A Wensleydale Highway

  • Great views down Wensleydale
  • Easy walking on grassy paths
  • Two attractive Dales villages

This short walk converted me to Wensleydale! A glorious summer’s evening with a low sun casting its light down the length of Wensleydale produced surely one of the best views in England. The soft valley sides, isolated farm buildings, farmers on tractors working to bring in the hay and intermittent copses of woodland all combined to totally alter my impression of the valley which I had always felt lacked the drama and interest of its neighbours to the north and south. Not now.

The walk itself is easy, passing through fields enabling ample opportunity to look around and enjoy the view without worrying about where I was putting my feet.The two villages, Burtersett and Gayle, are both attractive and quiet Dales villages; it is difficult to believe that they are both within a mile or two of the chaos that often reigns in Hawes. The recently restored mill in Gayle looks as though it would be worth a visit and, although I have not been in, I have heard good reports that it is value for money. Back though to the views down the valley which is the clear highlight of the walk. From Gayle there are good views over Hawes to the north but soon I was entranced by those along towards Bainbridge and Askrigg and later up Wether Hill (itself a popular walk from Burtersett), I just wish the Shoulder of Mutton was still open.

Recommend: A short walk for a summer’s evening, just make sure the sun is shining!

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Wensleydale Highway map

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OS Map: O/S 1.25,000. OL30 Yorkshire Dales North & Central Buy Map
Start Point: SD 871893. Gayle. There is some parking available just over the bridge and the start of the walk is through a small hole in the wall near. Take the high route to Burtesett and the low route back
Height to Climb: 65 ms (213 feet)
Terrain: Mainly good paths through hay meadows and fields.
Eating & Drinking: A short walk into Hawes brings a good choice of pubs, places to eat and picturesque tea shops
Similar Walks Nearby: Exploring Cotterdale
The Waterfalls above Askrigg
Hidden Semer Water
Places to Stay:


Stone House Hotel, nr HawesSouth View Cottage, Hawes