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You are here: Walk Routes Burnsall

A Walk From Burnsall

Grade : M
Distance : 15Km (9¾ miles)
Height Climbed : 342 metres (1,122 feet)
Map : Explorer OL2
Stiles : 8
Summary : Starting from the picturesque village of Burnsall, this fairly easily followed route with its gentle climbs descents and some road walking begins with a delightful riverside ramble. This is followed by a steady climb and a section of road and track to reach Grimwith Reservoir, with its protected wetland areas and picnic site; a great place to stop for your packed lunch with its views across the reservoir, the option for a bit of birdwatching and the friendly resident chaffinches for company. The second half of your route crosses a stretch of moorland and open farmland favoured by lapwings and the odd curlew, followed by a steady descent with scenic views across the valley and a second pleasant riverside path that takes you into Burnsall, with a choice of tea room or pub for post-walk refreshments.
Terrain : A mixture of valley and moorland walking over ground that can be boggy and slippery in places. Ankle-supporting walking-boots are recommended due to the uneven ground on some sections of the walk.
Start : Burnsall public car park (pay on exit) NGR: SE 0315 6107 Post Code: BD23 6BS. If it is full an overflow car park on the other side of the river is often open during busy periods.
Access by car : From the south: from the A59 at Bolton Bridge turn north onto the B6160, which you follow for a little over 11km (7 miles) to Burnsall. The car park is on your right as you come down into the village, immediately before the village green.
From the north: from the A684 between Aysgarth and Swinithwaite, turn south onto the B6160 for about 32km (20 miles) to Threshfield, where you turn left onto the B6265, then immediately right back onto the B6160 for about three miles to Burnsall. Continue through the village to turn left into the car park immediately after the village green.
Access by public transport : Bus 74 from Ilkley Station Monday to Saturday; bus 874 from Ilkley Station Sundays and bank holidays (limited service).


1   Grid ref : SE 0318 6109
From the car park you head across the green towards the Red Lion Hotel.

2   Grid ref : SE 0324 6118
Cross the road and turn right immediately over the bridge past the front of the hotel to follow this riverside path signed 'Dales Way to Hebden suspension bridge'.

The Dales Way is an 84-mile-long trail passing through the heart of the Yorkshire Dales on its way from Ilkley to the Lake District. Inaugurated in 1968, it is less demanding than many long-distance routes and is very much a riverside walk. This has led to its popularity as a first-ever long-distance walk for many.

3   Grid ref : SE 0257 6237
When you reach the suspension bridge, cross it and continue straight ahead, away from the river and the Dales Way.

4   Grid ref : SE 0263 6242
Turn right along the road the other side of this gate.

5   Grid ref : SE 0270 6239
Then left by this path sign for Hebden and Bank Top, up the drive and path between the houses and through the woodland.

6   Grid ref : SE 0287 6259
At the other side of the wood do a U-turn to your right by this path sign onto the track heading towards Hartlington Raikes.

7   Grid ref : SE 0286 6256
Look out for and climb over this stile on your left before the gate.

8   Grid ref : SE 0288 6255
Follow the right hand wall through the gateway in the picture and head up towards the right hand side of the farm buildings.

9   Grid ref : SE 0300 6241
Pass through the gate, head across this farmyard and through two more gates ahead of you, to climb the hill in the direction of the path sign, aiming for the top right hand corner of the field. In the next field ignore the track to your right and continue ahead up to the top right hand corner. Go over the stile and follow the left hand boundary to bear left over the next stile, then over the third in the fence on your right.

10   Grid ref : SE 0377 6200
You now walk diagonally left to this stile by the gate and left along the road.

11   Grid ref : SE 0427 6312
When you reach this junction with the main road (B6265), continue straight across along a stony track (Hartlington Moor Lane).

12   Grid ref : SE 0509 6473
Shortly after passing through a gate as you approach the reservoir, turn right at this junction by the Yorkshire Water sign to follow the track round to and across the wall of Grimwith Reservoir.

Grimwith is Yorkshire Water Authority's largest reservoir, a reservoir has existed on this site since Bradford Corporation first constructed it in 1864. The present one however, was increased sevenfold before being completed in 1983. It is home to many wildfowl and includes protected wetland areas and a nature reserve.

13   Grid ref : SE 0618 6407
Pass through this gate at the other end of the reservoir wall to bear left along the road and follow it round the right-hand bend.

14   Grid ref : SE 0629 6404
Keep right past the car park and continue ahead past the toilet block and cottages and along a track the other side of a gate. The picnic area by the car park includes an interpretation board and provides scenic views across the reservoir.

15   Grid ref : SE 0599 6303
After passing through this gate, continue straight across the road and along the track the other side (a green lane).

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When you reach the next road, keep ahead for just over 100 metres before turning right through these gates along the bridleway to Hartlington.

17   Grid ref : SE 0534 6108
Bear right at this track junction and then keep ahead through five more gates, following the signs for Hartlington.

18   Grid ref : SE 0485 6095
Keep right along the track past this farmyard (do not take the track into it). As you head downhill you will see Hartlington Hall on your right. Once worthy of mention in the Domesday Book, it consisted of the hall, a former mill and a former Inn. The hall was built in 1894 and was occupied in the Second World War by the boys of Leeds Grammar School.

19   Grid ref : SE 0409 6076
When you reach the road on the other side of this gate, cross it and follow the route ahead, signed 'Footpath to the Dales Way'.

20   Grid ref : SE 0398 6063
Turn right towards Burnsall at this junction by the farm buildings (you have now rejoined the Dales Way). Follow the track over a bridge and through a gated gap in the wall ahead, which leads you along a riverside path.

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At this gate bear left, down to and across the riverside meadow.

22   Grid ref : SE 0339 6115
Go through this gate, follow the road left over the bridge, then bear left again across the green back to the car park. For post-walk refreshments you have a choice of tea room or pub. Remember to check you have the right change to exit the car park.

The village of Burnsall was an early centre of Christianity as the fragments of Danish-Anglo crosses preserved in the church bear witness. The font itself dates from 1150. Sir William Craven, although born in Appletreewick, restored the church in the early 17th Century, rebuilt the bridge and later became an alderman and a Lord Mayor of London.

last route check 20/01/2019
Copyright © 2014-2019 Alan Windebank, ©1999, ©2017 Walkingworld Ltd All Rights Reserved
Last route check 20/01/2019