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The River Wharfe on the way back from Appletreewick to Burnsall
The River Wharfe on the way back from Appletreewick to Burnsall

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Route No. 752 - Thursday 13 December 2018
Burnsall, River Wharfe, Kail Hill,
Appletreewick circuit - 6km
Wharfedale, Yorkshire Dales . . .

Route map from Ordnance Survey Open Space service.

Map: OS Explorer OL2 Yorkshire Dales Southern & Western areas


Burnsall Bridge over the River Wharfe seen from our parking spot as we started our walk
Burnsall Bridge over the River Wharfe seen from our parking spot as we started our walk

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Crossing Burnsall Bridgeat the start of our walk
Crossing Burnsall Bridge at the start of our walk

Turning right off the road about 100m beyond the bridge
Turning right off the road about 100m beyond the bridge

About 100m from the end of the bridge we turned right off the road through a gated squeeze stile and headed south east across the field. As we neared the far side of the field there were two seats below a step in the field on our left hand side over looking the river to our right. The field sloped up to the edge of a small patch of woodland and there was a gravel path in the field along the edge of the wood leading to a pedestrian gate out of the corner of the field.

This morning my friend, Jim, and I drove out to Burnsall in Wharfedale. In summer this is a visitor hot-spot with all the road side parking taken up and the 'Pay & Display' car park filling up. On a cold midweek winter day like today it was fairly quiet and we parked on the road side at map ref. SE 032 611, near Burnsall Bridge. The weather was rather gloomy but was forecast to improve as the day went on. From our parking spot we crossed Burnsall Bridge and walked along the road for about 100m from the end of the bridge.

Crossing Burnsall Bridgeat the start of our walk
Crossing Burnsall Bridge at the start of our walk

Crossing the field to the far corner above the wood
Crossing the field to the far corner above the wood

Gravel path to the gate in the corner of the field above the small wood
Gravel path to the gate in the corner of the field above the small wood

Gate to the riverside path
Gate to the riverside path

Gated stile to stone steps down the far side
Gated stile to stone steps down the far side

From this stile the path headed diagonally across the field between two rows of wooden posts to a footbridge over the River Dibb that flows out of Grimwith Reservoir (The OS Explorer map calls the watercourse Barben Beck at this point).

Through the gate the fenced path dropped down along the edge of the wood to the river side. We continued along the riverside path for a few hundred metres to a gated squeeze stile with some stone steps on the far side.

Riverside path heading downstream from Burnsall
Riverside path heading downstream from Burnsall

Path between the poles to the footbridge over the River Dibb
Path between the poles to the footbridge over the River Dibb

About to cross the River Dibb/Barben Beck on the footbridge
About to cross the River Dibb/Barben Beck on the footbridge

From the footbridge we turned left along the track to the road
From the footbridge we turned left along the track to the road

Crossing the road to join Kail Lane around Kail Hill
Crossing the road to join Kail Lane around Kail Hill

Kail Lane climbing Kail Hill
Kail Lane climbing Kail Hill

We crossed the road to a walled access track on the far side of the road. This track is called Kail Lane and we followed it as it climbed up around Kail Hill. Kail Hill is one of the Cracoe Reef Knolls in this part of Wharfedale.

From the footbridge we followed the path for about 25m then just before we reached Woodhouse farm we turned left. We followed the farm access track for about 200m out to the road coming from Burnsall Bridge on our left to Appletreewick to our right.

Track to the road from Woodhouse farm
Track to the road from Woodhouse farm

Kail Lane climbing Kail Hill
Kail Lane climbing Kail Hill

Looking back across Wharfedale from Kail Lane
Looking back across Wharfedale from Kail Lane

Continuing to climb Kail Hill along Kail Lane
Continuing to climb Kail Hill along Kail Lane

Looking left from Kail Lane along the valley of the River Dibb
Looking left from Kail Lane along the valley of the River Dibb


Joining the farm access road from Kail Gate Laithe

From Kail Gate Laithe we continued along the farm access road for about 450m to map ref. SE 052 611. Here we passed through a farm gate across the track and then immediately turned right off the track through a gate into a field.

As we neared the top of the climb we passed a group of limestone farm buildings and about 250m further on we came to a farmstead called Kail Gate Laithe. Down to our left was the valley of the River Dibb or Barben Beck.

Farm buildings next to Kail Lane
Farm buildings next to Kail Lane

Gate across the track just before our right turn
Gate across the track just before our right turn

Our right turn off the track to follow a path across the field and down the side of the wall past the buildings at Height Lathe
Our right turn off the track to follow a path across the field and down the side of the wall past the buildings at Height Lathe

Crossing the field to the buildings at Height Lathe
Crossing the field to the buildings at Height Lathe

Leaving the field to a wide walled track
Leaving the field to a wide walled track

Passing a farmstead on the way down towards Appletreewick
Passing a farmstead on the way down towards Appletreewick

At the end of this field the track turned right around the end of the field to a gate leading on to a wide walled track. We followed the track heading down towards Appletreewick. At first the descent was gradual.

From the field gate we followed a farm track around the edge of the field, past the farm buildings at Height Lathe. After about 400m we turned left still following the wall around the edge of the field.

Turning right round the wall corner near the bottom of the field
Turning right round the wall corner near the bottom of the field

Following the walled track down towards Appletreewick
Following the walled track down towards Appletreewick

Below the farmstead the track became much steeper
Below the farmstead the track became much steeper

Below the farmstead the track became steeper
Below the farmstead the track became steeper . . .

Below the farmstead the track became much steeper
. . . and steeper

Over the wall was the thatched Cruck Barn at the Craven Arms
Over the wall was the thatched Cruck Barn at the Craven Arms

Where our track joins the road next to the pub there are the old village stocks conveniently close to the Craven Arms where the old Court Leet used to be held until the early part of the twentieth century.

After a few hundred metres the track became very steep for the final 400m down to the road in Appletreewick next to the Craven Arms pub with an ancient crook barn at the rear that can be hired as an event venue.


Dropping down to a gate by the Craven Arms pub


Appletreewick village stocks next to the Craven arms

The Craven Arms where our track joined the road on the western edge of Appletreewick
The Craven Arms where our track joined the road on the western edge of Appletreewick


Leaving Appletreewick along the road

Turning off the road on to a track to the river
Turning off the road on to a track to the river

Here we turned left along a walled track at the edge of the camping field and followed this track to join the path beside the River Wharfe. At the river we turned right and walked along the riverside path towards Burnsall.

At the road we turned right away from Appletreewick and walked along the road for about 300m to the edge of a camping field. The camping field was on the left of the road between the road and the river.

Following the road from Appletreewick towards Burnsall
Following the road from Appletreewick towards Burnsall

Track to the river next to a camping field
Track to the river next to a camping field

Joining the path by the River Wharfe where we turned right towards Burnsall
Joining the path by the River Wharfe where we turned right towards Burnsall

We sat for a drink and watched the river go by
We sat for a drink and watched the river go by

Continuing along the riverside path towards Burnsall
Continuing along the riverside path towards Burnsall

The riverside path cuts across the neck of the meander
The riverside path cuts across the neck of the meander

Here the river was starting to make a large meander and our path turned right, cutting out the meander. We crossed the fields to Woodhouse farm and beyond the farm we came to the footbridge over the River Dibb or Barbon Beck.

After a little while we came to a bench seat where we sat for a drink and to just watch the river flow by. From the bench we continued along the riverside path for about 900m.

Continuing along the riverside path towards Burnsall
Continuing along the riverside path towards Burnsall

Start of the meander bearing away to our left
Start of the meander bearing away to our left

The track goes past Woodhouse farm
The track goes past Woodhouse farm

Just beyond Woodhouse farm we kept to the left to cross the footbridge over the River Dibb
Just beyond Woodhouse farm we kept to the left to cross the footbridge over the River Dibb

Crossing back over the River Dibb
Crossing back over the River Dibb

there were some stone steps up to the gated squeeze stile
. . . there were some stone steps up to the gated squeeze stile


Continuing along the gravel path towards Burnsall

I'm quite slow now and the walk took me about two & a half hours to walk, but Jim kept waiting for me to catch up. There was a cafe opposite our parking spot where we had a very good coffee and bacon sandwich, the perfect finish to a good walk. The whole route had been just 6km.

From the footbridge we retraced our outward route along the riverside path back to the road near Burnsall Bridge. We crossed Burnsall Bridge back to our roadside parking spot and the end of the walk. It had been an interesting and varied route with some lovely scenery.

Across the field from the bridge we climbed up to a stile
Across the field from the bridge we climbed up to a stile . . .

Continuing along the gravel path towards Burnsall
Continuing along the gravel path towards Burnsall

Stile onto the road near Burnsall Bridge
Stile onto the road near Burnsall Bridge

Crossing Burnsall Bridge back to our parking spot at the end of our walk
Crossing Burnsall Bridge back to our parking spot at the end of our walk

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