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Fitness
Hiking trail

Ilkey to Burnsall - checked

Hiking trail · Bradford
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Macs Adventure Verified partner  Explorers Choice 
  • Stepping stones at Bolton Abbey
    / Stepping stones at Bolton Abbey
    Photo: Macs Adventure
  • / Saint Peter's Church
    Photo: Macs Adventure
  • / Viewing point
    Photo: Macs Adventure
  • / Near Bolton Abbey
    Photo: Macs Adventure
  • / The elusive magic money tree
    Photo: Macs Adventure
  • / Welly Walk curiosity
    Photo: Macs Adventure
  • / Barden Aqueduct
    Photo: Macs Adventure
  • / In the Red Lion at Burnsall
    Photo: Macs Adventure
  • / Buttercups
    Photo: Macs Adventure
m 400 300 200 100 20 18 16 14 12 10 8 6 4 2 km Farfield Friends' Meeting House Priory of Bolton Abbey Cavendish Pavilion Barden Bridge Barden Aqueduct St Peter's Church

In this first section of the Dales Way, enjoy a gentle day of riverside walking through pasture and woodland. On entering the grounds of Bolton Abbey, you will cross the threshold into the Yorkshire Dales National Park.

moderate
21.2 km
6:38 h
312 m
243 m

From a stone bench, marking the official start of the Dales Way, you will walk North West, following the course of the River Wharfe. You will pass through the extensive grounds of Bolton Abbey, today a functioning priory. The remains of Bolton Abbey are quite impressive and its extensive grounds are well maintained.

Here you will walk by the 'Welly Walk' (a series of themed playgrounds for children) before crossing the river to reaching a cafe with public toilets. You then walk through Strid Wood after which you cross the river again, over Barden Aqueduct (now dry), to walk along the east side of the river. The walk ends at the Red Lion pub, in the quaint little village of Burnsall. 

   

Author’s recommendation

On the way through Strid Wood, look out for a viewing point of the river. Here you can see the river swirling over and around limestone slabs.

Difficulty
moderate
Stamina
Highest point
152 m
Lowest point
76 m
Best time of year
Jan
Feb
Mar
Apr
May
Jun
Jul
Aug
Sep
Oct
Nov
Dec

Rest Stop

Cavendish Pavilion

Safety information

Take care when walking along and in crossing a few roads. In particular, take care in crossing the B6160, a little way before Bolton Abbey. This is a very busy road and your view of the traffic is impeded by bends in the road. 

 

Tips, hints and links

Points of Interest

St Peter's Church - St Peter’s is an ancient and living church serving the village of Addingham.   Christians have worshipped on this site for over 1100 years. The building, set amid an open field, has a nave roof, arcade and chancel dating from the 15th century with a gallery of 1756. It is a place of prayer, peace and beauty where you will find a warm welcome.

Farfield Friends' Meeting House - Farfield Friends Meeting House is a Quaker meeting house no longer regularly in use by a Quaker meeting and now owned by the Historic Chapels Trust. It is located some 2 miles north of the village of Addingham, West Yorkshire, England

The Priory of Bolten Abbey -  At the heart of Bolton Abbey Estate lies the Priory Church and Ruins of an Augustinian Priory in its beautiful riverside setting. The land was gifted to the Augustinian canons by Alice de Rumilly in 1154. The canons lived and worshipped here until 1539 when the dissolution of the monasteries stripped the Priory of its assets. History lovers will enjoy the story of Prior Moone and how he negotiated with Cromwell to secure the nave as a place of worship for the local community and how the church continues to thrive to this day, for more information see here: https://boltonabbey.com/ 

Barden Aqueduct - The large turreted bridge which crosses the River Wharfe north of Strid Wood is the aqueduct. The splendid castellations hide the pipe that carries water from the reservoirs at the top of Nidderdale to the cities of West Yorkshire.

Barden Bridge - Barden Bridge is an attractive three-arched humpbacked bridge across the River Wharfe north of Bolton Abbey on the eastern edge of the Yorkshire Dales. The bridge crosses the river just north-east of Barden Tower, a 15th-century fortified manor house.

The Welly Walk - The 'Welly Walk' offers a series of playground adventures and curiosities (such as the coin tree) for children along the route. You will follow the Welly Walk before entering the Strid Wood

 

Food and Drink

There are plenty of stops for food and drink along the route and amoung walkers favourites are one of the lovely tea houses in Bolten Abbey or continue a little further on the trail to the Cavendish Pavillion. 

 

Transport

If you can not walk today there is a 40 min bus which connects Ilkley and Burnsall, you can check your best connections here: https://www.traveline.info/ 

 

Start

The Old Bridge in Ilkley (78 m)
Coordinates:
Geographic
53.928729, -1.830697
UTM
30U 576776 5976225

Destination

The Red Lion Pub in Burnsall

Turn-by-turn directions

0km – At the bottom end of Stockeld Road, facing the ‘Old Bridge’, TURN LEFT. Pass, a stone bench to your left (marking the starting point of the Dales Way) and continue on the footpath alongside the River Wharfe, to your right. Carry on until you meet a road.

0.3km – Go STRAIGHT ON along the footpath, to the right of the road. CROSS the road to CONTINUE on the footpath on the other side of the road. CONTINUE to reach ILT&SC (Ilkley Lawn Tennis and Squash Club).

0.5km – BEAR LEFT onto a footpath into fields. CONTINUE to fork in the path in the second field.

0.7km – FORK LEFT and CONTINUE, following Dales Way signposts, on a footpath through fields and then on a path through woodland keeping the river to your right. CONTINUE to reach the bridge over a brook, after which the path forks ahead of you.

1.6km – FORK RIGHT and CONTINUE on a path alongside the river, following the Dales Way arrow marker. Carry on to reach a road.

2.2km – Go STRAIGHT ON, merging onto the road, following green signpost ‘Dales Way and Addingham’ on the roadside footpath. CONTINUE to reach ‘Old Lane’ on your right.

2.6km – TURN RIGHT and walk down Old Lane, keeping the river to your right, to reach a point where the road bends left.

3.1km – BEAR SLIGHTLY LEFT and go STRAIGHT ON through the gap in a stone wall along a road through a private housing estate. CONTINUE to the end of the road and then onto a footpath, continuing now alongside the river, to your right. In turn, the path leads on to a winding road. Now lookout for a footpath to your right.

3.9km – TURN RIGHT onto a footpath, descending steps. CONTINUE over a stone bridge over a stream and up to St Peter's Church graveyard. Then enter the graveyard and continue to reach asphalt path.

4.0km – TURN LEFT and continue past Saint Peter’s Church on your right. Carry on along path out of the church grounds to reach a path just before the road ahead of you.

4.1km – TURN RIGHT, following yellow arrow marker, and carry on along a path to cross a little stone bridge. Then pass cottages, to your left, and carry on to a reach road.

4.2km – TURN RIGHT and walk along North Street to reach a footpath on your right.

4.4km – TURN RIGHT onto the footpath, descending steps, passing a footpath turning to Beamsley on your right. Carry on alongside river, to your right, to reach a fork in the path.

4.6km – FORK RIGHT and follow yellow arrow Dales Way waymarkers to reach a car park and old mill.

4.8km – Go STRAIGHT ON into a campsite ahead of you. CONTINUE on the driveway, passing wooden lodges to your left and then caravans to your left and right. Carry on to then reach a wooden signpost for Dales Way, pointing right.

4.9km – TURN RIGHT onto the footpath, which then passes alongside the river, through pastureland to come to a small woodland area, where you meet a road.

7.0km – Go STRAIGHT ON over the road (take care – the road is busy). CONTINUE on the path past the old Quaker House to come to a minor road.

7.1km – TURN RIGHT onto the road and then immediately after crossing over stile over the wall, following signpost ‘Dales Way and Bolton Bridge’. Then BEAR RIGHT and carry on along the track to reach the main road.

7.2km – TURN LEFT onto the footpath, just before the main road. Carry on along footpath with the road (behind a wall) to your right. Hop over a number of stiles and continue to then reach a wooden gate.

7.8km – BEAR RIGHT, to cross the stile, beside the gate, make your way along a short track to meet the busy B6160 road. WITH THE GREATEST CARE, TURN LEFT onto the B6160. Then, a little way on, cross to the safety of the roadside footpath on the other side. Carry on downhill almost to the roundabout, where you will find a footpath to your right.

8.3km – TURN RIGHT onto the footpath. Then cross a wooden footbridge over the stream and CONTINUE on the path that then runs alongside the river (to your right), passing underneath a road bridge spanning the river, to reach a road with a stone bridge to your right.

8.5km – Go STRAIGHT ON over road to then enter the grounds of Bolton Abbey. Carry on along the grassy path, passing cricket pitch to your left. Continue towards the Abbey on the path, veering away from the river a little for a while. Go all the way to the wooden footbridge, to the right of the Abbey.

9.9km – TURN RIGHT to CROSS the footbridge (or, if you feel adventurous, cross the river by way of the stepping stones). Then go STRAIGHT ON along the ‘Welly Walk’ path through the field ahead of you. (The Welly Walk features a succession of playground features for children to explore). Carry on along the Welly Walk, alongside the river to your left, to reach a road.

11.0km – TURN LEFT onto the road and descend to a ford. Then cross the ford (or use the wooden footbridge to your right, and continue on Welly Walk path, to the left of the road ahead. Carry on along the path, which then leads on to reach a bridge.

11.5km – TURN LEFT to cross the bridge to reach a cafe and toilets ahead of you. Then TURN RIGHT and continue along the wide central path of Strid Wood. Continue on the main path near to the river, to your right, following Dales Way signposts. (Look out for a viewing point where you can walk up to the river and see its peculiar flow through slabs of limestone).  Shortly after coming out of the wood, you will arrive at a stone bridge (Barden Aqueduct) over the river.

14.5km – TURN LEFT up steps at the Aqueduct (which is now completely dry). Then TURN RIGHT to cross it and then TURN LEFT to continue along the riverside path, now with the river to your left. Carry on to reach Barden Bridge.

15.4km – Go STRAIGHT ON along road ahead of you. Carry on to reach a footpath on your left, just past a car park.

15.6km – BEAR LEFT onto the footpath. Go up and downhill on a path that then continues alongside the river to Howgill. At Howgill, the path turns away from the river a little to reach a track. Carry on along the track to reach a road.

17.7km – TURN LEFT onto the road and then cross the bridge over a stream. Then TURN LEFT onto the footpath, following signpost ‘Burnsall 2 miles’. Continue on the path, which leads back to and then alongside the river, to your left. Carry on, passing campsites to your right to reach a drystone wall ahead of you.

20.2km – TURN RIGHT and follow the path alongside the wall, to your left. Then pass onto a track to reach a fork, just past a farmyard.

20.6km – FORK LEFT, following the signpost to Burnsall. CONTINUE on the path through the field to reach the riverside. Carry on to reach a large grassy car park.

21.2km – Go STRAIGHT ON to make your way to the entrance of the car park.

21.4km – TURN LEFT onto the road and walk over a bridge to reach the Red Lion Pub on your right.

21.6km – ARRIVE at the Red Lion (the epicentre of Burnsall).

Note


all notes on protected areas

Parking

Craigland Hotel, where we stayed on the night before starting the walk, were happy for us to leave our car in their car park for the week, whilst we waled the Dales Way.

There is free parking in the roads near the start of the Dales Way. Many hikers leave their vehicles there whilst walking.

Arrival by train, car, foot or bike

Book recommendation by the author

Henry Steadman (2016) Dales Way

Author’s map recommendations

Harvey Dales Way XT40

Equipment

Stout footwear, preferably boats, would be most suitable and pack a rain jacket as this can be a wet part of the country.

Similar routes nearby

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Difficulty
moderate
Distance
21.2 km
Duration
6:38h
Ascent
312 m
Descent
243 m

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