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Circular around Burnsall, Appletreewick Moor, Black Hill Road, Trolls Gill and returning by the River Wharfe
submitted by Allan Othick from Batley

Parking: Car park by Burnsall bridge (032612). Burnsall is a couple of miles southeast of Grassington
See map of starting point
Directions: Get road directions to the parking place here (nearest available location by postcode: BD23 6BS)
Map: Ordnance Survey - Explorer OL2 (Yorkshie Dales - Southern & Western Area)

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Buy this map from Ordnance Survey
See map of walk area - 1
See map of walk area - 2
Distance: 9 miles (14.4 km)
Grade: 2-B


About this walk

If after a pleasant walk up an uphill track of about 2 miles with brilliant views of the dales while you climb to the top of Appletreewick pasture, you would like to be alone with the person you are with and the scenic views of the dales, then this is a walk for you. On the way back there is a place where you can stop for a well earned cup of tea, before the small uphill climb and then down to Appletreewick, and then to finish off with a lovely stroll by the river side back to the start. If you like to take your dog with you there is no problem at all on this walk.

The walk starts in the field car park at Burnsall Bridge, leaving the car park by the toilet block and turning right towards Appletreewick. Continue on until you pass through the little hamlet of Harlington, passing the entrance on the left to Harlington Hall. Carry on over the little bridge and on the left is a sign for Kail lane / new road.

This is where we start on the uphill track, but the views are worth it. It's a wide grassy path and all one has to do is keep straight ahead all the time. Please ignore any other paths to the left or right. After the third gate you come out onto open moorland with splendid views of Simon's Seat on your right and open views of the dales and you can look back to Burnsall Bridge.

Keep on the path until you come to the gate and the main road, go through the gate and turn left following the road round the sharp right hand bend, where on the right there is a ladder style and a public footpath sign for Skyreholme. Follow the rough grass path slightly to the left walking downhill. There is a fine view on your right that looks down into Troller's Gill, but more of this later.

Carry on just a little further slightly uphill until you see the new sign saying that you are now allowed to carry on to Stump Cross Caverns. At this point most walkers turn down into Troller's Gill, but we are going to go straight on. Follow this path up and you will see in front of you the path you are going to take up the hill at the other side of the small valley.

Walk down the path until you get to the little wooden bridge at the bottom that crosses the stream. This is where we have our first cup of coffee and well deserved too. If you like to take your dog with you on walks, there is a lovely pond here for it to have a swim in and to cool off. Carry on walking uphill, sorry, but it will be worth it, until you come to a style going over a stone wall. Here you will turn right onto a track with a stone wall at one side and open wire fencing on the other. This track is called Black Hill Road. This is the part both my wife and I enjoy and we hope you do too, and for a while we feel the love we have for the dales.

From here it is flat or downhill for a while, and once again here are fine views of Simon's Seat on your left. And the wonderful views of the dales all around you make the climb to this point well worth the effort. Keep on this track until you come to where the track bends to the left and then to the right and another track comes down on your left that is called forest road. But keep going downhill where it changes from a track to a tarmac road, this is called Skyreholme Bank. See if you can spot a very unusual post box on the way down. Continue on all the way down until you come to the little main road. Here we turn right towards Troller's Gill and Percevall Hall Gardens, through the little hamlet of Middle Skyreholme.

After a hundred yards or so you will have the chance to stop for a while at Percevall Hall Garden's cafe, where you can get drinks and snacks and a good meal if you need one, and make use of their excellent, very clean toilets. My wife and I sit in the garden for our break enjoying the wonderful weather while it is here. If you do not want to go into the café hang on because you can sit by the lovely little stream to have a break with fine views of the gill.

When you are ready go back from the café over the little stream we crossed and go through the gate on your right. Following the stream anywhere here where you fancy, is where you can sit and have a break. When you come to where the path forks you will have to make a choice. If you take the right fork you will come to the Gill itself and you can walk straight through the Gill or return to this fork. There is not a footpath through but it is not too difficult, and you join a public footpath at the other end, which brings you back to the pond and the wooden bridge we stopped at on the way round. If you do go through the Gill you will have to go left, back up the hill we came down. If you like owls and you are lucky like we were, you will see them perching on the fence posts.

For those not wanting to go through the gill, take the left fork up the hill turning left at the top and then along the path we came down, returning back to the main road. Unfortunately we have to retrace our steps back across the moors until we see the way marker signpost on our right. To the right is signposted Dibbles Bridge and to the left Appletreewick. This is the one we need to take. Follow this path and after a while down the lovely tree lined track, until we get to the main Appletreewick road. Believe it or not there just happens to be a fine alehouse on your left, oh well it was a hot day when we did this walk.

Here we turn right back towards Burnsall looking for a sign only a few yards on our left, which takes us down to the river bank passing Appletreewick camping site on our right. Why do they have those wonderful Barbies going when we pass? This is the last part of this walk and we just follow the river path back to Burnsall Bridge.

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