Rise to the challenge: get dropped off at Askrigg and walk back to Leyburn. After a brief climb, the rest is fairly flat and Wensleydale at it’s best.
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- what3words for start point: ///modes.officials.bangle
- Start Point: Askrigg
- Finish Point: Leyburn
- Distance: 13 Miles
GPX Route MapDownload file for GPS
After an enjoyable bus journey “up dale” to Askrigg on the volunteer Little White Bus featured on Countryfile, the rest is up to you but rise to the challenge and you will follow the River Ure through Wensleydale into Leyburn Market Square with an enormous sense of achievement. It is a long but rewarding walk, however as an alternative, there is the option of jumping aboard the Wensleydale Railway in Redmire. This is just over halfway and can provide a ride back to Leyburn in comfort.
The route climbs initially but gently through fields and woodland and then flattens out to contour along the hillside with spectacular views. Above Haw Bank on the right before crossing the wooden foot bridge, it is worth stepping carefully off the route to enjoy Disher Force which thunders down the steep sided gill. There is still evidence of the lead mining industry on the edge of Carperby Moor before seeing the imposing Bolton Castle ahead.
The Castle has been owned by the same family since it was built in 1399 by Sir Richard Le Scrope, Lord Chancellor of England whilst Richard II was on the throne. In 1568, Mary, Queen of Scots was imprisoned there. The end for Bolton Castle came in the Civil War, when John Scrope, only a teenager at the time, held the castle for the royalist cause. Parliament besieged the castle for an entire year but in November 1645, Scrope was forced to surrender. Parliament intended to slight the castle to make it unusable in future, but the south-west tower and the west range survived almost completely intact and habitable. Below the castle walls is a medieval garden, a maze, a rose garden, herb garden, vineyard, birds of prey and a bowling green.
The route takes you under Great Wegber and Wegber Scar above Carperby where James Herriot had his honeymoon. On the top of Wegber is a prominent building which is Greenhaw Hut, a bothy shelter. Following along the banks of the River Ure leads past the Ice Pond and through the Bolton Hall estate, over the attractive Lords Bridge before continuing the other side of the river into Wensley. It is easy to see how the area was affected by the floods in 2019. Wensley is a pretty village and of course, gives its name to the dale itself.