Where is this walk?

Middleham Castle and Gallops

March 9, 2019

Middleham Castle and Gallops offer the backdrop to a lovely walk overlooking Lower Wensleydale. Follow the racehorses as they train before heading down to the River Cover and the return to Middleham.

The Walk

On any walk from Middleham two aspects will always stand out. The first is the splendid castle which dominates this most attractive of villages. The castle was the stronghold of Richard 111 during the War of the Roses and a northern base thereafter. The second reason are the racehorses. Racehorses by the dozen. Racehorse training in Middleham has been around for two hundred years. There are still over ten firmly established, and successful, training stables in the village.

My poor dog was confounded by the walk over the Middleham Gallops. Thoroughbred racehorses were clattering past on training exercises at great speed. At least I could enjoy the splendid views over Wensleydale. After a mile and a half the walk leaves the high ground of the Gllops and descends in to Tupgill Park. This is the the home of the Forbidden Corner, a 4 acre, 21st century popular tourist attraction. Fortunately it has been closed as I walked. Therefore I enjoyed the peace as I headed for the river and the beautiful cluster of houses, church and the ruined abbey of Coverham. The woods on the banks of the River Cover are another lovely spot to dawdle before heading back to Middleham. I am not sure there is any walk I have completed which packs so much in to such a relatively small area.


Coverham Abbey is on private land and there is no access. Just a tantalising peak available for the passing walker/visitor (best from near the church).

Middleham Castle and Gallops is one the best 20 walks in the Yorkshire Dales.

Navigation Tips on the Middleham walk

After Coverham Abbey the route is a little tricky to follow. After crossing a small stream near some woodland head diagonally up hill towards the woods before meeting a track heading back to the River Cover. It is similar to walking two sides of a triangle. It is worth returning to the river as it is lovely. Strike back to Middleham via the Six Dales Trail.

  • Gandalf says:

    Only been walking for a short while and easy to use guide, big thanks.

  • Phoebe Newton says:

    This was a very pleasant walk, but I admit to finding your instructions a bit imprecise. I wasn’t leading this walk, but the leaders were quite experienced and used to reading maps. We seemed OK as far as Coverham and then it gets a bit vague. Not sure what the “Six Trails” footpath is either. I don’t remember seeing a sign for that. I know you can’t reproduce OS maps, but a little more detail would be helpful. It was supposed to be an easy/medium walk of 5.5 miles. Although we are all quite old (70+), we’re used to walking 7 or 8 miles. Yes, it was very hot that day, but it shouldn’t have taken us about 5 hours!

    • Jonathan says:

      Hi, am not sure what happened here. It is a simple and short walk (2 hours) along the Gallops, down to the river and back.
      The 6 Dales Trail is a long distance route marked on the O/S map which leads back in to Middleham.

      • Lesley says:

        Tend to agree with Phoebe Newton. The walk was easy to follow until the Abbey which was inaccessible as it is a private gated drive, and no other way back to Middleham except following the Coverham Lane, without a verge and walking with a German Shepherd. I have no idea how you would get onto the Six Dales except to divert. Both of us are experienced walkers used to both map/compass and digital resources, and after examining the route in more detail it is clear public rights of way are not used at all times

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