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Looking down Cover Dale over the village of Carlton
Looking down Cover Dale over the village of Carlton

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Route No 176 - Wednesday 26 April 2006
Carlton in Coverdale, Waldendale
via Howden Lodge, Horsehouse
via Fleensop Moor, return to Carlton
along the river Cover - 16.5km
Wensleydale, Yorkshire Dales

Maps: OS Explorer OL Yorkshire Dales area at 1:25000
Route Map on 'Landranger' base from OS Open Space service


Track to the moor from Carlton village
Track to the moor from Carlton village

After about 1.5km we reached Howden Lodge, an elaborate shooting "hut". We continued to climb up between Harland Hill and the end of Pen Hill where the path has been rutted and eroded by trail bikes. At last Waldendale came into view and after a pause to admire the view we began the steep descent. After about 500m we found a sheltered corner for a break before continuing into Waldendale.

This morning my neighbour, Jim, and I drove to Carlton in Coverdale. The river Cover is a tributary of the Ure and joins the Ure just below Middleham. We parked in the car park at the village hall (map ref. SE 069847) where there is an honesty box with no suggestion as to how much would be appropriate. It was a cloudy, windy day but occasionally the sun broke through and out of the wind it was pleasantly warm. We set off up the village street for almost a likometer to the junction at map ref. SE 062845 where we kept right off the village street. After about 200m we kept right again up a walled track climbing up on to the moor.

Track across the moor to Howden Lodge
Track across the moor to Howden Lodge

Beginning the descent into Waldendale from Carlton Moor
Beginning the descent into Waldendale from Carlton Moor

Traditonal stone barn by the path into Waldendale
Traditonal stone barn by the path into Waldendale
Leaking pipe at a sheep trough
Leaking pipe at a sheep trough

Waldendale
Waldendale

As we reached the lane in the valley bottom next to the beck we came to Braithwaite lead smelt mill at map ref. SE 018854, where there is an information plaque on the side of the chimney. Here we turned left to follow the lane up the dale for about 2km climbing all the time to map ref. SE 017836.

Braithwaite Lead Smelt Mill in Waldendale
Braithwaite Lead Smelt Mill in Waldendale
Remains of Braithwaite Lead Smelt Mill in Waldendale
A bank full of primroses by the lane in Waldendale
A bank full of primroses by the lane in Waldendale
Walden Beck winding its way down the valley
Walden Beck winding its way down the valley
Looking up Waldendale as we began the climb up to the moor
Looking up Waldendale as we began the climb up to the moor
Looking down Waldendale as we climbed up to the moor
Looking down Waldendale as we climbed up to the moor
At map ref. SE 017836 we turned left off the lane on to a stoney track climbing up to the moor. On top of the moor we passed a 4x4 parked by a wall, full of all kinds of 'gamekeeperish' stuff. The track took us across a stream called Fleemis Gill at the head of a little valley that leads down to Gammersgill, a little vhamlet in Coverdale. We continued across the moor to map ref. SE 027814 where we turned left through a gate in the wall to follow the path across the moor to drop down off the moor into the village of Horsehouse at map ref. SE 047813. We stopped for a break on the hillside above Horsehouse and as we sat in the sunshine admiring the view up Coverdale to Little Whernside a military helicopter flew up the valley below us and then climbed up over the ridge to disappear into Nidderdale beyond.
The wide moor top between Waldendale and Cover Dale
The wide moor top between Waldendale and Cover Dale
Looking down the valley of Fleemis Gill
Looking down the valley of Fleemis Gill towards Gammersgill
Crossing Fleemis Gill
Crossing Fleemis Gill
Fleemis Gill
Fleemis Gill
A line of grouse shooting butts on Fleensop Moor
A line of grouse shooting butts on Fleensop Moor
A dry stone grouse shooting butt
A dry stone grouse shooting butt
Pollen heads on the Cotton Grass
Pollen heads on the Cotton Grass
Looking across to Harland Hill and Penhill from Fleensop Moor
Looking across to Harland Hill and Penhill from Fleensop Moor
Looking up Coverdale to Little Whernside
Looking up Coverdale to Little Whernside from the track above Horsehouse.

Stone gateposts on the line of a long lost stone wall
Stone gateposts on the line of a long lost stone wall
The track approaching Horsehouse
The track approaching Horsehouse in Coverdale
Stream bed by the track above Horsehouse
Stream bed by the track above Horsehouse
From Horsehouse we took the path behind the pub. It's not marked at all and seems to go through someone's garden to reach the field below the village. We followed the path to the river bank where there has been quite a bit of erosion over the last winter. We continued along the river bank for about a kilometer and then followed the path away from the river to Gammersgill. We walked on the road through Gammersgill to map ref. SE 057831, about 100m beyond the village where we turned right off the road to follow a path through the fields to a road at map ref. SE 064838.
Looking back to Horsehouse as we followed the path to the river Cover
Looking back to Horsehouse as we followed the path across the fields to the river Cover
River Cover showing  erosion caused by the winter floods
River Cover showing some of the erosion caused by the winter floods
Bridge over the river Cover
Bridge over the river Cover
River Cover
River Cover
Violets on the river bank
Violets on the river bank
Moss and ferns clinging to a tree trunk
Moss and ferns clinging to a tree trunk

We walked up the road to the next bend and took the path on the right climbing up the hillside to rejoin the road at map ref. SE 063844. Here we imediately left the road again to cross the last few fields to join the village street in the middle of Carlton. Just a head of us on this last few hundred metres was a local woman (she went into one of the houses in the village after telling the gentleman in the front garden that she was going in to put the kettle on) walking her collie type dog with no lead even though there were sheep with lambs in each field!

Track towards Carlton from Gammersgill
Track towards Carlton from Gammersgill

Footbridge over Turn Beck
Footbridge over Turn Beck

As she and the dog entered each field through the narrow stone stile the sheep dashed up the field and turned to face their potential attacker.

We got back to the car park at about 4 o'clock. The route had been about 16.5km and had taken us five and three quarter hours to walk including two longish refreshment stops. I know I'm getting slower and slower, but Jim seems as fit as ever and the worst of it is that he's a few years older than me.