Lodge Yard, Askrigg

Yorkshire Dales, England

Woodhall and Carperby, return by Ox Close Road walking and hiking route

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Walk Instructions

A pleasurable outing that embraces several interesting locations and historical sites. The return leg reveals scintillating scenery while tramping along the Ox Close Road, formerly a Jagger (pack ponies) route.

Leave Lodge yard, cross the road and turn left up the village. After 2.5 meters turn right after ‘Hillgarth’, signpost ‘Lowgate’. The building facing you at the top of this short drive is the local Micro-Brewery. Go down the left side of the brewery and through the small gate. Follow the wall to your left, over brow and descend ahead to a gate alongside a large barn, (a working garage).

Turn left along the road then pass through a stile on the right - signposted Aysgarth. Keep right of a barn, cross a stile beneath a tree and another stile soon after. Cross the next field aiming for the gate alongside a barn, before veering half right towards another gate. This leads into a small enclosure; beyond this a stile leads out onto the road and turn left.

Walk along the road until a ‘weak bridge’ is reached. Cross the stile there and swing right, walking towards the far end of the field where a stile leads onto the railway trackbed. Follow the railway for about half a mile.

Leave the railway on the right 100 yards beyond an overhead bridge. Pass through the ‘kissing’ gate (romantics take note!) and turn left to walk along the field edge for some way. Shortly after leaving the field swing left at the partially demolished railway bridge and follow the track through the reclusive hamlet of Woodhall and join the main road. Turn right along the road for an unavoidable half-mile of tarmac. Haw Bank, the ancient woodland is to the left. Look out for buzzard soaring above. These spectacular raptors are known to frequent the area.

Leave the road at a parking area on the left, cross the wooden bridge and turn right towards Carperby. Pass the spoil tips (probably an ore dressing site associated with the Ivy Scar mine) then veer left, rising on the main track to enter a small hazel wood, richly embroidered with springtime wildflowers.

Beyond the wood curve right to a stile, then continue walking in a straight line, first along the top edge of a wood then across several fields to arrive at Carperby’s football pitch. The route through the confines of the farm must be adhered to!

Enter the football area; turn left to cross a stile. Walk outside the perimeter fence and turn right along the farm track. Reaching a wall angle 30 yards beyond the buildings turn left towards a narrow stile. Pass through the stile and (continue into the village for refreshments) swing left - signposted: other paths.

Cross the farm track to a stile (near the barn) then head for a stile in the top left corner and veer half left towards the farm track used earlier, turning right. After two gates enter open land, turning right then left, to rise along a clear track which leads through the redundant Carperby stone quarry.

Some enormous slabs excavated from the caves (right) remain abandoned long ago. Bear left where the path splits and gradually curve right, heading towards a gate, Ox Close Gate. Beyond this a wondrous mile rolls out, passing the mining area directly beneath Ivy Scar (ore taken hereabouts was probably ‘dressed’ at the site seen earlier) to arrive at Disher Force - a waterfall.

The section between the two gates is heavenly - given the right conditions. The air is filled with the sound of curlew, lapwing and skylark. Green pastureland generously sprinkled with delicate, yellow mountain pansies (viola lutea). Stride out confidently, amid this majestic scenery.

Below the waterfall a rusty remnant of the industrial revolution - a water driven turbine. This generated electricity for Woodhall. A man-made reservoir seen upstream ensured a continuous supply in times of drought.

Cross the stream, continuing towards a gate signposted Woodhall and Askrigg. After this swing right towards Askrigg. Superb views of Wensleydale are soon presented.

The route passes another mining area, identified as symmetrical shaped mounds on the landscape. These are Bell Pits and were associated with lead mining. The mounds are formed by earth excavated from the ‘Bell’ shaped pits, 20/30 feet beneath the conical shaped depressions. Keep away from these depressions. Extremely unstable and dangerous!

Maintain the same line, passing through several gates to enter Heugh Lane (Askrigg in sight above the trees). At the junction swing left, and descend to the hamlet of Nappa Scar. At the main road turn right, then after 50 yards pass through a stile on the left - signpost: Askrigg.

Proceed straight ahead, descend the bank and turn right across a field seeking a gated stile in a wall. Cross the stream, turn left and after 20 paces turn right towards a telegraph pole (with two sets of wires attached).

If wishing to see Cat Leap waterfall continue straight on before making the right turn. Beyond the telegraph pole search for a tiny gated stile, incorporated in the wall. It’s imperative that this stile is located. Walk with the wall to your right to another stile, then pass through several more stiles to reach the road. Turn left, along the road towards the ‘garage’ where a right turn enables you to retrace earlier foot -steps to Lodge Yard.

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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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