point and OS Grid reference:
car park at Thornton Rust (SD 972888)
Yorkshire Dales – Northern and Central area.
Date of Walk: 20
Traffic light rating:
(For explanation see My
For advice on .gpx files see
the PDF logo above to give a printable version of this walk without the
view route as a dynamic Ordnance Survey map click here.
Introduction: If, when passing through Wensleydale, you have ever
spotted a distinctive, flat topped hill with steep stone cliffs, the chances
are that it will have been Addleborough. Its prominence, at 1575ft (480
metres) led to it being used as a lookout station by the Romans and before
them, Bronze Age people buried a chieftain there beneath a stone cairn.
Remains have been found to support all this.
its summit, there are great views all round, not least looking down to the
pretty lake of Semer Water.
bonus of this walk is that it incorporates the lovely village of Bainbridge,
not surprisingly on the River Bain, reputedly the shortest in Britain at two
and a half miles in length. By the river is a huge Archimedes Screw
installed in 2011 to generate hydro-electricity. The village has a very
pretty centre and village green with stocks – so behave! Consequently, it
is something of a “honeypot” village which can get very busy with
visitors at peak periods. Refreshments can be obtained at the Rose and Crown
Hotel – great pies!
walk follows a route over Access Land, so not all of it is marked on OS
maps. However it is mostly clear on the ground. The walk is straightforward
overall with just a short steep climb to the plateau. The tricky part is
finding a safe descent from the top. The route I found is detailed below but
you need to be careful and take time to find it. Probably not a walk for
anyone who has vertigo issues. The return from Bainbridge is mostly level.
is around two and a half miles of road walking on this route but this is on
very quiet lanes and the views are very pleasant. The first section, over a
mile long, is a “dead end”. I saw no traffic at all when I did the walk.
walk starts from the attractive village of Thornton Rust. To get there, turn
south off the A 684 at either Aysgarth or Worton, where signposted and
follow the minor road to it. There is a free “car park” indicated by a
blue ‘P’ sign in the village but this is little more than a bit of rough
grass. Do not cross the stream at the end of the parking area by mistake as
there is no-where to turn round beyond.
the parking (SD 972888), cross the stream and take the left fork along the
broad, walled track.
this track past a stone barn and crossing a ford via some conveniently
placed elevated slabs. Stay on the track for about another 150 yards and as
it opens into a field, take the path on the left (SD 967884).
on the path for about three quarters of a mile to cross a ladder stile.
Shortly after this, is a finger post where the path forks. Take the right
fork following the “Permissive Footpath” fingerpost and cross another
ladder stile (SD 956876).
path starts to climb gently and you arrive at a large rock (SD 953879). From
here, the path becomes indistinct. Simply head directly uphill to reach the
the edge of the plateau, bear right to a ladder stile which is visible,
along with the top of a cairn, peeping above a wall.
the stile and you will note the cairn is more robustly constructed than the
majority of cairns. It does not mark the summit however. From the cairn,
continue in the same direction as your approach to a marker post.
the marker post (SD 947881), bear left (278 magnetic) towards the true
summit where you will see a few rocks. Which are supposedly the remains of
an ancient cairn. Some have cup and ring markings. There are also traces of
an old Trig. Point.
here, for the best views, follow the edge of the escarpment indicated by the
rocky bluff but beware of the steep drops.
come to a fence (SD 944881). Follow this along to the left (south) but you
need to stop about 50 yards before
the corner where the fence turns left (east), to find the way down. This is
not easy to find. My first thought was to climb down the rocks but many at
the edge looked cracked and not too secure and did not appeal as a potential
descent. About 50 yards before the corner, hop over the fence. Here, there
is a more grass slope descent, which went slightly left and which I was able
to descend without too much difficulty. I give the full OS reference from my
Garmin in case you have the equipment - SD 9441588049.
near the wall is a large boulder known as The Devil’s Stone arising from
one of these folklore tales about giants and the Devil throwing stones at
each other. Also below, in the rough pasture, there was a clear track across
the field, created by a quad bike/tractor, which is the onward route. Of
course I cannot confirm this would still be visible at a different time but
it looked well used. If in doubt, head for the wall at the bottom of the
field and turn right to follow it along. Turn left at the wall corner and
join the road.
right along the road. Just past a telecommunications mast, turn right at the
road junction. At the ‘T’ junction with the A684, turn left for
Bainbridge, return to this point or, if not venturing into the village, take
the narrow gated stile which leads from this junction to “Cubeck 11/3
path goes through a gated stile which you can see, then bears right to
another stile which you can just make out at the top of a grassy slope,
leading to the top of Brough Scar. Go through this stile and turn left.
path now follows the top of Brough Scar. Ignore any turns off left. The path
is level and easy to follow, defined variously by gated stiles and yellow
markers. At SD 945897, pass a three way fingerpost and continue ahead
following the public footpath sign.
pass another three way finger post and follow the sign for “Cubeck”.
the farm at Cubeck, the path passes to the right of the main farm buildings.
At the road, turn right and follow the road back to Thornton Rust.
If you need to buy any
hiking equipment/clothing before your trip see the Hiking
All information on this
site is given in good faith and no liability is accepted in respect of any
damage, loss or injury which might result from acting on it.