Rising above Coverdale to the west are the barren moors of Carlton. The walk crosses to the Walden Valley near West Burton before returning further up the valley.
The moors of Carlton lie between Coverdale and the River Walden (Waldendale). They are quiet and unspoilt with an airy almost eerie feel to them. Not many walkers tramp the excellent bridleways which link the two valleys which is a shame because this is a thoroughly enjoyable walk. The gradients are easy and the views extend over a number of the alleged 250 dales which exist. Yet again I was impressed with the dales which lead off the main valley of Wensleydale, I would go as far to say that with the exception of Littondale the valleys off Wensleydale offer the best walking around.
The weather was still, if a little threatening, when I explored the walk but the abiding memory will be the splendid paths which, even after a deluge he day before, offered excellent underfoot terrain. Coverdale is a very open valley. It is known as much for its black grouse and shooting opportunities as anything else. This contrasts pleasantly with the steeper V that the River Walden carves out. Scar Foulds stands out pleasantly as I walked along the rarely used Whiterow Road. What I would call a ‘looking whilst walking’ walk, if only to avoid being shot!
Enjoy the drive up Coverdale towards the high point, a genuine James Herriott experience.
On the return head on the paths to Horsehouse. Do not aim for Fleensop Farm as some of the farm tracks are on no access land.
A very pleasant walk. Secluded, didn’t meet a single walker, on a Saturday!
Detour – Approaching Fleensop Farm. At gate marked ‘Private, do not enter, no footpath etc.’ turn right through a gate then descend and cross the small stream, follow a faint path between stream and woodland, there is an old wooden bridge to cross back at one point, when the wall comes into view head right up the banking to a gate, then head for another gate in the next wall quite near. Turn left onto the lane back towards the farm, then just after the bridge, rejoin the track and continue.
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