Walk: Burnsall and Thorpe

in Burnsall in Linton, North Yorkshire

Follow the lovely banks of the River Wharfe to Linton Falls before heading across rolling Dales countryside linking villages and hidden valleys.

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The Route

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Walk Description

Burnsall is an attractive village with a large village green beside the River Wharfe surrounded by old stone cottages. Of particular note is St Wilfred’s Church, which dates back to the 9th Century as many Anglo-Scandinavian crosses and gravestones have been found in the area. Beside the church is the village school, founded as a Grammar School in 1602 by Sir William Craven, Yorkshire’s very own Dick Whittington who set out from Appletreewick to travel to London to seek his fortune. This he did, and rose to become Lord Mayor of London. He never forgot his roots and gave generously to many local projects. 

We follow the River Wharfe northwards, an attractive stretch of riverside; the word ‘wharfe’ comes from the Old Norse and means ‘winding river’. We soon reach Loup Scar, a small limestone gorge which holds a dark secret. Back in the 18th Century Tom Lee was the blacksmith at Grassington, and notorious robber. Dr Petty knew as much, and threatened to tell the authorities, however, after an evening at a Kilnsey hostelry, Lee murdered Dr Petty on his way home through Grass Wood and threw his body into the Wharfe at Loup Scar. He was only caught after his servant broke down and confessed, and Lee was sentenced to death. 

We follow the Wharfe all the way to reach Linton Falls, where the river tumbles over limestone ledges formed by the Craven Fault. Note the weir and mill race that once provided power for Linton Mill. The river is left behind on the way to Linton, with its attractive green, stream and old houses.

At one end of the green stands Fountaine Hospital, a fine Georgian building reputedly designed by Vanbrugh. The Hospital incorporates six almshouses and was endowed by Richard Fountaine in 1721 for six poor of the parish. Richard Fountaine made his fortune as a timber merchant and coffin maker in London during the Plague of 1665 and Great Fire of 1666, and became an Alderman of the City.

From Linton, the route heads between the the grassy hills of Elbolton and Stebden Hill, which were formed as coral reefs 350 million years ago in a tropical sea. These hills shelter the ‘secret valley’ that leads down to the hidden village of Thorpe. During the troubled times of the Middle Ages, local people would seek refuge from raiders in this village. 

Related Accommodation

The accommodation below is nearby - and has been updated recently.

The Devonshire Fell at Burnsall

Burnsall, Skipton, North Yorkshire, BD23 6BT, United Kingdom
Rose Cottage

Rose Cottage

Rose Cottage, Rose Cottage, Linton Falls, Linton, Skipton, North Yorkshire, BD23 6BQ, United Kingdom

Dales Cottage

Dales Cottage, Linton Falls Cottage, 22 Linton Falls, Linton, Skipton, North Yorkshire, BD23 6BQ, United Kingdom

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