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Bolton Castle seen as we drove to the car park on the edge of Castle Bolton village
Bolton Castle seen as we drove to the car park on the edge of Castle Bolton village

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Route No. 634 - Thursday 4 August 2016
Bolton Castle, Carperby,
Beldon Beck ford circuit - 8km
Wensleydale, Yorkshire Dales . . .

Route map from Ordnance Survey Open Space service.

Map: OS Explorer OL30 Yorkshire Dales Northern & Central Areas


Note: The car park at Bolton Castle is really for the use of visitors to the castle but no-one seems to mind if you park there provided you use the "Pay & Display" machine, unless there is an event on at the castle when the car park is likely to get full. There is a good alternative car park & starting point at the village hall in Carperby (£1 parking charge via honesty box). By starting & finishing the walk at Carperby you do the climb up the valley side straight away and the rest of the walk is relatively flat or down hill

Looking across Wensleydale to Pen Hill from the car park at Bolton Castle
Looking across Wensleydale to Pen Hill from the car park at Bolton Castle

Stile into the wood at the bottom of the field from the car park
Stile into the wood at the bottom of the field from the car park

The sign indicated a path heading south west diagonally across the field to the bottom edge of a small wood. We followed this path and entered the wood via a gated stone squeeze stile. The wood is only a few metres wide and we passed though the stile at the far side of the wood out into the open fields. The view across Wensleydale was lovely and we continued along the path where there was a well worn mark in the grass.

This morning my friend, Jim, and I drove up Wensleydale to Bolton Castle in the village of Castle Bolton. We parked in the "pay & display" car park next to the castle at map ref. SE 033 918. From the car park entrance we crossed the track, it's an old by-way, to the sign post on the edge of the open field opposite. The old by-way would be our return route to the car park.

Path through the little wood between the fields
Path through the little wood between the fields

Looking up Wensleydale from the field path near Bolton Castle
Looking up Wensleydale from the field path near Bolton Castle

Following the field path towards Beldon Beck
Following the field path towards Beldon Beck

Approaching West Bolton farm
Approaching West Bolton farm

Turning off the farm access road to the path up to the plantation
Turning off the farm access road to the path up to the plantation

From the farm we walked along the farm access road for about 100m to a left hand bend in the access road. On the bend we turned right off the access road and followed a footpath up to the edge of West Bolton Plantation.

After a few more stiles we came to a footbridge across Beldon Beck and then followed the path across the fields to West Bolton farm where there were donkeys, goats, kune-kune pigs and very free range hens.

Footbridge over Beldon Beck
Footbridge over Beldon Beck

Goats at West Bolton farm
Goats at West Bolton farm

The path up to West Bolton plantation
The path up to West Bolton plantation

Looking back to West Bolton farm
Looking back to West Bolton farm

Gate into a rather marshy field full of ragwort
Gate into a rather marshy field full of ragwort

There were two stone lab pathways across the really wet bits and the field was full of yellow poisonous ragwort plants.

We followed the path around the northern side of West Bolton Plantation and a across a large marshy field.

Stone slab path across the marsh
Stone slab path across the marsh

We crossed a series of fields recently cut for hay/silage
We crossed a series of fields recently cut for hay/silage

Farm track heading for Carperby
Farm track heading for Carperby

Reaching the road at Carperby
Reaching the road at Carperby

The track led us out to the road at East End Farm on the eastern edge of Carperby at map ref. SE 010 900. At the road we turned right and walked along the road for about 150m. Then we turned right along a narrow lane.

Beyond the ragwort field we crossed several fields where the grass had recently been cut for hay. We continued along the field path which joined a farm track.

Farm track heading for Carperby
Farm track heading for Carperby

Walking along the road in Carperby
Walking along the road in Carperby

Turning off the road in Carperby to follow a lane up the hillside
Turning off the road in Carperby to follow a lane up the hillside

Taking the road from the green up the hill out of Carperby
Taking the road from the green up the hill out of Carperby

Nearing our turn to the right just beyond the stone building
Nearing our turn to the right just beyond the stone building

The bridleway up the hillside with the wall on our right
The bridleway up the hillside with the wall on our right

About 50m further along the lane bent to our left and there was a track off to the right following a drystone wall up the hillside. This was our route climbing up alongside the wall on the right for about 300m to join a bridleway at the top of the climb coming from our left. A few metres further on we came to a field gate at map ref. SE 007 909 on to open access land.

After about 100m along the lane, it bent round to our left and came to a small green. At the green we turned right and followed a lane climbing up the hillside out of Carperby. After about 350m we passed a bridleway that came along the bottom of Ponderledge Scar and joined the lane from our left.

Following Peatmoor Lane out of Carperby
Following Peatmoor Lane out of Carperby

Turning right off the track to follow a bridleway up the hillside
Turning right off the track to follow a bridleway up the hillside

Joining another bridleway at the top of the climb
Joining another bridleway at the top of the climb

Gate on to open access land just after we joined the bridleway at the top of the climb
Gate on to open access land just after we joined the bridleway at the top of the climb

Grassy track across open area of rough grassland and bracken
Grassy track across open area of rough grassland and bracken


Looking back along the bridleway as I neaed the field gate

At the far side of the field we came to a gate with a sign post indicating that the bridleway ran from Arkrigg & Carperby to Castle Bolton.

We passed through the field gate and followed a wide grassy track across the open access land for about 750m following a route about 200m to the west of the wall at the eastern edge of the field.

Highland cattle in the next field
Highland cattle in the next field to the east of the path

The track here is an old by-way that continues to Bolton Castle
The track here is an old by-way that continues to Bolton Castle

Sign post at the gate indicating that the bridleway runs from Arkrigg & Carperby to Castle Bolton
Sign post at the gate indicating that the bridleway runs from Arkrigg & Carperby to Castle Bolton

Footbridge by the ford across BeldonBeck
Footbridge by the ford across Beldon Beck

Following the by-way eastwards from Beldon Beck
Following the by-way eastwards from Beldon Beck

By-way next to the farm sheds
By-way next to the farm sheds

These sheds were of modern construction but seemed to be completely abandoned and derelict. They looked to have been built for intensive livestock rearing, maybe bull beef or pigs or poultry? I don't know but there had been a lot of investment that came to nothing.

Beyond the gate the bridleway goes along an old By-Way and crossed the ford over Beldon Beck. Don't be alarmed there's a footbridge alongside the ford. From Beldon Beck we followed the by-way for about 900m to a group of large agricultural sheds.

Following the by-way eastwards from Beldon Beck
Following the by-way eastwards from Beldon Beck

Nearing a group of abandoned farm sheds
Nearing a group of abandoned farm sheds

Abandoned farm sheds
Abandoned farm sheds

Quad bike apparently abandoned too as we left the site of the farm sheds
Quad bike apparently abandoned too as we left the site of the farm sheds

The by-way heading back towards Bolton Castle
The by-way heading back towards Bolton Castle

Heading back to the car park by Bolton Castle
Heading back to the car park by Bolton Castle

The weather had be kind to us with plenty of bright sunny intervals and a few threatening clouds that came to nothing. The whole route had been 8km and it had taken me about three hours to walk it including as usual far too many stope for photos.

From the abandoned buildings we continued along the by-way for about 1.3km across the fields back to the car park next to Bolton Castle and the end of our walk.

The by-way heading back towards Bolton Castle
The by-way heading back towards Bolton Castle


Returning to the car park by Bolton Castle at the end of our walk
Returning to the car park by Bolton Castle at the end of our walk

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