A walk around the south side of Wensleydale.
- 9 miles
- 560 metres
- View the route on plotaroute.com
This is a beautiful and varied walk from one valley to another on the south side of Wensleydale, showing some of the best scenery and views in the Yorkshire Dales. At this time of year the meadows are full of wild flowers and despite being in the school holidays I barely saw another soul during the walk.
The walk starts at Gayle, just south of Hawes. Straight up the hillside behind, through the lower fields with their typical patterns of drystone walls and barns, and through the final intake wall onto the open moorside. At the top is an arrow straight roman road.
As I arrived just as a farmer was herding his sheep onto this road to move them down to the lower pastures. They still use sheepdogs but nowadays supplemented by quad bikes and all-terrain vehicles.
From here downhill to the tiny valley of Raydale and the farming hamlet of Marsett. This is a really beautiful place surrounded on three sides by high hills and with flower filled meadows at its base and the typical dales stone barns.
Now along the valley to a dales rarity – a lake. There are few lakes in the Yorkshire Dales, Semerwater is the second largest. The outflow of the lake is the River Bain which is supposed to be the shortest river in the country.
Return back over the moor and down through more green pastures with tremendous views east and west along the length of Wensleydale down to Burtersett. Then through the pastures back to Gayle.