Hackfall Woods from Masham

  • Ancient woodland now restored
  • Attractive stretch of the River Ure
  • Grewelthorpe and Masham explored

Hackfall Woods is a lovely area of woodland which is being restored by the Woodland Trust after years of decline. The approach along the River Ure via the Ripon Rowal footpath from Masham is an ideal way to approach the woods and the falls from which it gained its name in Victorian times. Returning via the pretty village of Grewelthorpe and Nutwith Common makes sense and completes a pleasant circuit contrasting riverside, woodland and some great views across the Ure towards Masham on the return.

I must admit I completed the walk in February and the woods were not at their best but all I have seen and read suggests they are a vision of beauty for large parts of the year. The Woodland Trust have a project of restoration taking place at the moment with view points for the actual Hack Fall and paths leading up to the folly overlooking the bend in the river. It is an area that one of our greatest artists JMR Turner enjoyed in the early 19th century with a couple of his paintings depicting the woods and falls of Hackfall. I will return when the trees are in bloom!

Recommend: Take time in the woods and follow the ‘off shoot’ paths to enticing little corners and surprises.

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Masham map

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OS Map: O/S 1.25,000. Explorer 298. Nidderdale. Buy Now
Start Point: SE 230805. Park on the square in Masham and walk past the church to the river and the Ripon Rowal Way.
Height to Climb: 147 ms (482 feet)
Terrain: Paths are good outside the woods but inside may be muddy although this may be due to my winter walk. There are many smaller footpaths to follow within the woods.
Eating & Drinking: I must admit to liking the White Bear in Masham but there is a good choice of excellent places to eat or drink, The Crown Inn in Grewelthorpe may sorely tempt you mid walk.
Similar Walks Nearby: The Prettiest Village in the Dales?
<River Ure at Jervaulx Abbey
The Gallops at Middleham
Places to Stay:


Morton House, Masham


Thorpe Cottage, Masham


  1. Hi there
    Lovely website and was a pleasure to read some nice feedback about The Crown Inn, Grewelthorpe. Please could Admin get in touch regarding mentioning our B&B as a place to stay for the walks. possibly also outlining our opening times and what we have to offer?
    Kind Regards
    Sophie & Kevin
    The Crown Inn

  2. Lisa Butterworth says:

    This was a great walk even though 2 miles in, the heavens opened and we got soaking wet. The going was tough along the river towards Hackfall Woods but I think this was mainly due to the wet weather. Quite a bit overgrown too with lots of brambles so best to avoid wearing walking shorts at this time of year.
    Walk tried July 2016, highly recommended. The Crown Inn at Grewelthorpe was a great stop off for a cuppa and a cake.
    Thanks for the recommendation.

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