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Addlebrough off to our right as we left Thornton Rust
Addlebrough off to our right as we left Thornton Rust

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Route No 145 - Wednesday 30 June 2005
Thornton Rust, Aysgarth Moor,
Stake Allotments, Addlebrough circuit- 16km
Wensleydale, Yorkshire Dales

Map OS Explorer OL30 Yorkshire Dales Northern & Central areas at 1:25000
Route Map on 'Landranger' map base from OS Open Space service
Open this route in Google Earth

Looking across Wensleydale to the limestone scars above Carperby
Looking across Wensleydale to the limestone scars above Carperby

This morning the weather was poor, dull, overcast and threatening rain most of the day. We drove up Wensleydale to Thornton Rust where the weather forecast seemed to predict a good chance of missing most of the rain. There is a little stoney car park off the village street at map ref. SD 972888 and we began our walk from there. We headed roughly south east across the rough pasture land for almost 2km to the track at map ref. SD 984875. We turned right on to the track and followed it to its end where we took the footpath across Haw Head to cross the steep little valley of Gayle Ing Beck and then up on to the bridleway at map ref. SD 970859. We followed the bridleway for almost 4km to the old green road at map ref. SD 937847. This whole area is high limestone country and the vegetation is mostly coarse grass. It has quite a stark feel to it, not really pretty, but quite striking in its own way. I like just being here with the big wide open skies, if a bit gloomy to-day, the drystone walls and the sea of grass.

Inquisitive cattle near Thornton Rust
Inquisitive cattle near Thornton Rust
At the green road we turned right to head back towards Addlebrough. Quite a striking hill at just under 500m. We followed the green road to Carperly Green and just beyond the farm we turned right on to a bridleway round the foot of Addlebrough for about 1.3km to map ref. SD 955874. There is a ladder stile over the wall on the left here leading to a permissive path over Addlebrough. The top of the hill and the land north down to the road is owned by the National Trust. Much of this area is now open access land under the CRoW Act but it's not much help in practice as the land is walled off into tiny pockets that couldn't be walked without climbing them. (I've noticed that a great many new wire fences have appeared on previously open moorland in the last year or so.) After a steep climb to the top there was no view at all. The mist had closed in and there was nothing for it but to continue down the other side to the road at map ref. SD 961894. From there we walked about 1km back along the road to Thonton Rust to the car. The whole route had been about 16km and had taken us about 5 hours including a couple of stops.
Approaching Gayle Ing across Haw Head
Approaching Gayle Ing across Haw Head
The sea of grass on Stake Fell
The sea of grass on Stake Fell
Addlebrough & Carperly Green from the green road
Addlebrough & Carperly Green farm from the green road
Cattle grazing on the open hill
Cattle grazing on the open hill
Limestone gulley in the hillside
Limestone gulley in the hillside
The top of Addlebrough in the mist
The top of Addlebrough in the mist
Dog rose beside the road
Dog rose beside the road
Alpine plant in the wall on the roadside
Alpine plant in the wall on the roadside