The Wensleydale Highway is a short walk from Hawes to the pretty village of Burtersett. The walk is through farm lanes and fields with great views down Wensleydale. It returns via a quiet road.
This short walk converted me to Wensleydale! A glorious summer’s evening with a low sun casting its light down the length of Wensleydale produced surely one of the best views in England. The soft valley sides, isolated farm buildings, farmers on tractors working to bring in the hay and intermittent copses of woodland all combined to totally alter my impression of the valley which I had always felt lacked the drama and interest of its neighbours to the north and south. Not now.
The walk itself is easy, passing through fields enabling ample opportunity to look around and enjoy the view without worrying about where I was putting my feet.The two villages, Burtersett and Gayle, are both attractive and quiet Dales villages. It is difficult to believe that they are both within a mile or two of the chaos that often reigns in Hawes. The restored mill in Gayle (closed in 2019 but due to open in 2020) looks as though it would be worth a visit and, although I have not been in. I have heard good reports that it is value for money. Back though to the views down the valley which is the clear highlight of the walk. From Gayle there are good views over Hawes to the north but soon I was entranced by those along towards Bainbridge and Askrigg and later up Wether Hill (itself a popular walk from Burtersett). I just wish the Shoulder of Mutton was still open.
A short walk for a summer’s evening, just make sure the sun is shining!
When a walk like the Wensleydale Highway passes through many fields and the path is difficult to see on the ground just look ahead for stiles. Ther is always a stile through a wall or fence on a public right of way.
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