u2019s Waterproof

Recognised as one of Timberlands best selling walking boots, the White Ledge offers a great balance of style and protection.

Timberland’s waterproofing arises out of the added waterproof impregnated properties that are added during the leather tanning process with the footwear then being seam-sealed to keep the feet dry in any weather.  

Not only do they look good and can be worn causally on a daily basis, they prove to be tough boots that can withstand any terrain for many years.  It is difficult to find the level of durability of this boot in any other brands.

Columbia Men’s Newton Ridge Plus II Waterproof

Columbia Men’s Newton Ridge Plus II Waterproof

The seam-sealed construction of the boot ensures full waterproof features whilst still providing a lightweight, durable hiking boot constructed from coated leather. 

This shoe certainly provides the comfort, protection and style that many hikers worldwide seek for.

Built for use on many terrains, the grippy rubber outer sole ensures that footing is not lost, however difficult the terrain may be, whilst providing your feet with supportive cushioning. 

This boot also has the option for a wide fit, for individuals with slightly wider soles.

Premium Pick

Berghaus Mens Supalite II GORE-TEX

Berghaus Mens Supalite II GORE-TEX

These hiking boots appear like the average, traditional pair yet have a range of modern features that keep them waterproof and breathable. 

The GORE-TEX lining keep the feet warm, yet sweat free, offering maximum comfort for all types of outdoor adventures.

The base uses EVA Midsole technology that enables it to remain comfortable and lightweight yet tough and reliable. 

This boot is known for its super quick “wear in” time, allowing the hiker to embark on long distance hike straight away. 

Based on the Berghaus Brasher, this version builds on the famous quality and comfort associated with Berghaus. 

If you are looking for “straight out of the box comfort” then these are your go to hiking footwear.

Whatever boot you decide to get, make sure they fit before you hit the hills, wear them around the house for a few days to make sure they fit perfectly. Check each retailers website, but most allow you to return if they don’t fit assuming they haven’t been warn outside.

If you haven’t used the brand before, consider ordering two sizes just incase the style is different.

Happy hiking.

There are three general considerations to take into account when shopping for a hiking jacket; breathability, comfort and waterproof. 

The last one is particularly important if you live in a country where rain is a common occurrence.  

Investing in a decent jacket can keep you warm and dry for years to come, alongside providing comfort for whatever weather you may be hiking in. 

There are so many hiking jackets on the market that are designed for women, so it can often be hard to choose. 

They also vary greatly in prices, however, remember that the cheaper ones often don’t have quality breathable systems built in, so you can be certain you will get hot and sweaty quite quickly, something that we all would want to avoid.

Think about where you may wear this jacket. 

Is it as a top layer for casual use or are you heading out on a camping trip and expecting extreme conditions where extra consideration needs to be taken.

You may need to think about what colour to choose as it could be an important safety factor. 

Next, take a look at the following different jackets to see which may suit you the best.

Berghaus Women’s Ridgemaster Waterproof Jacket

Berghaus Women’s Ridgemaster Waterproof Jacket
Berghaus Women’s Ridgemaster Waterproof Jacket pocket close up
Berghaus Women’s Ridgemaster Waterproof Jacket close up

This brilliant jacket uses Gore-Tex technology to ensure the best waterproofing possible, even in the heaviest of downpours. 

The Gore-Tex keeps water out and the jacket is fitted with a highly breathable membrane so that the sweat is wicked away before you notice it, even for people taking on intense exercise. 

This jacket is a top choice by many outdoor athletes including long distance hikers and mountain climbers. 

The pockets are handy and are of good size so that items that need to be accessed quickly can be stored in there easily. 

The fit would suit most women, however taller individuals may find that it cuts quite short on the torso.

Best Value Deals

Regatta Ladies’ Blanchet Jacket

Regatta Ladies’ Blanchet Jacket

The Regatta Blanchet jacket employs Hydrafort polyester fabric to keep its owner dry. 

Not only is it designed well to keep the wearer dry, it also has a lovely Thermo-Guard insulation to make sure it keeps you dry in colder weather. 

Therefore, this jacket is a good choice for everyday wear and on those days where there is a chill in the air or the weather appears slightly undecided.  

The hood can be adjusted at the hem to ensure a snug and wind proof fit but can also be packed away if the rain is absent. 

Thanks to its thick inner padding, there is no need to layer up underneath this jacket and with regards to length and fit, it should sit just nicely in between the hips and the thighs giving it a little extra cover.

Craghoppers Women’s Compress Lite Packaway Jacket

Craghoppers Women’s Compress Lite Packaway Jacket

This is the perfect option for hikers that live, or are visiting, a location where they do not expect much rain, yet want to have that protection if the skies do open. 

It is lightweight and can be conveniently compressed into its own bag without compromising the level of padding within the jacket upon removal. 

There are two pockets that are lined with fleece like material, an added bonus when it comes to keeping your hands warm! 

If space is limited, then this is the hiking jacket to opt for.

The North Face Women’s Inlux Insulated Jacket

The North Face Women%u2019s Inlux Insulated Jacket

The extremely attractive North Face Inlux brings style and practicality to the world of women’s hiking jackets. 

It is created with a lightweight synthetic insulation and a breathable outer fabric technology known as DryVent to ensure that all rain stays out and the warmth of the body stays in. 

There is a soft-fleece lining added to the collar and body to help retain body heat. 

It is not so fitted as other women’s hiking jackets but has a more relaxed fit with a drop tail hem and a removable, fully adjustable hood also lined with the soft fleece like material.

Craghoppers Women’s Apex Waterproof Jacket

Craghoppers Women’s Apex Waterproof Jacket

The fit of this jacket is super feminine and would suit any shape and size woman. 

The flattering jacket has three pockets each secured by a zip, one of which is an inner pocket which is extremely useful for carrying important hiking maps. 

The DWR finish on the outside of the AquaDry Membrane jacket makes sure that water simply forms beads and rolls off, keeping the wearer dry and comfortable. 

Mesh lined and consisting of an adjustable hem around both the waist and the hood works to maintain warmth in a breezy environment.  

With a top-quality breathable system and lightweight material, this is a great option for hikers that are looking for a reliable and easy to transport top of the range jacket.

Sprayway Women’s Eos GORE-TEX Jacket

Sprayway Women%u2019s Eos GORE-TEX Jacket

Sprayway is a quality British brand that has been at the forefront of outdoor clothing since 1974. 

This impressive jacket not only has one GORE-TEX layer, but two which shows the confidence that Sprayway has in this technology, creating a jacket that is fully waterproof and perfectly breathable that can be trusted in any environment. 

The jacket can also pack into its own map pocket for ease of mobility and features a mesh and Taffeta combination lining and a two-way adjustable wire peaked hood.

Jack Wolfskin Women’s Troposphere Waterproof Jacket

Jack Wolfskin Women’s Troposphere Waterproof Jacket

A cleverly designed jacket consisting of an outer layer known as Texaprore O2+ which is ideal for individuals, like hikers, who are involved in more exertive outdoor activities. 

This jacket has also been created with a cable duct for headphones, an often-overlooked feature on many other jackets. 

With a mix of 70% hydrophobic duck down and 30% synthetic insulation the jacket remains lightweight yet has one of the best levels of warmth as well as waterproof and windproof protection. 

Thanks to the Texaprore O2 technology, this jacket remains highly breathable in sun, rain, wind or snow, with convenient venting zips under the arms that can be opened when activity levels are high.

When combining comfort, function and looks, the above seven jackets are some of the best priced and best quality on the market. 

For serious quality, expect to pay higher amounts, but do bear in mind that this jacket will be an investment that will serve you for many years ahead.

There is a great choice of styles and colours in this years list of the best winter jackets. 

Arkengarthdale

This walk is two walks in one, it starts in the village of Grinton and the first section rises high above both Grinton and Reeth along the Fremington Edge. The second half you descend into Arkle Beck for a return back to Grinton along the riverside through woodland and farmland.

Two different types of walk all enjoyed in a relatively short and easy 7.5 miles.

Don’t let the short distance put you off, this could be argued the most beautiful dale in the whole of Yorkshire as well as having a few nice pubs at the end to have a well-deserved drink.

 

Langthwaite in Arkengarthdale / Arkengarthdale is the northernmost of all the Yorkshire dales and is a subsidiary dale to Swaledale

 

This is part of our new series where we publish the best walks in around Yorkshire, either which we have done or you have provided for us.

 

We will try and give you the most accurate info possible about the route, but like anything to do with nature things can change, so always take care when out and about in the beautiful Yorkshire.

 

With this series we are going to cover as much as Yorkshire as possible, but for the first one we wanted to start in the Yorkshire Dales, with a fairly easy route.

Start / Finish

Bridge Inn

Grinton

Distance

7.5 Miles

12 Km

Asscent

1,286ft

392 m

Duration

3 – 5 Hours

 

Navigation

2*

 

OS Maps

Explorer:

OL30 Yorkshire Dales

Northern and Central Areas

 

Difficulty

2*

 

There are no campsites where we start the Walk from but there is the Grinton YHA.

Alternatively, there are a few campsites nearby which are close to bus routes to the start.

Richmond Hargill House Caravan Club Site

Hillcrest Park

Please note this is a circular route, so if happen to be staying anywhere on the route you can start there and end to make it easier for you.

Grinton to Storthwaite Hall:

This walk starts at the Bridge Inn that is located by the crossing of the river Swale. The pub is located opposite to St Andrew’s – this huge church is often referred to as the Cathedral of the Dales.

From the pub, walk north over the bridge towards Fremington along the path. You will know you are heading in the right direction as on your left you will pass Dale’s Bike Centre (a great place to hire a bike to explore the area, but today your hiking).

Take the first right in Fremington – its signposted Marrick and Hurst and then after passing an old barn with a small sign reading ‘AD Barn’ turn left up to the small lane and into High Fremington.

No point denying it, you will now be heading up the hill and it is quite a struggle up to Fremington Edge, but the higher you climb the views become more spectacular. Stop and take as many pictures as you can while you get your breath.

Once at the top, turn left and follow the lane around to the right and uphill. We did say there was 1,286ft of ascending on the route, but don’t worry the views will be taking your breath away and you will forget you are walking uphill.

The wooded lane keeps weaving until the top where you will see White House.

Look below and you will see Reeth as well as the rest of Swaledale in the distance.

Back to walking

The old road turns now into a gravel / rocky path. On your map at NZ044002 (grid reference), there is a turn off to the White House and you will still be climbing.

The track is getting less and less like a track and is a bit of a mess. Pick the easiest and safest route to the top, its probably going to be the most worn path as well, follow this diagonally up heading for stone wall gate.

You will be glad to know the steep climb is over – you have made it and stand 420 metres above sea level.

You will now walk along Fremington Edge and it’s like a divide, on the south-west side it’s the rocky outcrops formed during the last ice age with scree scattered all over the place, compared to the beautiful Swaledale and Arkengarethdale green to the north and east of you.

This to me is the beauty of the Yorkshire Dales – so much to offer you, with amazing views and scenery all around.

Fremington Edge skirts around Marrick Moor – which like a lot of the moors in the area is used for grouse shooting.

Depending on the time of the year you go, will depend on what view you get.

During the summer months the heather is in full bloom and the rest of the year you will see ever-changing colours.

Back to the walk.

Go through the gate and turn left along the stone wall. The wall follows our descent through Fell End Lead Mine.

Warning: this path even during the summer months is boggy and may require you jumping over/around puddles.

The path, however, starts to climb again, but its more gentle than before. This time you will reach the summit at 473 metres and this is marked by a cairn.

Continue a little further to a gate at NZ021022 (grid reference) where a bridleway meets the path and begins its descent through Fell Ends lane Mine.

This is the last real descent, you will notice around you a lot of abandoned mines and some disused shafts.

Advice: The path at this stage is wide and has cairns along the route which leads the way, don’t stray too far from the path, as you don’t want to fall down an old shaft.

Looking ahead you will see the Hamlet of Booze (what a name for a pub), while we don’t head to it on this route – its worth noting at the very end of this dale is the Tan Hill Inn – the highest pub in England.

The bridleway curves sharply back down into the valley and zigzag on a rocky descent towards Storthwaite Hall.

Storthwaite Hall to Grinton:

As you reach a house on your right NZ018021 (grid reference) you have reached the end and are now turning back to head to the start.

Turn left at this house and go past the hall and follow the bridleway east and down to Arkies Beck.

The bridleway meets a fantastic wooden footbridge at NZ022019 (grid reference).

The path across the bridge can be taken back to Reeth if you want to cut the route short.

On the northern side the back, the path, in my opinion, is a little bit more beautiful – but also a little bit boggier. I have done both – but prefer this route back to the start.

From the bridge you can see a small gate just further up the beck – walk to here and not along the bridleway which strays off to the left.

From here the footpath is a little hard to make out, don’t worry about following it exactly but look for gaps in the walls. You will be walking in open farmland and boggy copses.

Always try to keep an eye on the path disappears and do a rough route in your head you should see it again and be able to stick roughly to the path.

Remember you are walking across field and bogs – paths tend to disappear with the weather.

The route isn’t flat here, some of the hills might seem step but they don’t last for too long and especially in the boggy sections, the ground can be wet, even in the middle of summer.

The next point of interest is Castle House Farm – NZ030008 (grid reference), a fingerpost points you towards the house. Follow the yellow marks on the wall to navigate through the farmyard. It’s a public right of way – but its still someone’s farm so be respectful.

This section of the walk is fairly open, the path is fairly warn and easy to follow.

On the other side of the farmyard there are a few more yellow arrows – follow these through the stone wall. Head across a couple of open fields and in front of you is the very picturesque view of a farmhouse. The building is very dilapidated and the only residents now are the round-horned Swaledale Sheep. Get your camera ready here you will want to take a few good shots.

The path heads back to the beak and picks up the bridleway where it becomes a much easier walk. At NZ039002 (grid reference) the footpath spilt off right again.

You will pass another barn, which has a big yellow arrow painted on the side, pointing you in the right direction across more open fields.

You want to head towards the southern corner of the field towards the fence and head south to the west of the wall.

The path again becomes clear and you will now see a fingerpost directing you toward Reeth, passing another barn and you will be able to see the road in the distance.

Once you hit the road, jump through the gate and cross the bridge over the Arkle Back and into Reeth.

Follow the road around to the right. You will know you are heading in the right direction as you walk past the Reeth Village Store and towards the village green.

Reeth is a popular tourist destination especially during the summer months, with plenty of cafes and shops – there are also a few good pubs if you fancy a quick drink before you complete the final bit of the walk.

The final leg from Reeth, sees you return back to the bridge you cross earlier and follow the road to the right.

I should point out if you are in a rush, the weather is bad you don’t need to head into Reeth, even though we would recommend it.

Follow the road to the right and you will see a house in front of you. There is a small signpost with Grinton on it that goes to the right SE042990 (grid reference). Follow this all the way until it comes to the road just before the bridge. Turn right onto the road and you are back in Grinton.

Circle Route

The great thing about this route is that its circular – meaning you can start and finish wherever you want, you have the route, now there is no excuse for not heading trying it out.

I love Malham and go camping there. Our favour campsite is Gordale Scar Camp Site and for more information and our review of the site, you can read it here, but I wanted to share with you some good routes. These are taken from the Malhamdale Brochure.

There are 5 different routes to take, from gentle strolls to more serious walks. Malham offers some amazing scenery during your walks.

Make sure you have some proper walking boots and the gear, I will do an article later on what is needed for walking, but for now check weather forecasts and make sure you have the appropriate clothing and gear, even for the more leisurely strolls, the weather in this area can change pretty quickly, so always be prepared.

malhamdale walking map

So the walks:

Walk 1 Malham Landscape Spectacular 7.125kms (4.5 miles)

Turn left out of the YDNPA Car Park and follow the road through the village. By the last building pass through the hand-gateway on the right to follow the well-made and well used footpath, part of the Pennine Way, to Malham Cove. On approaching the Cove, continue straight ahead to gain a view which gives a striking impression of the grandeur of the feature. Back-track to the footpath junction and turn right to follow the path which climbs steeply up the western end of Malham Cove. The path has been stepped for much of the climb. At the top follow the path to the right crossing the limestone pavement. [*] At the far side of the pavement leave the Pennine Way (which veers to the left) and continue ahead and then to the right on the Pennine Way uphill towards the corner of a wall. Continue with the wall on your right for about 250 metres when you will encounter a road which you should cross, going downhill for a few metres to a gate on your left. The path proceeds slightly downhill to pick up the corner of a wall which it then follows, passing a barn on your right. The path turns right and passes through a gate. Cross the field to the stile, after which the path leads downhill until it reaches the road. Turn left along the road, crossing a small bridge, to a gate on your left giving access to Gordale Scar. Pass through the gate on your left and follow the path into the gorge of Gordale Scar – a spectacular demonstration of the power of the natural elements. Retrace your steps back to the road, turn right and continue along the road for about 100 metres to access the footpath on your left to Janet’s Foss, an attractive waterfall. Continue past the waterfall as the path follows the Gordale Beck (on your left hand side) through the wooded gorge, carved out of the limestone by the Beck, passing through two gates and out into the fields on the floor of the valley. Follow the surface path through another four gates, keeping the river on your left. After passing a barn on the left, the path meets the junction with the Pennine Way where you should turn right, immediately passing through the first of three gates. As you come back into the village, turn left over the clapper bridge, cross the road by River House and follow the road to the left to return to the Car Park.

Walk 2 Malham Cove, Dry Valley, Malham Tarn and Pikedaw 12.25kms (7.6 miles)

Follow the route of Walk 1 as far as the top of Malham Cove, indicated by the symbol [*]. After crossing the limstone pavement, turn left and cross three stiles as you walk up through dry valley. After crossing a fourth stile, take the right fork in the path. Your path leads past the area, on your right, where the stream flowing from Malham Tarn sinks underground, emerge at the foot of Malham Cove. Turn right onto the road, crossing the stream before taking the footpath on the left by the small car parking area and following the path to Tarn Foot, where lovely views can be had of Malham Tarn and its surroundings. Retrace your steps back to the road turning right onto it and crossing the stream again. Turn left off the road onto the Pennine Way, this time taking the broad track (bridleway) which curves to the right around the hillside (leaving the Pennine Way), and bears left after passing through a gateway to lead up to a road. Bear left along the road for a few metres and, immediately after the cattle grid at Langscar Gate, turn right through a field gate on to a broad, well defined track which leads uphill, curving to the right. Turn left once through the next gateway, and follow the path, still well defined, uphill through other gateways until you reach the junction with the Malham to Settle bridleway where there is a prominent fingerpost beside a field gate. Turn left through the field gate, and bear right off the main bridleway on to a route through access land which passes on your right the remains of spoil tips associated with the former mining activity in the area. Follow the path until it appears to be about to plunge steeply downhill at a point where a less well-defined footpath crosses at right angles. Turn left on to the crossing footpath, but not before you have paused to take in the spectacular view across Malhamdale and down the Aire Valley beyond Skipton. Continue along the footpath, passing a limestone outcrop, until you regain the bridleway. Turn right on to the bridleway and follow it downhill until it joins the Cove Road at a gate. Turn right and follow the road downhill. After a kilometre or so you will pass the point at which the path you took to Malham Cove takes off, on your left. Follow the road back through the village to your starting point.

Walk 3 Janets Foss, Weets Top, Calton, Airton and Hanlith 13 kms (8 miles)

Full route 13 kms (8 miles) Shorter route 8.6 kms (5.3 miles) Turn left out of the YDNPA car park, cross the road by River House to cross the clapper bridge behind the blacksmiths, turn right on to the Pennine Way and follow it to the third gate. Immediately after the gate leave the Pennine Way turning left on to the path sign-posted to Janet’s Foss and follow the surfaced path through five gates alongside the Gordale Beck, through the wooded gorge and past Janet’s Foss to the road. Turn right along the road and follow it (steeply) uphill until, just below the crest of the road, a walled, rough track is sign-posted to the right. Take the track to Weets Top and pass through a gate, adjacent to which are the remains of an ancient wayside stone cross, on to the open moor. Just beyond the gate where the surfaced bridleways fork, take the right hand route signed to ‘Calton 2¾ miles’. Follow the footpath downhill for about 450 metres at which point the track from Hanlith joins. If you wish to follow the shorter route, bear right and follow the waymarked track downhill over the open moor. After about 1100 metres the track passes through a gate and continues as a lane between two walls (Windy Pike Lane). Just over 1200 metres further on, the track acquires a tarmac surface as it descends steeply into the hamlet of Hanlith. On the second of the downhill hairpin bends look for the signpost to the right for the Pennine Way, and follow the Pennine Way back into Malham. For Calton, continue gently downhill following the bridleway across the open moor, taking in the splendid views of Malhamdale and beyond, and after 3.25 kilometres (2 miles) you will descend quite steeply via a zig-zag track into the wooded Foss Gill. Here the track runs beside the beck, crosses a ford and rises slightly between stone walls to enter the hamlet of Calton. Turn right down the road and continue ahead, following the road down and around a right angled bend to the river bridge below the village of Airton. Before crossing the bridge turn right down a short track and over a stile to pick up the Pennine Way footpath. On the opposite side of the River Aire you will see a former mill building (now converted into residential accommodation), which serves as a reminder of the hidden industrial past of this and similar rural areas. The Pennine Way continues alongside the river, and after passing left through a stile and three gates, crosses a wooden footbridge over a stream. (Your route now turns right, however, if you want refreshments the second footbridge ahead gives access to ‘Town End Farm Shop and Tearoom’). Turn right after the first footbridge, keeping the main river on your left. Follow the Pennine Way to Hanlith Bridge, turning right over the stile and follow the road steeply uphill to the right-hand hairpin bend. On the left at the apex of this bend the signpost indicates the continuation of the Pennine Way to Malham. Follow the path, now somewhat up the hillside from the river, passing through five gates, which will return you to the point at which the path to Janet’s Foss turns off, on which you started this walk. Continue along the Pennine Way and re-cross the clapper bridge as you enter Malham to return to the Car Park.

Walk 4 Malham, Kirkby Malham, Airton, Hanlith 9 kms (5.6 miles)

Turn right out of the YDNPA car park, and walk up the road for 320 metres until you cross a stile on your right, signposted to Kirkby Malham. The footpath is not very distinct in the field you have now entered so aim towards the left of the hummock in front of you, going diagonally up hill, crossing the farm track and over the stile. Continue along the edge of the field, keeping to the fence which bends to the right, on your right hand side, until reaching the corner of the field where there is another stile. Follow the path slightly downhill to another stile. Cross the next field to a stone stile to the right of a field barn, after which bear slightly right to cross the field to another stone stile set to the right of a large tree. Cross the field to another stone stile and then bear slightly left to reach a field gate, before turning right onto the road. Follow the road for 300m before turning right onto a track signposted ‘Footpath’. After 100m turn left at the footpath finger-post to ‘Cow Close Lane’. Cross the stile to follow this path, keeping a stream bed to your left towards a field gate which appears to the left of a disused small quarry. Once through the gate continue ahead, curving round to the left in front of a farm house (New Close) and crossing a stile to climb slightly uphill to the right to access the farm track. Turn left along the track and follow it to Cow Close Lane, where turn left again and go downhill to Kirkby Malham. At the commencement of the village houses turn right to follow the roadway to the front of the parish church. (If refreshment is needed at this point the Victoria Inn is about 75 metres ahead.) In front of the church, by a parking/turning area, follow a signpost for the footpath to ‘Otterburn 2¾ miles’ over a footbridge and up some steps through two gates. Turn to the right, uphill, to cross a stone stile, and then bear left to cross another stone stile at the lower left corner of a small plantation. Continue uphill keeping the small plantation on your right. Cross the farm track and over the stile into a field and navigate diagonally left over the crown of the field down to a stone footbridge alongside Deepdale Plantation. Uphill and slightly right will bring you to a stile in the right hand wall, adjacent to a field gate. Cross the stile and turn left, following the wall on your left uphill to a handgate on your left signed to ‘Airton ½ mile’. Through this gate, the path drifts slightly left, down hill to Deepdale Barns where, after passing through the field gate, look for the stile (with a ‘Footpath’ finger-post) over the wire fence on your right, the stile being to the left of another field gate. Bear left around the corner of the field wall, and, before reaching the gateway ahead, turn right to follow a more distinct footpath along the wall side and over stone stiles. Immediately after the third stile, follow the fork in the path diagonally to the left which picks up another field wall on your left. Follow this footpath through a stile, three gates and another stile, the last one of which drops you into the main road along the valley. Turn right to follow the road slightly uphill for about 70 metres. Here a footpath on the left through a gate is signed to ‘Malham 2½ miles’. (If refreshment is required at this point continue along the road for another 50 metres for Town End Farm Shop and Tea Room at Airton.) Follow the footpath down to the footbridge over the infant River Aire, cross the bridge and walk ahead towards another footbridge but turn left before the second bridge to follow the Pennine Way as it follows the riverside to Hanlith Bridge. Turn right on to the road and continue uphill through the hamlet to the acute right-hand bend of the road, from the left of which the Pennine Way continues up the valley to Malham. On entering the village turn left over the stone clapper bridge, cross the road and return to the starting point.

Walk 5 Malham, Hanlith, Kirkby Malham, Accraplatts, Malham 5.9 kms (3.6 miles).

Turn left out of the car park, cross the road by River House, cross the stone clapper bridge and turn right to follow the Pennine Way to Hanlith. On reaching the road to Hanlith, turn right down through the hamlet and continue ahead over Hanlith Bridge into Kirkby Malham. At the junction with the main road cross straight ahead, passing (or not!) the Victoria Inn and the parish church on your right, and curving to the right. At the junction with Cow Close Lane, turn left (towards Settle) and proceed uphill for just under a kilometre. Where the road bears about 30 degrees left a farm track continues ahead (stile on the left of the gateway) signed to ‘Malham 1½ miles’. (This gateway is the one referred to in the last pages of Bill Bryson’s “Notes from a Small Island” from which he took his last look at Malhamdale.) Go ahead along the track to turn right as directed by a footpath finger-post, over a stone stile and downhill across the field to another stone stile, and continue downhill, passing to the left of a ruined barn to a wooden step stile which gives access to a footbridge over the beck in a wooded gully. Cross the next field keeping the modern farm buildings about 50 metres to your left, to a ladder stile. Cross the stile and continue with the wall on your right to Ploughleys Barn. Cross the next ladder stile, and follow the track as it curves to the right behind the barn and through a gateway into the next field. Bear slightly left as you head down through the field (no longer a track) to a fingerpost directing you onto another farm track. Follow the track as it slopes down to meet the main road, turning left before the road into the car park.

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