Villages of Coverdale

  • 4 lovely Dales villages
  • Quiet valley off Wensleydale
  • Peaceful riverside walking

The best valley walking is away from the main Dales and Coverdale is no exception. It is a wide valley, off to the south of Wensleydale, with the moors set well back making this an excellent place to walk in all the seasons. It is also a quiet valley, longer than most, which in turn makes it a fascinating place to explore. The walk I did links a number of pretty Dales villages (Horsehouse, West Scrafton, Carlton and Gammersgill) and has the advantage of using tracks on both sides of the River Cover. Further up the valley, as it narrows,the landscape becomes wilder but the walks really only offer a one way route.

The stars of the show are the villages. Horsehouse and Carlton were main coaching centres in the 18th and 19th century as Coverdale was on one of the main outes north (look at an overall map of the Dales and it is easy to see why). If there is a more immaculately kept village in England than West Scrafton I have yet to see it. West Scrafton was also the birth place of Lord Darnley, father of James 1 (I always thought he was true bred Scottish). It is thought that the valley itself is named after Miles Coverdale who was the first person to translate the bible in to English in the early 16th century…all interesting stuff.

Recommend: Guess the visitor, I spotted a private helicopter up at Swineside, there is money in Coverdale!

Download GPX file

Coverdale map


All maps are copyright of Where2Walk © 2020

OS Map: O/S 1.25,000. OL30 Yorkshire Dales North & Central Buy Map
Start Point: SE 048814. Horsehouse. There is limited parking in the village and then battle through a farmyard on the way to the river. Cross the bridge at Hindlethwaite Hall.
Height to Climb: 165 ms (541 feet)
Terrain: Clearly signposted although Turnbeck Lane is a nettle challenge for those in shorts.
Eating & Drinking: The Thwaite Arms at Horsehouse is a truly friendly Dales pub whilst the Forester Arms serves good food. Check opening times though.
Similar Walks Nearby: Penhill Beacon from West Witton
Gallops of Middleham
The Moors over Carlton
Places to Stay: