Where is this walk?

Jervaulx Abbey and the River Ure

June 15, 2019

An easy walk starts through the grounds of Jervaulx Abbey. The walk then crosses the River Ure and enters the well preserved village of Thornton Stewart. The walk drops back to the River Ure at Danby Hall.

The Walk

A lovely stretch of riverside, an abbey, an impressive old hall, a pearl of a village and some lovely walking across the estates of Jervaulx Abbey and Danby Hall. As a result this is one of the best lowland walks in the Yorkshire Dales. In addition finishing (or starting) with a visit to the Jervaulx Abbey tea room and stopping off for a quick one at the Coverbridge Inn adds to the enjoyment. I always get pleasure from  wandering through the ruins of old abbeys and this was no exception. The beautiful situation adding to a tangible sense of real history.

The abbey was built by the Cistercians in 1156 and was a real treasure trove. However Henry V111 experienced certain marital problems in the 16th century. He therefore sold off Jervaulx Abbey and it thereafter fell in to disrepair. The grounds however still roll pleasantly to the river (as do those on the other side at Danby Hall). This makes them a delight to walk through. However I must admit that my favourite stretch of the walk passes next to the river from the Coverbridge Inn to the abbey. The path here is excellent and religiously follows the river bank for the best part of two miles.


Having done the walk both ways I would recommend the anticlockwise circuit. The abbey should be seen initially, the riverside walk is a great way to finish and the inn is more strategically placed!

Navigation Tips at Jervaulx Abbey

On the walk through the fields to Thornton Stewart I have sometimes encountered frisky cows. They do not bother me but do others. From a navigational point of view it is fine to move away from the path and cross a wall/fence to get away if they bother you.

  • Carl Tate says:

    Lovely walk one of our favourites. For an interim refreshment stop call at the village hall in Thornton Stewart there are tea making facilities and biscuits to be had for a contribution to the honesty box. (make your own it’s not staffed and please wash your cup up afterwards) and a lovely bench outside to sit and drink it on and watch the world go by

  • Elaine says:

    I have done this walk many times. The best time being in the spring when the stretch along the river is an absolute delight. The bank is a mass of cowslips which are

  • c rickard says:

    We did this walk over the 2020 August bank holiday weekend in pleasant dry conditions. Made a small pre paid contribution to the upkeep of the Abbey which allowed us to use the carpark and facilities. After running the gauntlet with exceptionally noisy and speeding motorbikes we crossed the A6108 road to enter the grounds of the Abbey and the sense of tranquility was soon restored as we ambled among contented sheep. On leaving the grounds a mile or so of road walking is necessary before attaining the Kilgram bridge across the Ure. Thereon the route bore left across farming pasture before reaching the village of Thornton Steward where the finest section of the walk began. Passing through a gate at the Manor House we followed the bridleway to the grounds of Danby Hall with views towards Penhill and the across lower Wensleydale. Danby Hall was impressive and soon we recrossed the Ure at Ulshaw and passed the Coverbridge Inn. From here a footpath led along the banks of the river, although this stretch could be said to be uninspiring due to it’s enclosed nature. Towards the end the views improved and the path joined the road for the last quarter of a mile back to the entrance of the abbey grounds where we took the opportunity to explore the ruins of the once impressive Jervaulx abbey.

  • Rose Jenkins says:

    Live 5 miles away and did the walk today for the first time, anti clockwise, weather was fantastic – walk was OK until the Coverbridge Inn, after that tiresome, no views at all, can’t actually see the river and you have to walk in single file due to vegetation and looking down at your feet to check the uneven ground. Tip: take 2 cars, leave one at the tea rooms and one at the Inn so you can miss out the last bit.

  • Ken Smithj says:

    Sounds great but I can’t find anywhere where it gives the distance. Can anyone help?

  • Judith Ellam says:

    I did this walk with a friend in October 2016 and thoroughly enjoyed it. We also had nice enough weather to sit out and eat our sandwiches in front of Danby Hall. The only disappointment was that when we turned into the field just after the Kilgram Bridge the field was ploughed over including the footpath so we had to pick our way around the edge of the field and find the path at the other side.

  • Lisa Butterworth says:

    Great walk and we dropped on well as the weather was lovely. You were right about the amount of sheep and cows during the walk. In one area the cows were very curious and came very close to us which was slightly unnerving at one point! The Coverbridge Inn is a good stop off for lunch. The walk back to the Abbey was gorgeous with lots of nature around and some amazing coloured plants and flowers along the way.
    Walk done July 2016, highly recommended. Thanks.

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