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Hullo Bridge over the River Cover
Hullo Bridge over the River Cover

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Route No. 779 - Thursday 20 June 2019
Cover Bridge, Stepping Stones, East Witton,
Hullo Bridge, River Cover circuit - 7km
Wensleydale, Yorkshire Dales . . .

Route map from Ordnance Survey Open Space service.

Map: OS Explorer OL30 Yorkshire Dales Northern & Central areas
and OS Explorer 302 Northallerton & Thirsk
the route overlaps the join between these two maps


Small lay-by off the A6108 near Cover Bridge where we parked
Small lay-by off the A6108 near Cover Bridge where we parked

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Squeeze stile at the end of the lay-by
Squeeze stile at the end of the lay-by

Flow in the River Cover after the recent rain
Flow in the River Cover after the recent rain

Stile from the woods into some pasture
Stile from the woods into some pasture . . .

We set off along this path at about 9.30am. At the river bank we followed the riverside path upstream. It was a very pretty setting with lush summer growth everywhere and the river quite full after all the recent rain. We followed the riverside path through woodland and across pasture for a little over 800m, to a set of very large stepping stones across the river.

The weather was perfect for a walk today with plenty of warm sunshine and a light breeze. My friend, Jim, and I drove to Cover Bridge in Wensleydale. We parked in a small lay-by just past the Cover Bridge Inn on the A6108 at map ref. SE 144 871. At the end of the lay-by nearest the pub there is a squeeze stile in the wall with a public footpath leading to the River Cover.

Public footpath by the River Cover
Public footpath by the River Cover

Riverside path heading upstream
Riverside path heading upstream

back into more woodland
. . . and back into more woodland

Access to the stepping stones was partly obstructed by a large fallen ash tree
Access to the stepping stones was partly obstructed by a large fallen ash tree

Path from the stepping stones
Path from the stepping stones . . .

Path along the field edge above the river
Path along the field edge above the river

After about 25m we came to a gate in the fence into a field. Through the gate we turned left and continued along the edge of the field above the river. After another 70m we came to a spring loaded pedestrian gate into the next field. Through this gate we turned right to climb directly up the hillside away from the river to a gated stile at the top edge of the field.

The recent bad weather had brought down a large ash tree now lying across the stepping stones near the northern bank of the river. We clambered through the branches and carefully made our way across the river where the water level was just topping a few of the stepping stones. Across the river we turned left and followed the path heading downstream along the southern river bank.

leading up to a gate into a field above the river
. . . leading up to a gate into a field above the river

Through this stile we turned right up the edge of the field
Through this stile we turned right up the edge of the field

At the top edge of the field we came to this stile
At the top edge of the field we came to this stile

We continued on the path near the fence on our right
We continued on the path near the fence on our right

Through the stile the field edge was now on our left
Through the stile the field edge was now on our left

Entering the last field before Braithwaite Lane
Entering the last field before Braithwaite Lane

We followed the footpath for another 250m to a field gate onto Braithwaite Lane at the edge of East Witton. We did not go through the gate but instead we turned right along a public footpath along the field edge leading eventually to Hullo Bridge.

We continued along the public footpath along the edge of the fields with the fence on our right for about 400m. Here, in the corner of the field, we crossed a stone squeeze stile into the next field where the fence was on the left of the footpath.

We continued across the fields with the fence on our right
We continued across the fields with the fence on our right

Continuing on the path to East Witton by the field edge on our left
Continuing on the path to East Witton by the field edge on our left


Just before Braithwaite Lane we turned right . . .

following the path across the fields towards Hullo Bridge
. . . following the path across the fields towards Hullo Bridge

Stile from the field path onto West Field Lane
Stile from the field path onto West Field Lane

Stone slab bridge over a small stream
Stone slab bridge over a small stream

Leafy path along the edge of the woodland
Leafy path along the edge of the woodland

From this gateway the path continued with the wall on our right
From this gateway the path continued with the wall on our right

There is a farm track here, coming from East Witton Grange. We passed through this gateway and then continued along the footpath still following the edge of the fields but now with the field boundary on our right. After another 300m the path crossed back to the other side of the fence again and after another 250m we crossed a footbridge across Red Beck Gill.

After about 370m along this path we came to a stile from the field path onto West Field Lane. We crossed the stile and walked along this grassy lane for about 350m. Here we crossed a stile off the lane and continued on the path along the edge of some woodland. From the end of the woodland the footpath continued along the edge of the fields for about 300m to a gateway on our left.


Walking along West Field Lane

Stile into some woodland off West Field Lane at a bend
Stile into some woodland off West Field Lane at a bend

Following the path along the edge of the fields
Following the path along the edge of the fields

One of several huge ash trees on this part of the path
One of several huge ash trees on this part of the path

Crossing the footbridge over Red Beck Gill
Crossing the footbridge over Red Beck Gill

Path heading diagonally across a large field to the far corner
Path heading diagonally across a large field to the far corner

Grassy gully down to the river bank
Grassy gully down to the river bank

We passed through the gate in the corner of the field and almost straight away there was a grassy gully down the steep bank to the riverside. I have to admit that this was a mistake due to a failure to look at the map! The official public footpath continues along the top of the bank for another 300m. Anyway there was a clear path along the river bank for 300m to Hullo Bridge across the River Cover. From the river bank by the bridge we could see the finger post on top of the bank where the public footpath turns down to Hullo Bridge.

Just beyond the footbridge we followed the route of the footpath diagonally across a large field to the far corner at the top of the steep bank above the River Cover. Just before the gate in the corner of the field there is a stone walled enclosure with stone seat overlooking the river. This is "Bill's Seat" celebrating the dry stone walling work of Bill Frith & others of the Dry Stone Walling Association. We sat here for a few moments for a drink before continuing along the footpath.

Bill's Seat at the corner of the field
Bill's Seat at the corner of the field

Path along the river bank
Path along the river bank

Hullo Bridge seen from the river bank path
Hullo Bridge seen from the river bank path

Crossing Hullo Bridge over the River Cover
Crossing Hullo Bridge over the River Cover

Joining the path downstream on the northern bank of the river
Joining the path downstream on the northern bank of the river

Path up the wooded bank to the fields
Path up the wooded bank to the fields

Almost straight away the path began to climb up the wooded bank to the fields above the river. From the top of the bank there was a lovely view up Coverdale.

We crossed the pretty stone arch bridge and, once across the bridge, we turned right to follow the footpath heading downstream along the river bank.

River Cover seen from Hullo Bridge
River Cover seen from Hullo Bridge

Following the path up the wooded bank to the fields
Following the path up the wooded bank to the fields

Nearing the top of the wooded bank
Nearing the top of the wooded bank

Looking up Coverdale from the path near the top of the wooded bank
Looking up Coverdale from the path near the top of the wooded bank

Path along the edge of the fields by the wooded bank
Path along the edge of the fields by the wooded bank

Path through the woods above the River Cover
Path through the woods above the River Cover

Following the riverside path towards the stepping stones
Following the riverside path towards the stepping stones

After about 900m the path turned away from the river and took us back to our parking spot by the B6108 and the end of our walk. It had been a beautiful walk on a perfect June day. The whole route had been about 7km and it had take me over three hours to walk including our stops. I'm getting slower & slower!

We continued along the path at the edge of the fields across the route of the Six Dales Trail. We followed the path through the woodland above the river for about 1km back to the stepping stones that we had used on our outward route. From the stepping stones we re-traced our outward route along the riverside path.

Crossing the Six Dales Trail on our left
Crossing the Six Dales Trail on our left

Path leaving the woods to cross some pasture
Path leaving the woods to cross some pasture

Back at the stepping stones that we had used earlier
Back at the stepping stones that we had used earlier

The River Cover just before we turned away from the river heading back to the lay-by where we had parked
The River Cover just before we turned away from the river heading back to the lay-by where we had parked

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