Exploring Cotterdale

  • Lovely unspoilt valley
  • Good views down Wensleydale
  • Start at pretty Appersett

Thousands of travellers will pass through Hawes and head towards Sedbergh or Dent without any inkling that Cotterdale exists. That is their loss, and for those who do discover this pretty side valley of Wensleydale, their gain. Cotterdale is a perfect valley in minature, a pretty beck running alongside the near deserted road leads down from the village which bears the valley’s name. The village itself has only 12 houses and no facilities and is the remnants of a larger 19th century thriving coal mining community.

The valley itself forms a perfect U  with the only accesible path on the lower slopes of Great Shunner Fell. The path however is a delight and passes along open hillside with perfect views of the valley and patches of newer woodland, recently planted. The second half of the walk through Mossdale is a complete contrast; meadows and open fields are the order of the day with the woodland surrounding the River Ure offering a screen from the busy road. The hillside of Cotter Riggs separates the two valleys and it is like walking into a different world when descending into the A684 corridor, but still a better option than retreating back down Cotterdale.

Recommend:  Cotterdale is worth a detour in the car for anyone who is unable to manage the walk due to time or age.

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Cotterdale map

All maps are copyright of Where2Walk © 2020

OS Map: 1/25,000. OL19 Howgill Fells & the Upper Eden Buy Map
Start Point: SD 858907. The village of Appersett has a pretty green with available parking. Start by heading over both road bridges and taking the footpath due north from the 2nd bridge
Height to Climb: 242ms (794 feet)
Terrain: Clear tracks throughout, a little wet over Cotter Riggs, although I did get lost in the farm at Mossdale Head!
Eating & Drinking: Appersett is dry (albeit attractive) and the nearest pubs and tea shops are 1 mile away in Hawes
Similar Walks Nearby: Fells over Hawes
A Wensleydale Highway
Hardraw Falls from Hawes
Places to Stay:


Stone House Hotel, nr Hawes