Route No. 428 - Wednesday 3 August 2011
Burnsall, Thorpe, Linton, Linton falls, River Wharfe, Hebden circuit - 12km
Wharfedale, Yorkshire Dales . . .

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Route description:
This morning Jim & I met two friends, Ray & Sylvia, at Burnsall at map ref. SE031610. The weather forecast was for a very hot humid day with a risk of thundery downpours in the afternoon. We set off at around 10.15am along the main street, the B6160, and after about 200m we turned left off the road along a public footpath down the side of a cottage. This path brought us to a stile into a fields where there was a friendly pony waiting to greet us. We followed this path across the fields and over a stone step stile at every stone wall climbing up for almost a kilometer to a farm road called Badger Lane at map ref. SE025617. A few hundred metres beyond Badger Lane the path started to drop down to a plank bridge over Starton Beck at map ref. SE019616. From there we followed the path up to a track that led us onto a lane into the 'Hidden Village' of Thorpe. Thorpe is known as the hidden village because in its little valley between the reef knolls it is invisible from Wharfedale and it was never discovered by the border reivers who plundered as far south as this area until the late 1500's. We followed the road south through the village of Thorpe and at the edge of the village we took a track off the road to the right to climb around the base of Elbolton Hill. Elbolton Hill and several others in this area are known as 'Reef Knolls'. The limestone strata of this area was laid down on the bed of a shallow tropical sea hundreds of millions of years ago. At the same time the reef knolls were formed as coral atolls with their ridges forming small coral islands in this tropical sea. We continued along the path through more stone step stiles to the road at map ref. SD996611. At the road we turned right to walk along the road for about 600m to Stanghill Beck. Here we turned left off the road at a sign post indicating a footpath to Linton & Threapland. We followed this path along a farm track for about 250m to map ref. SD997617. Here we turned right off the farm track. We followed a path across the fields for almost 900m to the edge of Linton. The path led us onto a road which we followed into the village. We stopped here for our lunch break. In the centre of the village is a very pretty village green with Linton Beck running through it. There is an old pack horse bridge across the beck and a pub on one side of the green with several seats around the green to enjoy the scene. We followed the main road (B6265) out of the village to a cross roads at map ref. SD996630. We took the minor road opposite and followed it for about 300m down to a bend in the road at map ref. SE000632. Here we took a signposted path off to the left around the stone house on the corner to the footbridge over the River Wharfe at Linton Falls. There are two long weirs here and several waterfalls as the river makes its way through a rocky outcrop. We crossed the river on the footbridge and at once we turned right to follow the path along the river bank heading downstream. After about 3km we came to a pedestrian suspension bridge over the River Wharfe at map ref. SE025623 near the road into Hebden. We crossed the river on the wobbly suspension bridge except for Ray who decided on an equally adventurous crossing on the stepping stone about 20m downstream of the bridge. We all continued along the riverside path to the rapids at Loup Scar and then along the path for another 600m back to our starting point in Burnsall. Ray & Sylvia planned to do their supermarket shopping on the way home - where do they get their energy? Jim and I made our usual stop at a coffee shop for a large coffee and a toasted teacake for a pleasant end to the day before driving home. The whole route had been about 12km and it had taken four and three quatrer hours to walk including our stops - many of them just waiting for me to catch up.