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Loop walk via Castle Bolton

Hiking route · United Kingdom
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Macs Adventure Verified partner  Explorers Choice 
  • Castle Bolton
    Castle Bolton
    Photo: Sally Thompson, Macs Adventure
A rewarding loop walk that takes you through the countryside to a castle and spectacular falls.
Distance 23.9 km
7:12 h
309 m
303 m
362 m
157 m
This walk takes you through quintessential Wensleydale countryside as you make your way through farmers fields, the village of Carperby and on to Bolton Castle. The return journey from the castle continues to reward you for your efforts.  You can take a minute to enjoy the spectacular Aysgarth Falls, a series of three limestone steps over which the River Ure passes that are known for their beauty. Finish the walk beside the River Ure as you return to Askrigg.

Author’s recommendation

Once you make your way down to Aysgarth Falls, take a moment to veer slightly off the path to the wonderful view points of the middle and upper falls.
Profile picture of Kristin Carpenter
Kristin Carpenter
Update: January 24, 2018
Highest point
362 m
Lowest point
157 m
Best time of year

Track types

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Safety information

You will be walking through fields containing livestock.  Be respectful of all animals.

There are some rocky areas and steps that can get slippery in wet conditions.  Take care in these areas and while passing through gates or over stiles.

This route is very exposed and as such, walkers will be exposed to the elements.

Tips and hints

The tea room at Bolton Castle makes a fantastic lunch spot with a selection of warm or cold meals, cakes or afternoon tea. Be sure to check opening/closing times. Or you can buy provisions for a packed lunch in Askrigg before you set off.

North Yorkshire Transit is available from some locations on this walk, check the schedule and fares before you go if you plan to use this service:

Bolton Castle is one of the country’s best preserved medieval castles; originally built as one of the finest and most luxurious homes in the land, the castle bears the scars of over 600 years of fascinating history:

Aysgarth Falls are one of Wensleydale's most famous beauty spots, with a pleasant riverside walk linking the Upper, Middle and Lower Falls:


Market Cross in the centre of Askrigg in front of the church. (221 m)
OS Grid
SD 94814 91031
54.314846, -2.081213
54°18'53.4"N 2°04'52.4"W
30U 559769 6018941


Market Cross in the centre of Askrigg in front of the church.

Turn-by-turn directions

0.0km – Start with your back to the cross and the church and head STRAIGHT up Main Street being careful when crossing the road.

0.2km – BEAR RIGHT to follow the main street as it curves to the right and turns into Leyburn Road, ignoring the smaller street to the left.

0.3km – TURN LEFT at the car park and walk through the houses using the stone path.  Once on the other side of the houses, there is a gate on the left which you will take to enter the field.  Carry on straight to the next gate.

0.4km – BEAR RIGHT at the stone wall over the stile.  You will then carry on straight passing through two gates in quick succession to enter a larger field.  BEAR LEFT to walk up the hill and diagonally across the field.

0.7km – Continue STRAIGHT through the narrow gate at the top of the hill.

0.8km – TURN RIGHT after the small gate at the end of the field to take the gravel path between the barn and the stone wall.  Follow this road along as it heads over a bridge.

0.9km – BEAR LEFT at the grass island to follow the road between the houses to your left. 

1.0km – After passing through the gate at the end of the last house and entering the field, BEAR LEFT to pass through the field, heading in the direction of the wooded area.

1.5km – Continue STRAIGHT through the wooded area and through the gap in the stone wall.

1.8km – Use the stile at the top of the field and TURN RIGHT to follow the farm track.

1.9km – Continue STRAIGHT at T-junction, following the signpost to Castle Bolton.  You will follow this path straight for the next 2.8km.

5.7km – After passing through the gate, BEAR RIGHT to cut the corner of the field and continue walking along the stone wall at the bottom of the field to the gap in the stone wall.

6.0km – BEAR RIGHT after passing through the gap in the stone wall, keeping the wall on your right as you follow the farm track.

6.4km – TURN RIGHT to use the small switch back to descend downhill and through the vehicle gate.  Follow the vehicle track down hill towards Carperby.

7.1km – TURN LEFT to walk down the road through the village of Carperby.  Be careful of  vehicular traffic whilst on the road.

7.9km – As you are leaving Carperby, TURN LEFT to follow the footpath sign to Castle Bolton.  You will follow the path through the field and towards your right as the path heads in the direction of the castle.

9.4km – TURN LEFT at the T-junction and walk up the driveway by the farm buildings and houses.  At the last house you will pass through the gate at the end of the driveway to enter into the fields again.

9.8km – TURN RIGHT after passing through the gate to follow the path down the ridge and over the bridge.

10.3km – BEAR LEFT in the field to continue following the path towards the stile on the top fence.  You will be following the path as it heads straight to Bolton Castle at this point.

11.0km – Continue STRAIGHT through the gate and the small wooded area towards the castle.

11.1km – You have arrived at Bolton Castle!

11.2km – TURN RIGHT after the castle to follow the road down towards Aysgarth.

11.7km – BEAR RIGHT to leave the paved road and join the gravel road as the paved road bears to the left.

12.0km – Continue STRAIGHT on the footpath beside the house as it turns into a dirt path.

12.1km – TURN RIGHT at the gate to cross the field, the sign post ahead will point you in the correct direction.

12.4km – Continue STRAIGHT following the footpath sign post as you continue over the stone wall using the stile.

12.5km – Continue STRAIGHT joining the road for approximately 400m.  Careful on the road as there is no footpath.

12.9km – TURN LEFT onto the footpath following the sign to Aysgarth Falls.

13.0km – TURN RIGHT off of the gravel track to follow the footpath sign to Aysgarth Falls.

13.6km – Continue STRAIGHT at the intersecting paths heading towards the footpath signpost.  Follow this path to the left and right as signposts direct you to Aysgarth Falls or Carperby.

13.8km – BEAR RIGHT off the vehicle track to follow the footpath diagonally across the field.  Continue following the gates and signposts across the fields towards Aysgarth Falls.

14.9km – Continue STRAIGHT through the gate into Freeholders’ Wood & Riddings Field local nature reserve.  The sign post on the other side of the gate directs you to Aysgarth Falls.

15.1km – TURN LEFT to walk down small cut grass path downhill.  There is no sign post and this path is easy to miss!  You will be making your way down to the River Ure.

15.2km – TURN RIGHT after going through the gate following signs to Falls.  There is a small access to the Lower Falls in front of you as you pass through the gate at this point but the path down is quite steep and subject to rising water levels.  There is a safer viewpoint of the Lower Falls further up the path.

15.3km – BEAR LEFT to follow signpost to Lower Falls Viewing Point then BEAR RIGHT to follow the path up the steps from the river.

15.5km – Pass through the gate and TURN LEFT to follow the path.

15.9km – There is a viewing point on the left to see the Middle Falls if you like.  As you continue on the path, BEAR RIGHT at the fork in the path to the upper gate.  Cross the road and follow the designated footpath on the other side of the road to take you to the right then left into the National Park Centre.

16.2km – TURN LEFT at the end of the parking lot following signs to the Upper Falls.

16.4km – BEAR RIGHT up the hill on the grass path.  There is a viewing point of the Upper Falls on the left if you wish.

16.7km – Follow the path to the right and over the stile.  BEAR LEFT through the field following the post markers.  On the other side of the field, use the stile to continue following the signs for the public footpath, TURN LEFT after the tennis court and continue through the gates and fields for the next kilometre.

17.8km – BEAR LEFT after the double gate to continue on the path.  You will follow the path ahead as it continues between the two rows of trees on the raised ground and over a small bridge.

18.3km – Continue STRAIGHT through the gate in the middle of the steps and TURN LEFT down the gravel path, following the sign post to Askrigg.

18.4km – BEAR RIGHT at the end of the field fence to enter the field at another signpost.  Keep the river on your left as you follow the path beside the river for the next 4km.

19.9km – Continue STRAIGHT at the fork in the path – both paths join up again ahead.  You will need to go through a gate and over a footbridge ahead to carry on beside the river.

20.4km – BEAR RIGHT towards the signpost to use the culvert to get across the stream.

20.6km – Continue STRAIGHT through the swing gate keeping the fence line on your right hand side.

21.0km – Continue STRAIGHT over the stile on the fence at the end of the ridge.  You will see a sign post at the top of the small hill on the other side of the fence.  Continue STRAIGHT through the next gate and then over the stile to enter the field, keeping beside the fence and the ridge on your right.

21.5km – Continue STRAIGHT on the path after the footbridge by going through the swing gate on your right and continuing on the path on the top of the ridge.

22.3km – BEAR RIGHT to stay on the path and use the stile.  TURN LEFT to keep the fence on the left, walking towards the farm building.  Continue through the gate in the corner of the field and onto the road.

23.0km – Continue STRAIGHT at the T-junction, crossing the road and continuing over the stile just to your right to enter the field.  Continue STRAIGHT through the fields using the gates in the stone walls.

23.3km – Use the small gate on your right to continue STRAIGHT on the path between the stone walls.

23.6km – BEAR LEFT as you follow the lane back into Askrigg.  The Market Cross where we began our walk will appear in front of you at the end of the lane.

23.7km – End the walk at the Market Cross, Askrigg.


OS Grid
SD 94814 91031
54.314846, -2.081213
54°18'53.4"N 2°04'52.4"W
30U 559769 6018941
Arrival by train, car, foot or bike


Walking/hiking boots, rain gear or sunscreen as the route is quite exposed.  Walking poles optional.

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23.9 km
7:12 h
309 m
303 m
Highest point
362 m
Lowest point
157 m


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