Leader : Ian Bagshaw. Distance : 7 miles.
The weather looked set fair for today’s walk in Bishopdale and Wensleydale. We made very good time in getting to West Burton and the six members who decided to undertake the walk were appropriately attired and ready to leave by 11 am. No visit to West Burton is complete without a visit to Upper Cauldron Falls which despite a little rain were not at their best but they were worth the visit. We left the village by a narrow path between houses which soon took us over the B6160 and on over the fields to the banks of Bishopdale Beck. By this time it was getting warm and we stopped to adjust our clothes. We soon reached Eshington Bridge which we crossed and this gave us our view of the very steep ascent up into Aysgarth. The order of the day was to climb at your own pace and stop when you wish. Despite the steepness of the ascent we made very good progress and stopped for our ‘coffee’ at 12 noon on the flatlands. From here there was a further very small ascent and this brought us out onto the A684 at Aysgarth Falls Inn (Used to be the Palmer Flats). We then took the parishioners path from Aysgarth Church to Aysgarth Village. The leader said that it reminded him of a coffin route and someone commented that it was good for the bearers that it was downhill. When we reached Aysgarth Village it was sunny and it was 1pm so we stopped for our lunch at the Edwardian Rock garden which is a pleasure in itself.
Having left our donation in the charity box we set off along the Thornton Rust Road- all this time the views down into Wensleydale were stunning and in particular the view of Castle Bolton was as always quite memorable.We then took a bridleway called Folly Lane over Aysgarth pasture. The sun was now really quite hot and our leader went ahead as he was keen to reconnoitre the route as he had gone slightly off route on a previous visit to the region. All went well and we got our first views of Bishopdale and good old reliable Pen Hill. Addlebrough had been clearly visible just as we were leaving Wensleydale. We walked down the main street of Thoralby and admired the beautiful floral displays.One of our number bought beans and tomatoes from a stall and we had some craic with one or two of the villagers.
Thoralby and it was time for tea and a short rest. The road out of Thorlaby is a bit of a drag but there was time to view the ‘Pinfold’ as we left the main green. Recrossing the B6160 we toiled up to the bridleway which joins Newbiggin to West Burton. Our leader had made the executive decision to take the higher route and this was absolutely marvellous – regular wall gates with very strong springs but underfoot soft satiny grass. Sheep, a few cows and nobody but us. The pace was slowing a little but then there was a fingerpost announcing that it was only ¼ mile to West Burton – yippee! The Dalesman suggests that West Burton is one of the prettiest villages in North Yorkshire and who would persuade them otherwise after a 7 mile walk. The Ladies had taken a shorter route back from Thoralby but in fact we all arrived back at the ice cream shop at the same time. Chocolate with salt ice cream cones seemed popular as did vanilla.
The next walk is on Wednesday 17th September and it is to Bowless (High Force and Low Force).
Thank you to those 6 members who came on today’s walk – it was a pleasure to have your company. IMMB.