Where is this?

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 return to Middleham.

The Walk

On any walk from Middleham two aspects will always stand out. The first is the splendid castle which dominates the most attractive of villages and was a firm favourite of Richard III whilst the second is horses. Racehorses by the dozen. Racehorse training in Middleham has been around for 200 years. There are still over ten firmly established, and successful, training stables in the village.

As I headed out over the Gallops, with its splendid views over Wensleydale, my poor dog was confounded by thoroughbred racehorses clattering past at great speed. After a mile and a half the walk leaves the high ground and enters Tupgill Park. This is the the home of the Forbidden Corner, a 4 acre, 20th century popular tourist attraction. Fortunately it was closed so 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.

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

Navigation Tips on the Middleham walk

After leaving Coverham Abbey the path misses a field and follows the road before turning south to the riverside walking. The landowner evidently does not want us walkers passing through!

  • 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.

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