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Reeth to Aysgarth (via Carperby)

Hiking route · Yorkshire Dales
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  • Castle Bolton
    / Castle Bolton
    Photo: Sally Thompson, Macs Adventure
  • / Quaint town of Carperby
    Photo: Kristin Carpenter, Macs Adventure
  • / Aysgarth Falls, lower falls
    Photo: Kristin Carpenter, Macs Adventure
  • / Along Apedale Road
    Photo: Kristin Carpenter, Macs Adventure
  • / View from Pickerstone Ridge
    Photo: Kristin Carpenter, Macs Adventure
  • / Swaledale back in the distance
    Photo: Kristin Carpenter, Macs Adventure
m 700 600 500 400 300 200 100 20 18 16 14 12 10 8 6 4 2 km YHA Grinton Lodge Cafe The Mill Race Teashop WAYMARKER Continue … Hill The Wheatsheaf Inn The Bridge Inn Bolton Castle The Buck
Today sees you back on the Herriot Way as you leave the pretty village of Reeth and head towards the idyllic Aysgarth Falls.
moderate
Distance 21.7 km
6:30 h
522 m
513 m
552 m
176 m

You head back towards Wensleydale countryside via a gradual climb through the vibrant hay meadows as you make your way to the heather-clad moorlands of Apedale.

Once you have passed Apedale, drop down through lush fields towards the ruins of the magnificent medieval, Bolton Castle, famed for holding the iconic Mary Queen of Scots captive for six months in 1568!

Instead of following the Herriot Way to Aysgarth from the Castle, the Ales and Dales trail takes a slight detour to Carperby, to visit the Wheatsheaf Inn, a cracking pub that's ideally situated for drinks before walking the short country lanes around Aysgarth Falls and onward to your overnight accommodation.

Author’s recommendation

If you've been unfortunate with the poor weather/visibility today or if your legs are a little weary, then you can opt to take an alternative rewarding (yet still challenging) route over Greets Hill. It's around 2 kilometres shorter than the standard Apedale route to Dent's Houses - which is (give or take) 1 to 1.5 hours less of walking.
Profile picture of Macs Adventure
Author
Macs Adventure
Update: August 02, 2021
Difficulty
moderate
Technique
Stamina
Experience
Landscape
Highest point
552 m
Lowest point
176 m

Rest stops

The Bridge Inn
Stow House B&B
Aysgarth Falls Hotel
The Mill Race Teashop
The Wheatsheaf Inn
The George & Dragon Inn
YHA Grinton Lodge Cafe
Bolton Castle
Hamilton's Tea Room

Safety information

Route

There are a few stretches where you must walk on the road as there is no pavement or verge. Walk on the right side facing the oncoming traffic.

There may be sections where you will be walking through fields containing livestock.  Be vigilant and respectful of all animals.

For any river crossing - there are always normally stepping stones or an obvious way to cross - be careful when crossing as it can be very slippery.

The paths can sometimes be tricky to follow in open featureless sections, especially in very bad weather (especially fog). Make sure to stay on the correct trail by concentrating carefully on your GPS tracks and maps.

There be some sections today on indistinct paths, make sure to stay on the correct trail by concentrating carefully on your Macs App GPS tracks and maps. The Turn-by-Turn section can also provide you with extra tips if you run into any problems.

Map 

If you wish to carry a hardcopy map, we would recommend buying the Yorkshire Dales Outdoor Atlas by Harvey Maps. Alternatively, you may wish to print the daily maps directly from our app. 

Tips and hints

Points of Interest

Please see the interactive map for notable points of interest along the walk, including recommended pubs/restaurants and tearoom stops.  Simply click the icons on the map for more information as you walk.  

Transport

There is generally no public transport option that runs directly from Reeth to Aysgarth - however, The Little White Bus - Wensleydale Voyager route - you can take a bus from Castle Bolton to the outskirts of Carperby.

Bus timetables change year on year and can be seasonal. Be sure to check https://www.dalesbus.org/ for the most update to date information.

For a more user-friendly experience to find when the next bus is due then visit www.traveline.info.  

Local Taxi Services

Ladies Way Taxi Transfers (Reeth Area) +44 (0) 1748 529 000

James Peacock Private Hire (Aysgarth Area): +44 (0) 1756 792 233

 

 

Start

Reeth Village Green (204 m)
Coordinates:
OS Grid
SE 03814 99323
DD
54.389383, -1.942760
DMS
54°23'21.8"N 1°56'33.9"W
UTM
30U 568652 6027361
w3w 
///cities.rotate.winds

Destination

Outside the Aysgarth Falls Hotel

Turn-by-turn directions

*** To help you follow the route with confidence we have provided a detailed overview below of the Reeth to Aysgarth route to keep you on track. There are sections of this walk where the path becomes indistinct - it is essential you follow the GPS tracks in the Macs Adventure smartphone app to ensure you have a safe, enjoyable and problem-free day.  The daily maps can also be printed from the web version of the app should you wish to take paper copies with you. ***

 

Stage 1 (Reeth to Grinton Lodge YHA) - 0.0 to 2.5km: From the Village Green in Reeth, head south down the busy main B6270 road and follow it as it crosses over Arkle Beck. After crossing the bridge the main road curves right and not far along you come to a small kissing gate on the wall to your right. Pass through the gate and follow the narrow path that skirts the riverside eventually leading you out into an open field. Follow the obvious path across the field as it rejoins with B6270 road, crossing the bridge into Grinton with the Bridge Inn pub on your left. Continue to follow the B6270 road left at the Pub as it curves right to where you pick up the trail as you approach 2 narrow gates. Take the left-hand gate and enter the field with the wall to your right. (see waymarker image for clarification). Follow the grassy path continuing uphill between barns and onward to the entrance of Grinton Lodge Youth Hostel.

Stage 2  (Grinton Lodge towards Apedale - where the path comes off the dirt track road) - 2.5km to 8.6km: With your back to the entrance of the Grinton Lodge YHA entrance, take the grassy path directly in front of you till you reach Hargill Lane (paved road). Follow Hargill Lane left uphill for a short distance and then turn right by the finger signpost onto a stony dirt track road. From here navigationally, the trail becomes very straightforward for the next 6 kilometres, as it climbs up to High Harker Hill, descending slightly and then gradually getting steeper again where you come off the clear dirt track road around the 8.6-kilometre mark. Look out for a wooden post with an information board on it.

Stage 3 (Climb up via Grouse butts to Kendal Fall and onto Apedale Road) - 8.6 to 9.6km: Pay close attention to the red trail on the Macs App for this section. After coming off the main stony dirt track road you've been following, heading left onto a smaller, narrower heather-clad path - it starts to climb and noticeably gets harder to follow - to aid you, you can use the grouse butts, which have numbers painted on them as visual cues to keep you on the right track (Grouse Butts are man-made stony outcrops that people use to aim their guns from when hunting). You will see Grouse butt number 2 for example as the path veers left beside Birks Gill. Slightly further along you will pass butt number three, bearing right immediately to cross the narrow stream above Kendal fall (a small waterfall) - climbing up the opposite bank now to reach now the grouse butt number 4. From here the path pretty much disappears, but as you go up, keep grouse butt number four on your left and follow a ridge of slightly higher ground uphill. This is the right-hand bank of a narrow stream, and is almost completely hidden by marshy grass (listen for it!) Keeping this stream on your left, move slowly towards the skyline and eventually (after about 250 metres from crossing the stream) you should be able to see a large pile of stones ahead of you. Walk towards it where you will rejoin a wide dirt track again around the 9.6-kilometre mark.

Stage 4 (Apedale Road to Dent Houses) - 9.6 to 13.8km: As before, when you rejoin the stony dirt track at the 9.6-kilometre mark (named Apedale Road at this section), the route becomes navigationally very straightforward again. A short section takes you uphill to the highest point of today's walk (552 metres above sea level), marked by a gate you pass through - just before Apedale Head (views of the Valley are sublime here). The path then begins a long downhill stretch through quarried-esque landscapes to what's known as Dent's Houses (a collection of buildings that's used to support local farmers).

Stage 5 (Dent Houses to Castle Bolton) - 13.8 to 16.5km: If you took the shorter alternative route via Greets Hill today then this is where you rejoin the standard Ales & Dales route. Turn Right off Apedale Road as it climbs heading south over a bridge and past the Shooting huts on your left  - the huts are accessible when they are being used by locals - in bad weather, they can provide some shelter and the larger one has a toilet in it also. Continue straight on the dirt track road until it veers right, where you will leave it via the stile, that takes you onto a track between two fences. Follow this track downhill (take your time here as it known to be extremely boggy - find the best sections to pass (which is normally next to the wall) till you reach a gate, pass through and follow the lane into Castle Bolton.

Stage 6 (Castle Bolton to Carperby) - 16.5 to 19.8km: Once you are ready to leave Castle Bolton, the Ales and Dales route actually comes off the Herriot Way path and heads to Aysgarth via Carperby. Take the road to the right of the castle itself (with a church on the opposite of the road and head towards the wooden gate that's left of the visitor car park (signed for Aysgarth). Pass through and walk across the open field towards the bottom end of the woodland ahead of you - passing through another gate. The path is obvious here, as it crosses over Beldon Beck and onto the site of a Farm.  Respectfully Walk through the farm grounds, cutting off at the signposted path on your right (check the Macs App here to ensure you on the right path). Follow this clear path for around 1.5 kilometres to where approaches another farm - stay on the path left of the barn until you reach the main road. At the main road turn right into Carperby and stop off at the Wheatsheaf Inn to rest your legs a bit with a cold drink and a bite to eat.

Stage 7 (Carperby to Aysgarth Falls Hotel) - 19.8 to 21.7km:  The final section today is gentle walking to the beautiful Aysgarth Falls. Leaving the Wheatsheaf Inn, take the road on your left signed for Aysgarth and pass through the gate ahead of you and follow the open fields and woodland sections to the bridge over the High Force section of the falls. There are numerous paths intertwined that day-trippers and dog walkers use here, so if you wish to extend your day then feel to explore. After passing the bridge at the falls there is a bit of a steep walk up Church Bank Road to reach the Aysgarth Falls Hotel (the endpoint of today's walk)

Post Walk Drinks recommendation in Aysgarth: Aysgarth Falls Hotel

 

*** This is the end of our Reeth to Aysgarth route, Please use your included documentation to find your overnight accommodation ***

Note


all notes on protected areas

Coordinates

OS Grid
SE 03814 99323
DD
54.389383, -1.942760
DMS
54°23'21.8"N 1°56'33.9"W
UTM
30U 568652 6027361
w3w 
///cities.rotate.winds
Arrival by train, car, foot or bike

Equipment

Sturdy hiking boots, warm clothes, and a waterproof/wind-break layer are all required. The weather can change quickly in the Dales so be sure to take all equipment even if the weather looks okay. Walking poles will be a big advantage on some of these ascents and descents.

Ensure your phone is fully charged; if you doubt the battery will last throughout the hike, it might be beneficial to bring a power bank.

A large section of the walk today between Grinton Youth Hostel and Castle Bolton there are no stops for food or drink - it is worth taking a packed lunch with you today as you may end up in Carperby later in the afternoon depending on the weather. please always ensure you have plenty of water and emergency food (energy bars/trail mix) with you at all times. Please also ensure you check in advance of  Pubs/cafes and shops opening hours on the day you are due to walk, in Yorkshire opening hours are varied and they can be closed on certain days of the week (walking post-Covid19 lockdown restrictions means their opening hours could be even more erratic, so please check to avoid disappointment).


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Difficulty
moderate
Distance
21.7 km
Duration
6:30 h
Ascent
522 m
Descent
513 m
Highest point
552 m
Lowest point
176 m

Statistics

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  • 18 Waypoints
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