Lodge Yard, Askrigg

Yorkshire Dales, England

Gayle Ing, Thoralby and Aysgarth Falls walking and hiking route

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Walk Instructions

Aysgarth’s spectacular waterfalls have attracted tourists since Victorian times. The location caught the attention of the Lakeland poet Wordsworth and the landscape artist Turner as well.

Commence the walk from the lay-by on the A684 just beyond the George and Dragon walking in a westerly direction. Enter the secondary road to Thornton Rust, and after leaving the houses behind seek a large barn on the left and a signpost to Gayle Ing.

The track, Flout Moor Lane, curves right and arrives at a junction. For a shortened version turn left (see map), otherwise keep straight on, following a clear track which rolls out ahead. Gayle Ing lies within some dark trees some distance away on the horizon.

Four hundred yards beyond the second gate look for a stone, step stile on the left and a plaque affixed to the wall. This relates to a Neolithic site, Castle Dyke Henge, over 4,000 years old!

The henge is a circular grass platform encompassed by an inner ditch and outer bank. A detour to view the site is worth the effort.

Keep following the track as it rises steadily, leading through the domain of curlew, lapwing and skylark amid a verdant wonderland. Pass through a gate then curve left to another gate and swing right at once, following some tractor tracks uphill. A faint green track threads between the reed grass. As the wall runs away to the right the track heads directly towards the horizon (Haw Head).

Within minutes the remote farmstead, Gayle Ings, surrounded by trees comes into view. Aim for the ruined barn and pass through the stile en-route for Thoralby. Cross the footbridge and clamber up the opposing bank and pass through a gate, following a narrow path between the heather. After 50 yards the path crosses a green swathe before gradually curving left to pass through a gate some 300 yards distant.

Beyond the gate proceed straight ahead, (wall on the right) with superb views of Wensleydale and Castle Bolton, to the left. Bishopdale with the flat topped Penhill and Wassett Fell, on the right. Ignore a gate on the right, instead pass through another gate directly ahead and commence the long descent to Thoralby, walking in an enclosed track known as Haw Lane. (The optional shorter route merges into Haw Lane much lower down at a sharp bend). Enter the village and swing left. Pass the George Inn and the Post Office, then 100 yards beyond the village boundary leave the road in favour of a narrow lane on the right. This is Eastfield Lane and is followed all the way to Eshington Bridge (1883).

Locate a stile to the left of the bridge - signpost Hestholme Bridge, then accompany Bishopdale Beck through a camping and caravan site of some size.

Leave the site through a small gate and continue alongside the beck to the main A684 road, noting the confluence with Walden Beck along the way. Also, the rocketship and salt cellar follies across the beck, in the vicinity of a private footbridge.

Turn right, along the road towards Hestholme Bridge. Before reaching the bridge cross over and use the stile. A field path leads to the river Ure and the lower and middle falls will become evident in due course.

The green mounds in the fields are remnants of the Ice Age 10,000 years ago, being piles of debris left by the glaciers. The path eventually departs from the river and passes through a copse (stile left corner) and on towards St Andrew’s church - A detour is recommended if only to see the Rood Screen, said to have been carried by twenty men, shoulder high, from Jervaulx Abbey at the Dissolution.

Pass straight through the graveyard (turn right for a view of the upper falls or if your car is in the large car park) and cross the meadows towards Aysgarth village.

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Disclaimer: This route was correct at time of writing. However, alterations can happen if development or boundary changes occur, and there is no guarantee of permanent access. These walks have been published for use by site visitors on the understanding that neither HPB Management Limited nor any other person connected with Holiday Property Bond is responsible for the safety or wellbeing of those following the routes as described. It is walkers' own responsibility to be adequately prepared and equipped for the ‎level of walk and the weather conditions and to assess the safety and accessibility of the walk.

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