A gentle ramble through the countryside with superb views of the lower Wensleydale Valley, delightful flora most of the year and an opportunity to explore St Oswald’s Church – which dates from around 1200.
Route – 3 miles
Terrain – Field paths, and lanes
Start/End – DL8 5LP
You start the walk by parking the car directly by the church. [ Note: Parking at the church is by permission, not any form of right ]
Walk up the wide track between an avenue of (mainly) Lime trees. I f you are here in June you will see red campion, cow parsley, bugle, pignut and herb robert along the way. If you are here in May there will be an avenue of rhododendrons each side of the track. If you are fortunate enough to come through in the autumn the beech trees will be golden.
Go through the field gate with a hand gate beside it. .
Continue up the drive for half a mile, through the white field gate and, on meeting cross roads, bear left. At a parting of ways, do not take the left turn taking you to a private area. Keep to the right.
Again keep to the right going through a field gate leaving various farm buildings on your left.
Having reached a small wood on your left go diagonally across a field. The track ahead is not a public right of way.
Keep left and head for a small stile.
Bear right and make for the left end of the wood up ahead.
Make for, and then go through, the wide gate/gap in the next fence.
Then diagonally up the hill, and across the field…
… to the gate in the corner (ignore the stile you may see at the top of the hill to your right – its not in good repair)
Then turn left on the track ahead, to eventually join a road. There are wide views, with Pen Hill to the west and the north York moors in the far distance to the east.
On reaching the road turn left down Barden Lane.
After about half a mile, turn left at a cross roads, towards Garriston, a small hamlet.
You will pass a cottage on the left which has traditional Yorkshire sliding windows.
Ignore a public footpath sign to the left.
Keeping straight on, go through a metal field gate with farm buildings on your left.
Follow the public footpath sign to your left, about 100 metres beyond the last metal field gate. There is a field on your right, and a wooded slope on your left.
Continue along the grass path until you reach a waymark, with one arrow going forward and the other going left down the slope to the beck.
At this point there is a choice of routes. If you turn left here, the slope is fairly steep and care must be taken particularly in wet weather – but its fine in good weather. If its too wet, see alternative route below.
Cross the metal footbridge, and through the hand gate, and take a diagonal direction up the field towards a telegraph pole.
Shortly before the telegraph pole, go left up the slope to join a fairly faint path through the grass, running along beside a line of large trees,
As you pass the last of the avenue of trees, look left and you will see a stile. Go over the stile. and into the churchyard.
The parish church of St Oswald is a Grade 2 listed building, parts of which 11th and 13 th century with 19th additions.
The church is generally open, with information inside.
(Alternative route ) If it is wet, the bank down to the beck will be slippery. An alternative route is to go straight on at the waymark, following the path to a hand gate in the hedge. Turn left along the road for a short way , and left again up the drive to the church..
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