The countryside between Long Preston and Otterburn is rarely visited by the walker. To me, it typifies a lot of Dales walking. It is brilliant to explore and full of pleasant (and sometimes less so) surprises.
I headed out from my village of Long Preston to explore the lands towards the Malham valley between Long Preston and Otterburn. Previously I had dabbled around the edges before but never explored its heart. I thoroughly enjoyed the rolling landscape. It is peppered with farms, woodland, wild country lanes, sheep and even a herd (?) of horses. The one thing you are unlikely to meet is fellow walkers.
The walk is a mix of rough lanes and paths that do not really exist on the ground. It is a test of navigation. The village of Otterburn offers an oasis of civilisation, otherwise it is a walk from an unchanging era. I suspect that the land use has barely changed in the last 50 years aside from efforts near Crake Moor to plant some more trees.
I have indicated on the map a much shorter route, returning along Langber Lane to Bookilber Barn (a spectacular holiday cottage). However this misses much of the remote lands which make this such a good walk. Not really a recommendation then!
This is a real navigational challenge. If you can walk this without losing the route you can navigate anywhere in the Dales. The paths on the ground rarely exist as so few people walk them (just because they have green dashes does not mean they can be seen on the ground). Use the information on the map to look for the features such as walls, fences, buildings and rivers to guide you. A compass is useful to check you are right but not essential.
If you get lost join one of out Navigation Courses!
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