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The Wild Yorkshire Way

Ups and Downs

Peaks
Dales
Dales
NYM
NYM
NYM
PW
3P
C2C
CW
YWW
YWW
TPT

Route Anticlockwise Reverse

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Day 1: Stainborough Cricket Club to Pastures Lodge, Denaby Ings, 14.3 miles/23 km

17m ascent, 77m descent, total 14.3 miles/23 km

The first day! Following the Trans Pennine Trail east trail along rivers and through valleys in industrial South Yorkshire

If you decide to tackle the walk in the anticlockwise direction, you'll have easy flat walking for about 6 days on the Trans Pennine Trail, so you can get toned up before the hills appear. Walking is hard work, especially with a heavy pack, so you'll be glad to know the first pub is the Strafford Arms after about 120m. After a well-earned rest at the Strafford, join the Trans Pennine Trail at Gilroyd and head east through pleasant countryside, passing Worsbrough Mill Country Park and calling at the Boatman's Rest at Worsbrough for further refreshments. Be careful though, the Boatman's Rest is sometimes closed at lunchtimes. Follow the signed Trans Pennine Trail east towards Wombwell, where (for me) nostalgia kicks in. The Way passes the Aldham Industrial Estate, where my former company ABI Electronics Ltd started out in a tiny unit in 1983, and fed me until I retired and sold up in 2014. After Wombwell the route passes the Old Moor nature reserve, and from this point the Trans Pennine Trail shares its route with the Dearne Way all the way to today's end at Denaby Ings. Follow the south bank of the River Dearne until you reach the bridge at Adwick, after which you cross to the north bank. Keep on the north bank all the way to the road at Denaby Ings, where there's a convenient hotel (Pastures Lodge) a short distance up the road towards Mexborough.

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Bus LogoStainborough: Dodworth: Gilroyd: Worsbrough: Wombwell: Bolton upon Dearne: Harlington: Mexborough

Train LogoBarnsley: Dodworth: Wombwell: Bolton upon Dearne: Conisbrough: Mexborough

Car LogoStainborough: Gilroyd: Worsbrough: Lewden: Wombwell: Old Moor House: Bolton upon Dearne: Harlington: Denaby Ings

Beer LogoStrafford Arms, Stainborough: Boatman's Rest, Button Mill, Worsbrough: Wombwell: Old Moor Tavern, Broomhill (1 mile): Pastures Lodge, Denaby Ings

Bed LogoPastures Lodge, Denaby Ings

Tent Logo

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Day 2: Pastures Lodge, Denaby Ings to Thorpe in Balne, 14.6 miles/23.5 km

55m ascent, 58m descent, total 28.9 miles/46.5 km

The second day, a countryside corridor through heavily populated South Yorkshire

If you spent the first night at Pastures Lodge, it's a short stroll along the road to rejoin the route by the River Dearne at Denaby Ings. Follow the river south-east, until we cross it at a bridge just before its confluence with the River Don. Eventually we arrive at the impressive Conisbrough Viaduct, where we descend to the river. Keep to the river bank downstream, passing Sprotbrough Flash nature reserve, until we arrive at Sprotbrough Bridge where the Boat Inn awaits, if refreshments are needed, and if it's open! Keep on along the north bank of the river, passing under the A1(M) motorway, before we turn abruptly north along a disused railway. Take a last look back at the puny hills around here, as you will not see many contours for the next 4 days as the ground is largely flat. Follow the trail towards Bentley, but don't miss the right turn towards the town centre, where the route passes the railway station. Pretty it is not around here, but there are shops to stock up on provisions, and also the Bay Horse, if thirsty......oh go on then, just one. Head north west out of Bentley to rejoin the disused railway, then follow it north east towards Toll Bar. Just before entering the village the route branches off to the right, skirting Bentley Community Woodland, before a short bit of road walking leads you past the farm of Tilts and eventually to Owston Wood. At Owston Grange, some further quiet road walking eventually leads you to Thorpe in Balne. If you're using an old map, watch out for a new road bridge over the railway at the complex Joan Croft Junction. The trail used to cross the east coast main line over a level crossing here, but this is now impassable and walkers have to follow the loop road over the bridge. In Thorpe in Balne, accommodation is non-existent, but buses/taxis (Angels, 07840 472308) are available to Barnby Dun where there are facilities.

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Bus LogoMexborough: Conisbrough: Sprotbrough: Bentley: Thorpe in Balne

Train LogoMexborough: Conisbrough: Doncaster: Bentley: Kirk Sandall

Car LogoDenaby Ings: Sprotbrough: Bentley: Tilts: Owston Grange: Thorpe in Balne

Beer LogoBoat Inn, Sprotbrough: Bay Horse, Bentley

Bed LogoBarnby Dun

Tent Logo

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Day 3: Thorpe in Balne to Sloop Inn, Temple Hirst, 16 miles/25.7 km

31m ascent, 34m descent, total 44.9 miles/72.3 km

Today we leave South Yorkshire and follow the New Junction Canal for a while

The Trans Pennine Trail leaves Thorpe in Balne along the road to Trumfleet, but you can cut two corners off by taking footpaths across the fields, before finally arriving at Braithwaite on the New Junction Canal, where there is reputed to be a café, although I didn't notice one as I plodded through the village. This is one of the reasons why I hesitate to attempt a refreshment and accommodation guide on here, as pubs, cafés, campsites and hotels come and go over time. There are only two occasions in life where the word "trudge" can be used - one of them being descriptive of the walk back to the pavilion after being out at cricket. With your bat tucked under the arm, and your gloves removed, you trudge off sadly. The other occasion is walking on this section of the Wild Yorkshire Way along the New Junction Canal, where you will feel like you're walking the wrong way along a rolling walkway at an airport. After an eternal "trudge" you will finally turn left to leave the canal and the Trans Pennine Trail and head for Sykehouse, where you rejoin the Trail again. Follow the Trail all the way to Snaith, where there's a delightful café, with a sweet counter you will struggle to resist. The Kitchen is run by keen walkers, so you'll have no problems with muddy boots in here, and I even got a free mince pie for promising to mention them on here! After suitable refreshment, keep on the Trans Pennine Trail and follow the road to Hirst Courtney, then on to the Sloop Inn at Temple Hirst where there's a camp site, and beer.

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Bus LogoThorpe in Balne: Sykehouse: Snaith: Hirst Courtney

Train LogoKirk Sandall: Hatfield/Stainforth: Thorne: Snaith

Car LogoThorpe in Balne: Braithwaite: Kirkhouse Green: Sykehouse: Pollington: Snaith: Carlton: Hirst Courtney

Beer LogoSnaith: Royal Oak, Hirst Courtney: Sloop Inn, Temple Hirst

Bed LogoGeorge Inn, Selby

Tent LogoSloop Inn, Temple Hirst: Royal Oak, Hirst Courtney

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Day 4: Sloop Inn, Temple Hirst to Kings Head, Barmby on the Marsh, 15.1 miles/24.3 km

24m ascent, 13m descent, total 60 miles/96.6 km

Leaving the River Aire to meet the Ouse at Selby

Not far from here, as the crow flies, is Drax Power Station, just across the river from today's destination at Barmby, but don't get too excited, it's a long way there because of the endless winding river bank path. After a pleasant evening in Hirst Courtney, head north on a minor road, before branching off to skirt round the Burn (Selby) airfield on its eastern side. You may see small planes and gliders circling above you, but if you see one with an L-plate on it coming in to land, I suggest you take cover. Unusually in flatland, there's a spot on the path next to the airfield where a distant view of the Peak District moors on Derwent Edge opens up, prompting thoughts of a wild camp on Back Tor several weeks ahead, for those nutters doing the entire walk. See if you can spot it! Follow the easy track all the way to Selby with its abbey - the route deviates into the town centre slightly from the official Trans Pennine Trail route, to visit the magnificent Selby Abbey and the equally attractive George Inn next door, in case refreshments are needed. After a nice lunch in Selby, leave the town on the northern bank of the River Ouse, which we now follow until it joins the Humber later on. Keep on the bank of the Ouse, complete with its frustrating winding bends which add several miles to the walk. We eventually cross the river Derwent where it joins the Ouse at Barmby Barrage, which is there to prevent flood and tidal surges polluting the Derwent. It's not the most exciting walking, but there is the opportunity to spot wildlife, and small herds of deer are often seen around here. My tip for the 2 day section from Thorpe in Balne to Barmby would be to check in for 2 nights at the George Inn in Selby, and use taxis and public transport to return to your base after your day's walking. The Derwent is an interesting river, as its source is up on Fylingdales Moor near the east coast, and river heads for the sea near Scarborough before being forced south through Forge Valley, which appeared as the last ice age came to an end. The village of Barmby is blocked on 2 sides by the rivers, but there's a nice gastro-pub - the Kings Head - in the centre, although it's not open on Mondays and on some weekday lunchtimes. Once again, accommodation is difficult here, so my advice would be to try to find somewhere around Selby for tonight, and ask nicely for a lift back to your walk. For campers, the lock-keeper at Barmby Barrage is very amenable and may allow a wild camp for the night if you ask nicely in advance, like I did. If you want to take advantage of this, write to Martin Taylor at Barmby Tidal Barrage, Barmby on the Marsh, Goole, DN14 7HX.

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Bus LogoHirst Courtney: Selby: Hemingbrough: Barmby on the Marsh

Train LogoSnaith: Selby: Wressle

Car LogoHirst Courtney: Henwick Hall: Selby: A63: Newhay: Hemingbrough: Barmby on the Marsh

Beer LogoGeorge Inn, Selby: Kings Head, Barmby on the Marsh

Bed LogoGeorge Inn, Selby

Tent LogoBarmby Barrage (wild)

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Day 5: Kings Head, Barmby on the Marsh to Hope and Anchor, Blacktoft, 14.4 miles/23.2 km

5m ascent, 5m descent, total 74.4 miles/119.7 km

Following the banks of the Ouse, with not a contour in sight

Leaving Barmby, navigation could not be easier, as the path hugs the river bank all the way. Just after setting off, watch out for the remains of a bridge on the Hull-Barnsley (yes, my home town!) railway, then follow the river all the way to the Boothferry Bridge road crossing. There's a pub here, the Ferry Boat Inn, which had been closed but has recently reopened and is welcoming to walkers. You won't find real ale here, and the menu is limited to a carvery for an incredible price, but on a long trek no walker can be too picky. Just a short walk further on we pass under the M62 motorway bridge, before leaving the river briefly to tackle the ascent of the highly ambitiously named Kilpin Pike, at about 10m above sea level. Rejoin the river and head south, through the pleasant village of Skelton and on to the Goole Bridge railway crossing. At this point we leave the river to cut a big corner off, on a pretty road walk past a nature reserve and the impressive Saltmarshe Hall. Eventually we join the river again and head east along the northern bank of the ever growing River Ouse. Tonight's destination is the Hope and Anchor pub in Blacktoft on the River Ouse. Sadly this riverside pub doesn't do accommodation and are a bit reluctant to allow muddy boots, but the food and beer are outstanding. They have been known to accept campers in their beer garden, but those lacking a tent may have to get transport to neighbouring Goole or Brough for the night. Saltmarshe Hall, just over 3 miles back, is a high quality hotel, reminiscent of Raven Hall Hotel at Ravenscar, but I'm not sure whether smelly unshaven walkers would fit in. Another option is to head to the Green Dragon at Welton and book 2 nights there, but it's a fairly expensive taxi journey. One advantage of this is that you can have a light day tomorrow, as you can leave items you don't need at the pub.

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Bus LogoBarmby on the Marsh: Goole: Howden: Blacktoft

Train LogoWressle: Howden: Goole: Saltmarshe

Car LogoBarmby on the Marsh: Boothferry: Skelton: Saltmarshe: Blacktoft

Beer LogoFerry Boat Inn, Boothferry: Hope and Anchor, Blacktoft

Bed LogoGreen Dragon, Welton

Tent LogoHope and Anchor, Blacktoft (wild)

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Day 6: Hope and Anchor, Blacktoft to Green Dragon, Welton, 14.7 miles/23.7 km

142m ascent, 115m descent, total 89.1 miles/143.4 km

Following the River Humber to join the Yorkshire Wolds Way

Today is the last flat day for a while, as tomorrow we will be in the beautiful Yorkshire Wolds. Leave the pub east, still following the river, and watch out for Trent Falls, where the River Ouse and River Trent merge to form the Humber. The Humber is a strange river - most rivers have a source which will be a tiny trickle high on a moor somewhere, but the source of the Humber is at Faxfleet Ness, a vast tidal expanse of water far removed from the normal concept of a river source. Anyway, keep on plodding past Whitton Island, before a tricky decision awaits. A word of warning - the Trans Pennine Trail is designed for horses and cycles as well as walkers, so there are some bits which follow roads and tracks, ignoring shorter and more direct routes on footpaths. Our route takes some of these short cuts, so be careful and don't just follow the TPT signs without looking at your map. There's an example of this at Crabley Farm on our next section, where the TPT makes a diversion along roads through Broomfleet. At this point there's a footpath marked on maps which follows a dyke across farmland and skirts the farm, but sadly it's very difficult to follow on the ground, and you'll have to climb a fence or two. Even more sadly, there's a couple of "No Entry" signs, one of them directly on the right of way. If you're happy to tackle it, leave the TPT and head towards Crabley Farm on a track, then continue on following a small dyke to join up with the TPT at the farm. From this point on route finding is easy, with the path never far from the river and always south of the railway. As you approach North Ferriby, watch out for a left turn on the Yorkshire Wolds Way, which we will now follow all the way to Filey on the coast. Don't miss this turning, as if you continue on you will eventually end up in Istanbul. Here, at long last, you can exercise your legs and lungs with the first decent climb on the walk so far, as we head up to 70m on the way to tonight's destination, the Green Dragon at Welton, where you can get beer, food, company and a bed for the night. Have an early night, it's a long day tomorrow.

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Bus LogoBlacktoft: Brough: North Ferriby: Welton

Train LogoGilberdyke: Broomfleet: Brough: North Ferriby

Car LogoBlacktoft: Broomfleet: Brough: North Ferriby: A63: Welton

Beer LogoGreen Dragon, Welton

Bed LogoGreen Dragon, Welton

Tent Logo

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Day 7: Green Dragon, Welton to Goodmanham Arms, Goodmanham, 16.7 miles/26.9 km

701m ascent, 638m descent, total 105.8 miles/170.3 km

A long day, leaving the lovely Green Dragon to head for the Goodmanham Arms, one of the best pubs on the entire walk

The Yorkshire Wolds don't look too impressive on a map, barely reaching 200m altitude, but don't let that fool you. There's plenty of ascent and descent, and some parts are very remote with limited refreshment or accommodation, so one or two of the Wolds days are quite long. Today is an example of a long day, but with a nice pub at the end. All walkers have a comfortable daily walking distance, usually in the range of 11 to 15 miles or thereabouts, depending on the terrain. Mine is 12 miles, but rises to 16 if the walk ends at a pub, so let's get going. Climb up the lovely Welton Dale and turn right at the top, but watch out as the path soon turns off to the left - it's signposted, but the sign is often hidden in bushes. The Way now gets a bit "fiddly" as it drops down the road to Brantingham, where the path does not actually enter the village but climbs up again through a pleasant wood. Eventually we cross the road near South Cave, where there's an escape route if refreshments are required. Our path continues on past the Little Wold Plantation, before briefly joining an old railway in beautiful surroundings. On leaving the railway, we climb up to High Hunsley, at 162m the highest point on the walk so far. The path then meanders down a beautiful dry valley on the High Hunsley circuit to cross the road near Newbald, where there's another escape route if required. The Anvil B & B in North Newbald will pick you up here if you stay the night with them. They will also pick you up from Goodmanham if you complete your walk to there. Anyway, head straight on and climb up onto Sancton Wold, conspicuous for its wind farm, with a trig point on top, before crossing the main road to Market Weighton and descending into Goodmanham. The Goodmanham Arms has just about everything except accommodation, but that is available at Manor Farm cottages which also does camping. Enjoy the pub - it's a classic, but remember tomorrow is an up and down day.

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Bus LogoWelton: South Cave: Goodmanham

Train LogoBrough

Car LogoWelton: Brantingham: South Cave: B1230: A1079: North Newbald: Goodmanham

Beer LogoFox and Coney, South Cave (1.5 miles): Tiger Inn, North Newbald (1 mile): Goodmanham Arms, Goodmanham

Bed LogoFox and Coney, South Cave: The Anvil, North Newbald: Manor Farm Cottages, Goodmanham

Tent LogoManor Farm Cottages, Goodmanham

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Day 8: Goodmanham Arms, Goodmanham to Wolds Inn, Huggate, 13.6 miles/21.9 km

623m ascent, 601m descent, total 119.4 miles/192.2 km

An undulating Wolds day though magnificent countryside, ending at the Wolds Inn at Huggate

After a pleasant evening in Goodmanham, keep following the Wolds Way through the pretty parkland village of Londesborough, where there are sadly no facilities unless the church is having a coffee morning. The next village is Nurnburnholme, where there are also no facilities, so today you really need to take some provisions with you. Oops, I should have said that earlier shouldn't I? Anyway, the way continues past the Warrendale Farms, where the lambs are particularly friendly in spring, and near here there's an escape route to Pocklington if you are hungry (or thirsty). Around here there are tremendous views across the Vale of York in good weather, and York Minster is often visible, especially above Millington. Keep going, always on the Wolds Way, through truly beautiful Wolds countryside, typified by the lovely dry valley of Sylvan Dale. Eventually we climb to over 200m on West Field, before descending to the village of Huggate, which is slightly off the Wolds Way to the south. There's a pub here, the Wolds Inn, which does accommodation, food and other items. Enjoy your stay!

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Bus LogoGoodmanham: Pocklington: Huggate

Train LogoBeverley

Car LogoGoodmanham: A614: Londesborough: Nunburnholme: B1246: Warrendale: Huggate

Beer LogoWolds Inn, Huggate

Bed LogoThe Feathers, Pocklington: Wolds Inn, Huggate

Tent Logo

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Day 9: Wolds Inn, Huggate to Middleton Arms, North Grimston, 14.9 miles/24 km

661m ascent, 636m descent, total 134.3 miles/216.1 km

An historical day, through the lovely village of Thixendale and the famous deserted village of Wharram Percy

Leave the village pub and rejoin the Wolds Way, which soon descends into yet another beautiful dry valley. Don't miss the turning north-west as the valley divides, and eventually you climb back up up to the village of Fridaythorpe, which is pretty much the half-way point on the Wolds Way. Don't get excited by the tempting "PH" shown on some maps - there was a pub here but (sadly a familiar story) it closed a few years ago. There is however a biker's café and a petrol station for provisions. Both are very helpful to walkers, and campers may be allowed at the café. From Fridaythorpe, head west to eventually descend to a valley on Thixendale Wold, where we double back to head north to the pretty village of Thixendale, nestling deep in the valley. There's a pub here, the Cross Keys, although the opening times are erratic especially midweek, but they do have accommodation if open. Climb out of Thixendale onto Cow Wold, the highest point on the Wolds Way at 218m, then head down Deep Dale (not to be confused with Preston's home ground) to the historic deserted village of Wharram Percy with its impressive church. It's a nice place for lunch, then climb again to Wharram-le-Street, which is a lovely village but sadly has no shop, pub or refreshment opportunities. If you look at your map when leaving Wharram Percy, you'll notice a couple of tempting short cuts along roads to North Grimston, but the roads are busy and without footpaths. Instead, leave the village and climb up to The Peak - a rather ambitious name for those who've been up on Kinder Scout in the Peak District! Drop steeply down to the river, then leave the Wolds Way turning left, and keep on the farm track down the valley until you reach the road. Turn right along the road and head for the Middleton Arms - there's accommodation here, but it's 70s style, avocado bath suite, brown tiles, that sort of thing. Nice beer and food though, and you may be able to camp outside if the pub is full.

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Bus LogoHuggate: Fridaythorpe: North Grimston

Train LogoMalton

Car LogoHuggate: Fridaythorpe: Gill's Farm: Thixendale: Wharram le Street: B1253: North Grimston

Beer LogoCross Keys, Thixendale: Middleton Arms, North Grimston

Bed LogoCross Keys, Thixendale: Middleton Arms, North Grimston

Tent LogoMiddleton Arms, North Grimston

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Day 10: Middleton Arms, North Grimston to Ganton Greyhound, Ganton, 16.8 miles/27 km

374m ascent, 499m descent, total 151.1 miles/243.2 km

A long day in lovely Wolds chalkland scenery, moderate height but plenty of ascent and descent

If you spent the night in North Grimston, you'll need to retrace your steps to rejoin the Wolds Way below The Peak, then head up hill on a winding track past Wood House Farm, The route then climbs up to a high point at the road at Settrington Beacon, then enters a wood before dropping steeply down the escarpment to the village of Wintringham, which has neither a shop nor a pub, but the Lavender café is not far off route to the north. Eventually the route circles the village and climbs very steeply through the woods back up onto the Wolds again. It was at this point where my wife Susi swore at me (in German) as I explained that it wasn't me who put the hill there. Eventually the path levels out, and contours the escarpment with great views to the North York Moors, which we will meet more intimately later. Eventually we drop back down, nearly into Sherburn, which has good facilities if required. Be careful if nature calls around here - I once had a close shave with an electric fence while relieving bladder pressure. From Sherburn, the Way climbs back up again onto Sherburn Brow. Eventually you'll descend to our destination for tonight, Ganton. The Greyhound Inn is a short distance away on the main road, and it's used to walkers because of the Wolds Way, so muddy boots and smelly armpits aren't a problem. Watch out for Wold Top bitter in the bar - highly recommended.

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Bus LogoNorth Grimston: Sherburn: Ganton

Train LogoMalton: Seamer

Car LogoNorth Grimston: Settrington Beacon: Wintringham: Wold Farm: Sherburn: Ganton

Beer LogoSherburn: Greyhound, Ganton

Bed LogoSherburn: Greyhound, Ganton

Tent Logo

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Day 11: Ganton Greyhound, Ganton to Filey Station, 11.4 miles/18.3 km

377m ascent, 414m descent, total 162.5 miles/261.5 km

A gentle day, dropping down from the Wolds to the Filey coastal plain

Today we finally leave the Wolds to head for Filey, but then the Cleveland Way awaits tomorrow, so we've a long way to go yet! To start with, we still have a few bits and bobs of the Wolds to tackle, so head off out of Ganton and climb up to Staxton Wold, where there's a mysterious looking military communications station. Continue on the switchback path to Flixton Wold, then drop down into the delightful dry chalk valley of Camp Dale. Eventually we had back north to reach the last of the Wolds at Stockendale Farm, then it's a gentle drop down to Muston, where the Ship Inn is available if you fancy some lunch. From here, it's just a short hop to Filey. The route ends at the station, as there are taxis and buses available here, but if you prefer you can continue on and get the Wolds Way out of the way at Filey Brigg. Accommodation is of course plentiful around here, but don't expect any typical walkers pubs. Tomorrow, the coastal stage of the Wild Yorkshire Way beckons.

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Bus LogoGanton: Muston: Filey

Train LogoSeamer: Filey

Car LogoGanton: Staxton Wold Farm: Sharpe Howe: Stockendale Farm: Muston: Filey

Beer LogoShip Inn, Muston: Filey

Bed LogoFiley

Tent LogoFiley

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Day 12: Filey Station to Scarborough Harbour, 10.7 miles/17.2 km

215m ascent, 275m descent, total 173.2 miles/278.7 km

Leaving the Wolds Way to join the Cleveland Way at Filey Brigg

Depending on where you spent the night, you may need to tackle the last tiny bit of the Wolds Way, through Filey town centre, to finish at the monument on Filey Brigg. At the Brigg, make sure you offer to take celebratory photos of any walkers arriving here at the same time as you, as they will have finished either the Cleveland Way or the Wolds Way. On the other hand, they could be starting either of them, or they may even be tackling the Wild Yorkshire Way. Possible but unlikely. Anyway, we now start the Cleveland way, walking in the opposite direction to most people, so we'll meet lots of walkers coming the other way. The route heads first along the cliffs through a caravan park, then eventually climbs up onto more cliffs, where you can watch out for seals on the rocks far below. Eventually you'll drop down the path to Cayton Bay, where there's a caravan park and a café, then climb up a wooded path towards Osgodby. From here the route follows the cliff tops before entering Scarborough near Black Rocks to follow the sea front path past the Spa towards the harbour. I've specified the harbour as a finishing point, but the accommodation options here are endless, and as it's a short day you may decide to press on around the headland, with Scarborough Castle perched on top, to the North Bay where there are further accommodation options. You'll feel a bit strange plodding along the sea front path in hiking boots with a big pack, but the funny looks won't hurt. You may prefer to stay elsewhere, but there's accommodation, buses and trains a plenty here - and far too many pubs and hotels to mention by name. Personally, I would stay at the Hayburn Wyke Hotel (on tomorrow's route), or camp wild somewhere on the cliffs, but of course it's up to you!

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Bus LogoFiley: Osgodby: Scarborough

Train LogoFiley: Seamer: Scarborough

Car LogoFiley: Cayton Bay: Osgodby: Scarborough

Beer LogoScarborough

Bed LogoScarborough

Tent LogoGristhorpe: Cayton (1 mile)

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Day 13: Scarborough Harbour to Bay Hotel, Robin Hood's Bay, 15.1 miles/24.3 km

615m ascent, 615m descent, total 188.3 miles/303 km

A coastal walk north of Scarborough past secret wykes and bays, then a steep descent from Ravenscar to Robin Hood's Bay, my favourite coastal place in England

The whole of the east coast of Yorkshire is slowly sinking into the sea, so watch your step and be prepared for path diversions. If you're using an old map, get a new one (voice of experience) as the route will probably have changed. From the harbour, round the headland along the promenade to join the North Bay, and just keep going on the Cleveland Way past Scalby Ness. Our route continues along the cliffs with no navigational challenges, and passes the Long Nab coastguard lookout, where I spent a starry night outside on the Cleveland Way in 2014. Follow the coast northwards, climbing up then gradually losing height to Hayburn Wyke, a lovely secret bay only accessible on foot, by boat or in a submarine. Nestling in the woods just off route is the Hayburn Wyke Hotel, which also does accommodation, and the best way to reach it is to turn off to the left where the path enters the woods. After the hotel, continue northwards on the cliff top path, and you'll notice that the cliffs are getting quite high around here. Eventually you'll reach Ravenscar, where the moors meet the sea. At Ravenscar there's a café, and also just about the finest hotel you'll meet on the Wild Yorkshire Way, the Raven Hall Hotel. It was here in 2014 that I was invited to briefly join in with a posh wedding (see photo gallery) on the outside lawn, with Robin Hood's Bay as a superb backdrop. A typical real ale walkers' pub it is not, but after the long walk from Hayburn Wyke you'll appreciate a pint. After the hotel, it's mainly downhill to Stoupe Beck, although there's a little climb up from Boggle Hole shortly before reaching tonight's destination, Robin Hood's Bay. Here we meet walkers finishing Wainwright's Coast to Coast Path, and you can accompany them in their celebrations at the Bay Hotel, the official end of the Coast to Coast Walk. They may have finished, but you've still got 346 miles to go, so make sure they know that and enjoy your night in RHB. I love the Smugglers Bistro, pricey but quality, and the Bay bar is a pleasant place to watch the sun go down.

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Bus LogoScarborough: Ravenscar: Robin Hood's Bay

Train LogoScarborough: Whitby

Car LogoScarborough: Ravenscar: Robin Hood's Bay

Beer LogoHayburn Wyke Hotel: Raven Hall Hotel, Ravenscar: Bay Hotel, Laurel, Robin Hood's Bay

Bed LogoHayburn Wyke Hotel: Raven Hall Hotel, Ravenscar: Bay Hotel, Smugglers Bistro, Robin Hood's Bay

Tent LogoRobin Hood's Bay

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Day 14: Bay Hotel, Robin Hood's Bay to Royal Hotel, Runswick Bay, 15.7 miles/25.3 km

498m ascent, 498m descent, total 204 miles/328.3 km

More cliff top walking, through Whitby with its famous abbey, ending at the lovely village of Runswick Bay

If you're like me, you'll be sad to leave Robin Hood's Bay, but on any walk like this you'll leave lots of places you have enjoyed, so return again later when you've more time. The start is the first of 3 encounters with Wainwright's Coast to Coast walk, beginning with the dreaded walk up the hill to the upper village, but it's soon over and you pass a myriad of hotels before reaching the cliff top path again. At Maw Wyke Hole, the Coast to Coast Walk turns west towards St Bees Head, 185 miles away, but we'll meet again at Bloworth Crossing high on the moors, and again at Reeth in Swaledale. It's a project for another time, and we continue north towards Whitby. If it's foggy you'll need some ear plugs as you approach the Whitby fog signal - I've found the best tactic is to wait a safe distance to the south and count the time between blasts, then run like a gazelle to get past it before the next blast. If it goes off while you're alongside, it will blow you out onto Dogger Bank. Shortly afterwards you will reach Saltwick Bay caravan park which has a welcoming café for walkers. Just ahead are the 199 steps down from Whitby Abbey to the town. Whitby is one of those places where you feel rather ostentatious with your boots, gaiters, rucksack and map case, especially in summer when it is heaving with tourists. But you're a tourist too, so plod on and follow the sea front promenade which is often washed with towering waves and spray in windy weather, until you head up through the golf club for a road walk all the way to Sandsend. There are shops, pubs and cafés here, if you need anything. From Sandsend follow the cliff-top Cleveland Way all the way to Runswick Bay. The last section is a walk along the sands, the lowest point on the walk - if you're carrying an altimeter, here's a good place to calibrate it. Runswick Bay is a lovely spot, with a nice sea front café and a lovely pub - the Royal Hotel - just up the hill behind the café. Enjoy your evening.

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Bus LogoRobin Hood's Bay: Whitby: Sandsend: Runswick Bay

Train LogoWhitby

Car LogoRobin Hood's Bay: Whitby: Sandsend: Kettleness: Runswick Bay

Beer LogoWhitby: Sandsend: Royal Hotel, Runswick Bay Hotel, Runswick Bay

Bed LogoWhitby: Sandsend: Runswick Bay Hotel, Runswick Bay

Tent LogoRunswick Bay

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Day 15: Royal Hotel, Runswick Bay to Saltburn by Sea, 11.4 miles/18.3 km

450m ascent, 452m descent, total 215.4 miles/346.7 km

Cliff top walking at its finest on Yorkshire's north east coast, with the quaint village of Staithes as the highlight

From Runswick Bay the path first climbs up steeply through the village, before turning right to rejoin the cliffs again. Route finding is easy, just keep the sea on your right, but don't go too near the edge as the cliffs can be unstable around here. Keep on the cliff top path, past the isolated harbour of Port Mulgrave, before descending to the quaint fishing village of Staithes, where there's food and drink available in abundance. Climb once again, and you'll realise that one of the features of the east Yorkshire coast is that you never get very high, as after all you're close to sea level, but there's loads of ascent and descent as the undulating cliffs drop to the sea where streams and rivers cut through them. Your legs will tell you in the evenings that your day had lots of ups and downs. From Staithes we climb up again onto Boulby cliffs, some of the highest in England, before descending to Cattersty Sands which is the only beach in England with a steelworks on it (well, almost!). Skinningrove is interesting, but beautiful it is not. It's a short cliff top walk to Saltburn-by-the-Sea from here, with the last bit along the sea front. There's accommodation, pubs, shops and fish and chips all over the place here.

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Bus LogoRunswick Bay: Staithes: Saltburn

Train LogoSaltburn

Car LogoRunswick Bay: Port Mulgrave: Staithes: Boulby: Skinningrove: Saltburn

Beer LogoSaltburn

Bed LogoSaltburn

Tent LogoMargrove Park, Boosbeck

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Day 16: Saltburn by Sea to Gribdale Gate, 14.7 miles/23.7 km

751m ascent, 569m descent, total 230.1 miles/370.3 km

Leaving the sea to start the gradual climb up onto the North York Moors, including a fine ascent of Roseberry Topping

I'm ashamed of my performance on this section back in 1983. Suffering from severe tummy turbulence, I skipped Roseberry Topping on my first Cleveland Way trip with my wife, to be constantly reminded of it for the next 30 years until I finally climbed it. So make sure you don't skip it - if you do you'll feel guilty for the rest of your life. Take a last look at the sea as you head out this morning, as you'll not see it again except in the distance looking back. Today's path heads firstly on the road alongside the valley of Skelton Beck, before entering Saltburn Valley Gardens in pleasant surroundings including an impressive railway viaduct. Soon you'll reach Skelton, which is not a typical country village, but has a myriad of shops for supplies. From here there's a climb up to Airy Hill before dropping down to Slapewath, where there's a nice pub and hotel, the Fox and Hounds. There's time for a quick one here if you made an early start. Cross the road here and follow the intricate Cleveland Way up through the woods to Highcliff Nab, a superb viewpoint and the highest point on the walk so far. The route then continues across the moors, skirting the woods at times, until you reach a gate in the corner of the moor where the path branches off to Roseberry Topping. Dump your pack here, descend to the col and climb up to the modest summit at 320m, then retrace your steps with a smug satisfied feeling. Assuming you can find your pack again, head onwards over the moors and descend to Gribdale Gate. If you're heading for Great Ayton for the night, you could take a good track down from the col below Roseberry Topping, otherwise you'll need to get a lift/taxi from Gribdale Gate. There are plenty of wild camping opportunities around here, and accommodation is available down the hill in Great Ayton, where the Royal Oak is particularly helpful as they operate a pick up and drop off service to/from Gribdale Gate.

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Bus LogoSaltburn: Skelton: Guisborough: Great Ayton

Train LogoSaltburn: Great Ayton

Car LogoSaltburn: Skelton: A171 Slapewath: Gribdale Gate

Beer LogoFox and Hounds, Slapewath: Royal Oak, Great Ayton

Bed LogoFox and Hounds, Slapewath: Royal Oak, Great Ayton

Tent LogoGreat Broughton

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Day 17: Gribdale Gate to Clay Bank Top, 12.7 miles/20.4 km

483m ascent, 432m descent, total 242.8 miles/390.7 km

Good walking on the old mining railway, passing Captain Cook's monument and crossing the highest point in the North York Moors

If you stayed in Great Ayton last night, you will need to somehow get a lift back up to Gribdale Gate to start your walk. Climb up the hill through the woods to your first objective, the monument, which is there to commemorate the great seafaring explorer, not the Ashes winning former England cricket captain. The path then turns east through the woods, then descends steeply down to the valley to the lovely hamlet of Kildale, where there's a café and even a railway station. The path goes right past the café, then follows the road briefly before turning left to head up onto Kildale Moor. It's a slow steady climb, on an easy track, and eventually you will reach Incline Top, where a disused railway line rises diagonally up the escarpment. Your next objective is Bloworth Crossing, where we join the great Wainwright's Coast to Coast Walk up to Round Hill, the highest point in the North York Moors, and our highest point so far on the walk at 454m. It's a flat top, but before going further take a tip - if you need to phone a friend, or a pub (for example, the Buck Inn at Chop Gate) do it high up, as mobile reception disappears as you approach Clay Bank Top. The path descends gradually from the summit and eventually drops steeply down to Clay Bank Top, where there's a car park usually filled with a fleet of coaches picking up Coast to Coast walkers. I recommend the Buck Inn at Chop Gate, about 2 miles south, as the German owner Wolfgang will come and pick you up if you're staying the night, and drop you off in the morning. Danke schön Wolfgang.

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Bus LogoGreat Ayton: Kildale

Train LogoGreat Ayton: Kildale

Car LogoGribdale Gate: Kildale: Clay Bank Top

Beer LogoBuck Inn, Chop Gate (2 miles)

Bed LogoBuck Inn, Chop Gate (2 miles)

Tent LogoGreat Broughton

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Day 18: Clay Bank Top to Queen Catherine/Golden Lion, Osmotherley, 11.2 miles/18 km

761m ascent, 843m descent, total 254 miles/408.8 km

A hard day, a roller coaster of ups and downs over the switchback Cleveland Hills, with fine views north to Teesside

Assuming Wolfgang or his wife from the Buck Inn has dropped you off back at Clay Bank Top, you now have a shortish but hard day ahead of you, in magnificent surroundings with a delightful switchback traverse of the Cleveland Hills, one of the classic walks in this area. We're still on the Cleveland Way and Wainwright's Coast to Coast path, so watch out for gridlock on the paths for the next few miles. Your first objective is Hasty Bank, which is a steep pull up from the road. It's fine walking with extensive view on the top, which will be a feature of today's walk. Eventually you pick your way down through the hugely impressive Wainstones, where there is shelter in bad weather, to the first col at Garfitt Gap. The next summit is unnamed on most maps, as is the next col, then we climb to the highest point on the ridge, Cringle Moor, with it's viewpoint. From here we drop steeply down to the Lord Stones Café, but be careful here. The café is, shall we say, not specifically designed for walkers, and you may have to dispense with your boots and put a tie on before venturing inside for a pint and some snap. Suitably refreshed, cross the road and slog up onto Carlton Bank, then drop gradually down to cross Live Moor before finally leaving this magnificent ridge walk to reach Huthwaite Green. The route then goes through the woods, before ascending to the road at Scarth Nick. Cross the road, and climb up onto Scarth Wood Moor and see if you can spot the trig point at the top hidden behind a wall. Go past the telecomms station, then it's downhill all the way to Osmotherley, with its pubs, shops and cafés. Accommodation is available at the Queen Catherine and the Golden Lion, and there's a camp site just north of the village. Have a good night!

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Bus LogoOsmotherley

Train LogoBattersby: Northallerton

Car LogoClay Bank Top: Lord Stones: Huthwaite Green: Scarth Nick: Osmotherley

Beer LogoLord Stones: Queen Catherine, Golden Lion, Osmotherley

Bed LogoQueen Catherine, Golden Lion, Osmotherley

Tent LogoLord Stones: Osmotherley

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Day 19: Queen Catherine/Golden Lion, Osmotherley to Forresters Arms, Kilburn, 14.2 miles/22.9 km

448m ascent, 533m descent, total 268.2 miles/431.6 km

Some of the finest views in England from the North York Moors escarpment, from Osmotherley over the Hambleton Hills to Kilburn with its famous White Horse

Today we finally leave the Cleveland Way, after joining it ages ago at Filey. From Osmotherley centre, follow the rather complicated Cleveland Way east, then climb up the hill to join Cod Beck, passing a pair of reservoirs on the way. Eventually we arrive at Square Corner, where the path meets the road briefly. Continue due south to climb up the flank of Black Hambleton onto the moorland, then just keep on the Cleveland Way via White Gill Head, where you can sit down and sing a well-known Bon Jovi song to celebrate reaching the half way point! The Way continues south along a track skirting the east side of Boltby Forest, to High Paradise farm (nice tea room at High Paradise), then descends slightly to pass Low Paradise farm on the way to Sneck Yate, where the path crosses a road dropping steeply down to Boltby. The next section on the Cleveland escarpment to Sutton Bank is one of the most beautiful paths in the country, and includes the (allegedly) "Finest View in England". At Sutton Bank, there's a car park and café, but don't be tempted to divert to the Hambleton Inn, which has sadly closed down. From the car park, head south, still on the Cleveland Way, past the gliding club to the famous White Horse, which actually is more grey than white. This is the last point on the Cleveland Way, and from here follow the path steeply down to the car park, then navigation becomes surprisingly difficult as there are myriads of unmarked tracks in the woods caused by mountain bikers. The best plan is to ignore the paths shown on OS maps and follow a track which runs roughly parallel to the road on its steepest bits. Lower down, it's pleasant road walking all the way to Kilburn, where the lovely Forresters Arms awaits, along with a choice of helpful smiling staff behind the bar. There are a couple of other B and Bs in the village, and the famous mouse man furniture factory. I would always spend the night here.

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Bus LogoOsmotherley: Sutton Bank: Kilburn

Train LogoNorthallerton

Car LogoOsmotherley: Square Corner: Sneck Yate: Sutton Bank: Kilburn

Beer LogoForresters Arms, Kilburn

Bed LogoForresters Arms, Kilburn

Tent Logo

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Day 20: Forresters Arms, Kilburn to Ainderby Quernhow, 16.1 miles/25.9 km

121m ascent, 171m descent, total 284.3 miles/457.5 km

Leaving the lovely pub at Kilburn for a long day's walk through Thirsk

A longish day, today, but the walking is easier. Leave the village up the road to the north-west, then turn left on a bridleway at Rose Cottage. Route finding is a bit tricky around here, as paths are often blocked by farmers or crops, so if you prefer you can just stay on the road all the way to Bagby. If you take the path, turn left at the T junction, then turn right to Little Thirkleby, but take the bridleway rather than the footpath, which is sometimes blocked. At Thirkleby the route finding improves, and it's an easy walk to Bagby, where there's a pub, the Bagby Inn, just down the road off route. From Bagby, head north on the road, but watch out for a pretty "green road" bridleway branching off to the left. Follow this all the way to the main A170 road, then follow the road into Thirsk. There are shops, pubs and hotels galore here, so stock up. Today's end point, Ainderby Quernhow, has no facilities, so I recommend that you book a room in Thirsk or Carlton Miniot, and a taxi/lift back from Ainderby Quernhow, before you continue. As it is, the route goes right through the centre of Thirsk before turning right to skirt the racecourse on the north side, before rejoining the road at the railway station. Head through Carlton Miniot on the road, where you will find more pubs and accommodation options. Watch out for a private road leading past a lakeside lodge park, then follow the route carefully to Skipton-on-Swale, with the last bit on the road. The route may seem a bit "fiddly" around here, but the bridge over the Swale here is the only river crossing option for the Swale for miles, both upstream and downstream, unless you've got a ferry in your pack. From here, you can follow the road to Ainderby Quernhow if you want, but the road walking is cut out by a footpath across farmland. You may question why I've shown this as a stopping point, since there's nothing here apart from houses - no pub (the one marked on the map is now a private house), no accommodation, no shop. The reason is that it's close to the A1 and therefore has a mobile signal on most networks, so you can get back to your previously booked hotel in Thirsk or Carlton Miniot from here. If you carried on, you'd eventually end up exhausted somewhere with no mobile signal.

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Bus LogoKilburn: Thirkleby: Bagby: Thirsk

Train LogoThirsk

Car LogoKilburn: Thirkleby: Bagby: Thirsk: Carlton Miniot: Skipton on Swale: Ainderby Quernhow

Beer LogoBagby Inn, Bagby: Thirsk: Carlton Miniot

Bed LogoBagby Inn, Bagby: Thirsk: Carlton Miniot

Tent Logo

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Day 21: Ainderby Quernhow to Healey, 18 miles/29 km

291m ascent, 175m descent, total 302.3 miles/486.5 km

Some unpleasant road walking, then a delightful saunter along the Ripon Rowel Walk by the River Ure, through Masham, home of Theakstons Ale and Black Sheep

Leaving Ainderby Quernhow, the route now gets a bit "fiddly", mainly caused by having to find crossing points for 3 major features - the rivers Swale and Ure, and the A1(M) motorway. There's no obvious route and some road walking at first. Leave the village on the road, and follow it under the motorway to a roundabout, where we go straight on. Keep following the road, but watch out for a slight bend northwards at Duskhills, where a bridleway branches off south-west. Make sure you ignore the first bridleway, which heads south-east. It's a pleasant change from road walking, but there's little of interest until, ascending an almost imperceptible rise on the track, the distant outline of the Dales appears (and, looking back, the North York Moors), with tomorrow's objective Great Whernside visible in good weather. Eventually the bridleway emerges at a minor road at a collection of cottages called Manor Farm on the map, but now renamed Woodside House, near the deserted medieval village of East Tanfield. Follow the road now all the way to West Tanfield, where there are shops and pubs. The walking now improves greatly as we follow the Ripon Rowel walk along the River Ure, through lovely wooded gorges teeming with wildlife, all the way to Masham (pronounced Massum). Here you will find two of the finest of all industries - breweries, the first on the walk so far. After suitable refreshments in Masham, a decision has to be made. The next 2 days are the hardest on the entire route so far, and are very boggy in places, particularly on the featureless moor between Great Haw and Little Whernside. It's a 28 mile 2 day slog from Healey to West Burton with only 1 water source, no accommodation and just 1 road. A 2 day lower level alternative from Masham is available in bad weather, or if you don't like bogs. Once you've decided to carry on, continue on the Ripon Rowel Walk until you reach the second minor road, then head up the road to reach Healey, where there's a nice B & B, which is a good place for tonight's stop.

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Bus LogoAinderby Quernhow: West Tanfield: Masham: Healey

Train Logo

Car LogoAinderby Quernhow: West Tanfield: Masham: Healey

Beer LogoBull Inn, Bruce Arms, West Tanfield: Masham: Black Swan, Fearby (1 mile)

Bed LogoBull Inn, Bruce Arms, West Tanfield: Masham: Firs Farm B & B, Healey: Black Swan, Fearby (1 mile)

Tent Logo

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Day 22: Healey to Great Whernside, 15.1 miles/24.3 km

789m ascent, 274m descent, total 317.4 miles/510.8 km

A climb up through little known Colsterdale, then a moorland trudge and a hard and boggy traverse over the "other" Whernsides, Little and Great, as we enter the Yorkshire Dales National Park for the first time

The next 2 days are the hardest on the entire route so far, and are very boggy in places, particularly on the featureless moor between Great Haw and Little Whernside. It's a 28 mile 2 day slog from here to West Burton with only 1 water source, no accommodation and just 1 road. A 2 day lower level alternative from Masham is available in bad weather, or if you don't like bogs. For the next few days, my suggestions for overnight stops are just that - suggestions, and they won't suit everybody. I've tried to plan the route so you can find alternative stopping points if you prefer. For example, I camped on Great Whernside summit, but if you prefer a nice bed you can continue on to the road at Little Hunters Sleets below the mountain and get a taxi down to Kettlewell for the night, although that will extend your day to make it even harder. Anyway, now that we've decided what to do, let's get going by leaving Healey on the road to the west, all the way to Gollinglith Foot (pronounced "Gownley Foot"). Here we cross the River Burn at a ford, and begin the climb up on a good track in Colsterdale, passing a shooting lodge on the way. Higher up, the track follows Steel House Gill, which is the last water source for 24 miles, depending on the weather. Eventually we reach a small col just below South Haw, where we follow York Dike Drain to reach the summit of Great Haw. Now wallow along the featureless flat endless moor via Dead Man's Hill to Little Whernside, where we now reach the 600m contour for the first time on the walk. In bad weather this section will be torture, and as the great Wainwright once wrote "you will feel a distinct urge to lay down and let life ebb away". However, there are no navigation difficulties as there is a fence or wall throughout. At the col between Little and Great Whernside, there's an escape route on a bridleway down to the road at Little Hunters Sleets, depending on your mood. However, the path gets a little easier from here on, and eventually breaches the 700m contour for the first time and climbs up to the fine summit of Great Whernside at 704m for a wild camp for the night. The path up to Great Whernside is not too bad and there are magnificent views from the summit ridge in good weather. It's an attractive mountain, with rock formations and a huge cairn on the summit.

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Bus LogoHealey

Train Logo

Car LogoHealey: Gollinglith Foot: Colsterdale: Little Hunters Sleets

Beer LogoKettlewell (2.5 miles): Buckden (1.5 miles): White Lion, Cray (1 mile)

Bed LogoWhite Lion, Cray (1 mile): Buckden (1.5 miles): Kettlewell (2.5 miles)

Tent LogoGreat Whernside (wild): Kettlewell (2.5 miles)

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Day 22 (alternative): Masham (alternative via Jervaulx Abbey) to Middleham, 12.2 miles/19.6 km

178m ascent, 140m descent, total 317.4 miles/510.8 km

Leaving the main route at Masham for a lovely easy stroll along the River Ure, passing Jervaulx Abbey on the way to the horse racing centre of Middleham

In progress...

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Bus LogoMasham: Middleham

Train Logo

Car LogoMasham: Low Ellington: Jervaulx Abbey: Cover Bridge: Middleham

Beer LogoCover Inn: Cover Bridge: Richard III, White Swan, Black Bull, Dante Arms, Middleham

Bed LogoRichard III, White Swan, Middleham

Tent Logo

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Day 23: Great Whernside to Fox and Hounds, West Burton, 12.4 miles/20 km

314m ascent, 841m descent, total 329.8 miles/530.8 km

Dropping down from Great Whernside in better conditions, then crossing Buckden Pike to descend to West Burton via Wasset Fell

The going is easier today, and to start with it's downhill as we leave the stony summit of Great Whernside to descend to the road at Little Hunters Sleets, where you may be able to find water at Park Gill Beck if the weather has been wet. The path then climbs up to Tor Mere and on over Starbotton Fell, passing a lovely memorial to a Polish air accident on the way, before finally reaching the summit of Buckden Pike at 702m, which is a good spot for lunch. In bad weather (or extreme thirst) there's a possible escape route from Buckden Pike down to the White Lion Inn at Cray, but you're then a long way off route, so it's for emergencies only. You could also drop down from the Pike to Walden Head in bad weather, then follow the road all the way to West Burton. On the main route from the trig point, ignore the main path and head due north, then slightly east of north to descend to a boggy col before climbing up endlessly to Naughtberry Hill. Soon a fence appears guiding the way to Wasset Fell, our next objective, in difficult terrain. You may find a quad bike track to help if you're lucky. Just before Wasset Fell a bridleway appears and the walking improves, and it's downhill all the way now to Newbiggin in Bishopdale. From here it's a farmland walk to our final destination for today, pretty West Burton. There's accommodation at the Fox and Hounds, and at nearby Thoralby the George Inn also has rooms. There's also a camp site near Thoralby by the river in Bishopdale.

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Bus LogoKettlewell: West Burton

Train Logo

Car LogoLittle Hunters Sleets: Newbiggin: West Burton

Beer LogoFox and Hounds, West Burton: George Inn, Thoralby (1 mile)

Bed LogoFox and Hounds, West Burton: George Inn, Thoralby (1 mile)

Tent LogoThoralby (1 mile)

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Day 23 (alternative): Middleham (alternative via Middleham Gallops) to Fox and Hounds, West Burton, 8.6 miles/13.8 km

265m ascent, 229m descent, total 329.8 miles/530.8 km

A short but pretty rural alternative in Lower Wensleydale, avoiding the torture of Little and Great Whernside

In progress...

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Bus LogoMiddleham: West Witton: West Burton:

Train Logo

Car LogoMiddleham: Spigot Lodge: West Witton: West Burton

Beer LogoFox and Hounds, West Burton: George Inn, Thoralby (1 mile)

Bed LogoFox and Hounds, West Burton: George Inn, Thoralby (1 mile)

Tent LogoThoralby (1 mile)

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Day 24: West Burton to Reeth, 11.6 miles/18.7 km

602m ascent, 572m descent, total 341.4 miles/549.4 km

A shortish but delightful day, visiting the famous Aysgarth Falls, before crossing high over Greets Hill into Swaledale and heading down to the welcoming pubs in Reeth

After your exertions on the 2 day 28 mile wild traverse from Healey, you'll be glad of a much easier day today. Your first objective is to cross the fields and Bishopdale Beck to Aysgarth, where there's a nice pub, but it's far too early for a pint. The path heads on the road down the hill to join the River Ure at the famous Asygarth Falls, one of the highlights of all Yorkshire. Take the path alongside the river to marvel at the Falls, and watch out for dippers and wagtails alongside the beautiful river. Leaving the falls, head north-east across farmland to enter Castle Bolton with its attractive castle. The path then climbs up then descends slightly to Apedale Beck, where there's a free for all bothy (Dent Houses) which is open to walkers, and it's a good spot for lunch in bad weather. After leaving the bothy, climb up to Greets Hill, which marks the changeover between Wensleydale and Swaledale up ahead. This is old lead mining country with plenty of abandoned shafts around, so stick to the path. It's also grouse shooting country, so if you see any gentry with guns make sure you sling them down the nearest mine shaft so the birds can enjoy the open moors without being shot at. The path heads down to the road for an interlude, then heads across Harkerside Moor to the River Swale. Cross the river at a footbridge, then it's a short hop to the pretty village of Reeth, with shops, 3 pubs, buses and a camp site.

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Bus LogoWest Burton: Aysgarth: Castle Bolton: Reeth:

Train Logo

Car LogoWest Burton: Aysgarth: Castle Bolton: Grinton Moor: Reeth

Beer LogoKings Arms, Black Bull, Buck, Reeth

Bed LogoKings Arms, Black Bull, Buck, Reeth

Tent LogoDent Houses (bothy): Reeth

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Day 25: Reeth (main route via Swaledale lead mines) to Keld Lodge, Keld, 11.9 miles/19.2 km

708m ascent, 556m descent, total 353.3 miles/568.6 km

Today we join the great Wainwright's Coast to Coast Walk through the old Swaledale mine workings to the Keld Lodge hotel

Once again today there are two alternatives - the Coast to Coast route high up through the old mine workings, or a beautiful low level route along the banks of the River Swale. The high level route is very interesting for those into old industrial relics, but not pretty, and in bad weather you would be better off taking the alternative. Take the road out of Reeth, then turn right up the hill to Riddings Farm, then contour the slope west to the bizarrely named farm of Nova Scotia. Eventually you will arrive at Surrender Bridge, then follow the old miners' track uphill, passing the Old Gang smelt mine, before heading west in bizarre scenery. Believers of daft conspiracy theories will probably think the famous 1969 moon walk scene from Tranquillity Base was actually filmed around here - "Just one small step on the Coast to Coast, a giant leap on the Wild Yorkshire Way". The route eventually drops down to Gunnerside Beck, with more ruined mine workings, before climbing again and dropping once more to the aptly named Crackpot Hall. From here it's a short hop to Keld village, and our true destination Keld Lodge is up the hill from the village centre. Keld Lodge is a hotel with beer, food and rooms, but it is usually booked up with Coast to Coast walkers. Camping is available in Keld village, but try to stay away from the river, as midges are the tiniest of creatures but the greatest of nuisances. Have a good night in Keld, but don't expect to sit outside on a summer evening, unless you wear a space suit.

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Bus LogoReeth: Keld

Train Logo

Car LogoReeth: Surrender Bridge: Keld

Beer LogoKeld Lodge

Bed LogoKeld Lodge, Butt House, Keld

Tent LogoRukins, Keld

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Day 25 (alternative): Reeth (alternative via Gunnerside) to Keld Lodge, Keld, 12.8 miles/20.6 km

287m ascent, 178m descent, total 353.3 miles/568.6 km

A beautiful and welcome low level route along the pretty River Swale

In progress...

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Bus LogoReeth: Keld

Train Logo

Car LogoReeth: Heelaugh: B6270: Gunnerside: Ivelet Bridge: Keld

Beer LogoKings Head, Gunnerside: Keld Lodge

Bed LogoKeld Lodge, Butt House, Keld

Tent LogoRukins, Keld

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Day 26: Keld Lodge, Keld (main route via River Swale) to Hangingstone Scar, 13.9 miles/22.4 km

724m ascent, 496m descent, total 367.2 miles/591 km

A very hard day, continuing on the Coast to Coast Walk to Nine Standards Rigg, then heading south to a wild camp on Mallerstang Edge on Yorkshire's western boundary

If you spent the night at Keld Lodge, your route takes you away from Keld along the road above the River Swale to start with, but soon branches off right up hill, following the river to Ravenseat, where refreshments are available. You'll get chatting to Coast to Coast walkers here, so don't forget to mention the Wild Yorkshire Way so they can tackle it next year. After a brew, follow the path alongside Ney Gill, past a free for all cabin providing emergency accommodation if you're tired or fed up. Before you get to the road, turn north to climb up to the famous Nine Standards Rigg summit at 662m, with the famous Nine Standards just beyond. There's a good shelter at the Standards for lunch, then retrace your steps back to the viewpoint and back to the summit, where there's another shelter nearby. The "decorated" summit of Nine Standards Rigg is impressive, boasting the Nine Standards, the view point, the summit trig point and several wind shelters. The view in good weather is amazing, including the Lake District, Yorkshire Dales and even the far off North York Moors which we met intimately much earlier in our walk. In bad weather, make sure you find the summit before continuing. The paths over the Rigg are divided up into 3 routes at different times of year, to avoid erosion caused by countless Coast to Coast walkers. We need to find the Green Route, but it does not actually visit the summit, so we need to descend until we meet it at its highest point near Rollinson Gill, then continue downwards to the road. If you want to avoid a wild camp tonight, your best bet here for a bed is Kirkby Stephen, which has plenty of B and Bs because of its elevated status as a Coast to Coast staging point, and you may even get someone to pick you up from the road. If you do find your way to Kirkby Stephen, make sure you don't get attacked by the resident parrots. We're in Cumbria here, but that's OK as Cumbria is the only other county in England to rival Yorkshire for beauty! If you press on, it's a steep pull up to High Pike Hill, then follow the ridge south, looking for a suitable camp site along the way. You're not going to reach civilisation tonight, so if you're not camping, go back to the road and tackle Mallerstang Edge tomorrow. I camped near a wind shelter on Hangingstone Scar near Raven's Nest, but you can choose your own pitch. Obviously any extra miles you do will reduce your load tomorrow, so enjoy your night in the Wild Yorkshire Hills.

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Bus LogoKeld: Kirkby Stephen

Train LogoKirkby Stephen

Car LogoKeld Lodge: Ravenseat: B6270

Beer LogoRavenseat (unlicensed)

Bed Logo

Tent LogoMallerstang Edge (wild)

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Day 26 (alternative): Keld Lodge, Keld (alternative via Tan Hill Inn) to Hangingstone Scar, 19.7 miles/31.7 km

1073m ascent, 958m descent, total 367.2 miles/591 km

An extremely long, hard and rough day to visit England's highest pub, the Tab Hill Inn

If you decide to visit the Tan Hill Inn, I recommend you split the walk there and stay overnight, purely for the romance factor of staying at the highest pub in England. The Tan Hill Inn on the Pennine Way is the true highest pub in England, despite other pubs claiming the same. The main route heads from Keld to Ravenseat, as despite the attractions of the Tan Hill Inn the walking is only average, and it's a big detour. However, you could split it into 2 days by staying at the Tan Hill Inn after a short day from Keld, or you could continue on to Ravenseat and stay there (or get a taxi from there and back in the morning). From Keld Lodge, drop down back into Keld village before heading north on the Pennine Way, but be sure to step aside to make room for PW walkers heading for Kirk Yetholm - they'll need all their energy on the morass of Sleightholme Moor if it's wet. They won't have heard of the Wild Yorkshire Way, but if you get chatting you could always Bluetooth them a link. The Tan Hill Inn is loved by walkers and bikers, but be careful - the loveable but eccentric landlady has been known to snatch buzzing and vibrating mobiles from customers and drop them in a glass of water. Rooms and camping are available here, along with beer and food. From the pub, take the road but then branch off right on the public footpath to Ravenseat, where you rejoin the main route.

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Bus LogoKeld: Kirkby Stephen:

Train LogoKirkby Stephen

Car LogoKeld Lodge: Tan Hill Inn: Ravenseat: B6270

Beer LogoTan Hill Inn

Bed LogoTan Hill Inn

Tent LogoTan Hill Inn: Mallerstang Edge (wild)

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Day 27: Hangingstone Scar to Cow Dub Farm, 13.5 miles/21.7 km

552m ascent, 881m descent, total 380.7 miles/612.7 km

A very hard day from your wild camp on Mallerstang Edge, looking down into the upper Eden valley and over to the Lake District

If you wild camped on Mallerstang Edge or Hangingstone Scar, you should enjoy the view before heading down, with your first objective being Hell Gill Bridge. Before you lose height, survey the land ahead, if visibility is good. There's no path here, but there's often a quad bike track which, if it goes in the right direction, can make a useful path. In bad visibility, your best plan is to find Hell Gill Beck, which you will hit if you walk due south, then follow it downstream, alongside a wall, to Hell Gill Bridge. From now on it's easy - just follow the High Way south, past the River Ure which at this point is just a few minutes old, then turn right downhill just after High Dyke farm to reach the Moorcock Inn. If you spent a night up on the fells you will want to spend quite a bit of time here. Eventually (if it's still light) you drag yourself away along the road briefly, then take the path up to Garsdale Station on the Settle-Carlisle line. From here, it's road walking, but don't be put off. I'm not normally a fan of road walking, but the Coal Road is an exception - a magnificent high level route with superb views including the Scafells and Great Gable to the west. Now listen carefully - your next objective is the pathless summit of Great Knoutberry Hill. Looking at the map, you may wonder why the route goes this way, but the clue is in the name, "Wild Yorkshire". Great Knoutberry Hill is exactly on the border, and there are several ways to get there. Firstly, watch for a track leaving the Coal Road to the left, on a sharp bend in the road at Cowgill Head Bridge. Follow this track up the moor until it peters out, then continue straight on, heading for Widdale Little Tarn. From here, follow roughly the Yorkshire boundary line past Widdale Great Tarn and on to the bleak summit. From the summit the going is easier, as a faint path can be followed by the wall down to the Pennine Bridleway, then down Arten Gill to Cow Dub. The second alternative is to continue along the Coal Road until the Pennine Bridleway branches off to the left, then continue along this track until a faint path ascends directly to the summit alongside a wall near Pikes Edge. If the weather is bad, or you don't fancy the pathless climb, you can continue along the Pennine Bridleway before rejoining the main route down Arten Gill. In really bad weather, just continue along the Coal Road past Dent station, and turn left at the T junction to Cow Dub Farm, where you can camp if you wish for a small fee. There's also a pub here, the Sportsman's Inn, but sadly this pub is not always open, does not allow you to use their WiFi (important in an area where there's no mobile signal), won't let you charge your phone, and is generally unwelcoming. As its name suggests, it caters more for the sort of people who have fun killing birds and animals, rather than enjoying them in their rightful home. They do have rooms however, and there are also camping facilities a mile down the road at Ewegales near Cowgill. Dent station is also close by, although you'll have to climb up the road to reach it.

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Bus LogoGarsdale

Train LogoGarsdale: Dent: Kirkby Stephen

Car LogoA684 Moorcock Inn: Coal Road: Cow Dub Farm

Beer LogoMoorcock Inn: Sportsman's Inn, Cow Dub

Bed LogoMoorcock Inn: Sportsman's Inn, Cow Dub

Tent LogoCow Dub Farm: Ewegales (1 mile)

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Day 28: Cow Dub Farm to Old Hill Inn, Chapel-le-Dale, 9.3 miles/15 km

660m ascent, 616m descent, total 390 miles/627.6 km

The highest point on the entire walk today, Whernside 736m, on a short day so you've plenty of time to enjoy the magnificent views from Whernside summit

From Cow Dub farm, it's a pleasant road walk along the river to upper Dentdale, but eventually a path branches off to the right and passes Dent Head Farm, before climbing up through the woods past the north entrance to the Blea Moor tunnel on the famous Settle - Carlisle railway line. After the tunnel, the path exits the wood onto the open moor to climb Blea Moor on a good track, roughly following the line of the tunnel far below. The highest point is about 500m, after which we descend towards Little Dale underneath the towering Whernside, with the renowned Ribblehead Viaduct in view. Shortly after the south entrance to the tunnel, stay on the west side of the railway line, and turn very sharp right to join the Three Peaks route. This is the 3 Peaks motorway, so on a weekend watch out for tired walkers rushing north on the southbound carriageway. Watch out for an impressive waterfall on Force Gill to your right. Plough on ever onward, ever upward, until you reach the summit ridge, then follow the wall south to the summit of Whernside, at 736m the summit of the entire Wild Yorkshire Way. Today's a short day, so enjoy the summit as the views are tremendous. It's downhill all the way now, firstly continuing on the ridge, then descending steeply down to the road near Bruntscar. Follow the road past Philpin Farm, where there's a camping site and refreshments, when it's open. It's a short hop from here to the main road, where we turn left and head for the Old Hill Inn in Chapel-le-Dale. There are only 2 rooms, so book in advance if you can. They are closed in the afternoons, theoretically, but if you're staying there a couple of pints will be served! Campers can pitch up on their land if you promise to refresh yourself in the pub, and if you do get chatting to locals in the pub, make sure you ask about the wagon wheel in the bar! Allegedly a skilled caver can get through all the gaps between the spokes, but don't blame me if you get stuck.

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Bus Logo

Train LogoDent: Ribblehead

Car LogoCow Dub: Dent Head Farm: Chapel-le-Dale B6255

Beer LogoOld Hill Inn, Chapel le Dale

Bed LogoOld Hill Inn, Chapel le Dale

Tent LogoOld Hill Inn, Philpin Lane, Chapel le Dale

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Day 29: Old Hill Inn, Chapel-le-Dale to Golden Lion, Horton-in-Ribblesdale, 11.5 miles/18.5 km

660m ascent, 714m descent, total 401.5 miles/646.2 km

Classic Yorkshire walking today, as we follow the famous Yorkshire 3 Peaks walk over Ingleborough to Horton

This is a magnificent route which traverses Ingleborough on the famous Yorkshire 3 Peaks walk, before diverting to visit Gaping Gill and Ingleborough Cave in classic limestone country. Leave the Old Hill Inn and head up the road, before turning right on the Three Peaks route to start the climb to Ingleborough. Watch out for the interestingly named Braithwaite Wife Hole on your way - a huge chasm just off the path to your left - if you bump into Mr Braithwaite around here I recommend that you do not mention this place to him, especially if you've taken photos of it. Beyond the hole, the path starts to climb, and eventually becomes a very steep scramble up the northern flank of Ingleborough. Be careful here, in bad weather it can be dangerous. You're now in some of the best walking country in Britain, so make sure your camera is fully charged and make the most of it. As its profile suggests, the summit of Ingleborough is flat, but there's a good shelter and the views are, well, magnificent. After the summit, don't follow the Three Peaks path, but head south to Little Ingleborough and beyond that Gaping Gill, which is a nice spot for lunch. On Bank Holidays, there's a charge at Gaping Gill if the potholers' winch is running, but it's well worth it. Assuming you don't fall into Gaping Gill, follow the path down Trow Gill to Ingleborough Cave. There's a further charge at Ingleborough Cave, and there's a useful café, but the toilets there are strictly out of bounds unless you are actually taking the cave tour. After leaving the cave, cross the river and climb up to Long Scar, where we follow a good path to rejoin the Three Peaks path at Sulber Nick. From here, it's a delightful walk to Horton-in-Ribblesdale, with good views of tomorrow's mountain, Pen-y-Ghent. There are two pubs in the village - the Golden Lion and the Crown. Sadly, the Crown was (when I visited in 2016) the type of pub where the management complain about the customers disturbing their peaceful weekends, so I recommend the Golden Lion. If you must go in the Crown, ensure you read the many notices telling what you can and cannot do, and watch out for the 50p debit card charge, even if (like I did) you spend £80 in there. Nice pub, but one to avoid I'm afraid, in my opinion of course. There's also a camping site in Horton.

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Bus LogoHorton-in-Ribblesdale

Train LogoRibblehead: Horton-in-Ribblesdale

Car LogoChapel-le-Dale B6255: Horton-in-Ribblesdale B6479

Beer LogoCrown Hotel, Golden Lion, Horton-in-Ribblesdale

Bed LogoCrown Hotel, Golden Lion, Horton-in-Ribblesdale

Tent LogoHorton-in-Ribblesdale

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Day 30: Golden Lion, Horton-in-Ribblesdale (main route via Malham Cove) to Buck Inn/Lister Arms, Malham, 14.8 miles/23.8 km

893m ascent, 927m descent, total 416.3 miles/670 km

More classic Yorkshire walking, over Penyghent to Malham via Malham Tarn and Cove

Today is a demanding day with 2 significant ascents, so set off early. Once again we follow the Pennine Way from Horton on a well worn track, then climb the awesome mountain of Pen-y-Ghent at 694m, one of the famous Yorkshire 3 peaks with its limestone and gritstone steps. Traverse the summit and drop down the 2 rock steps to Churn Milk Hole , then follow the path to the road where we turn left. Eventually the Pennine Way turns right to ascend Fountains Fell, so up we go. The path does not actually visit the summit, but stay on it as there are several old mine workings around here. Most of our climbing is now done for the day as we drop down to Tennant Gill farm, then follow the route carefully through magnificent limestone scenery to Malham Tarn. Keep on the Pennine Way to Malham Cove, passing Water Sinks, where the stream disappears underground to reappear south of Malham, NOT at the base of the cove. From here there's a busy tourist path to to the famous Yorkshire Dales village of Malham, where the Lister Arms and the Buck Inn both do accommodation. Have a well earned rest after a long day.

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Bus LogoHorton-in-Ribblesdale: Malham

Train LogoHorton-in-Ribblesdale

Car LogoHorton-in-Ribblesdale: Dale Head Farm: Tennant Gill Farm: Malham Tarn: Malham

Beer LogoBuck Inn, Lister Arms, Malham

Bed LogoBuck Inn, Lister Arms, Malham

Tent LogoMalham

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Day 30 (alternative): Golden Lion, Horton-in-Ribblesdale (alternative via Goredale Scar scramble) to Buck Inn/Lister Arms, Malham, 15.4 miles/24.8 km

835m ascent, 875m descent, total 416.3 miles/670 km

Warning: This route involves steep downhill rock scrambling, and is unsafe in wet weather or with a heavy pack, not recommended in this direction

This route involves a steep downhill rock scramble, which is almost impossible in wet weather and dangerous without ropes. In addition, most people tackle this route climbing up, so you will inevitably bump into someone head-on if you attempt it. If, despite my warning, you arrive at the scar and don't fancy it, you can climb back up and contour the slope to the road, which you can then follow to Malham. Be warned.

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Bus LogoHorton-in-Ribblesdale: Malham

Train LogoHorton-in-Ribblesdale

Car LogoHorton-in-Ribblesdale: Dale Head Farm: Tennant Gill Farm: Malham Tarn: Goredale Bridge: Malham

Beer LogoBuck Inn, Lister Arms, Malham

Bed LogoBuck Inn, Lister Arms, Malham

Tent LogoMalham

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Day 31: Buck Inn/Lister Arms, Malham to Hare and Hounds, Lothersdale, 15 miles/24.1 km

590m ascent, 593m descent, total 431.3 miles/694.1 km

Leaving the Dales National Park for a lowland interlude, then the first climb of the southern Pennines

Today we leave the Dales for the last time, sadly, but don't worry, we've got some magnificent walking in the Peak District National Park to come. From Malham, the route heads almost due south, following the juvenile River Aire past the impressive Hanlith Hall. The path skirts Airton, but there are no facilities in the village. Eventually we leave the Aire and head through pastoral countryside to Gargrave, where there are shops, banks, cafés and pubs. Now scale the low hills south-west of Gargrave and join the Leeds and Liverpool canal briefly at East Marton, with its famous double arched bridge over the Leeds and Liverpool canal. Have a pint to congratulate yourself, as you've now got just 100 miles to go (roughly). There's a delightful interlude along the canal from here, then we scale some more low hills to reach Thornton-in-Craven, where sadly there are no facilities. We're just about at the end of the so-called Aire Gap on the Pennine Way, and leaving Thornton we soon climb up to the first hill in the southern Pennines, Pinhaw Beacon. It's of limited height, but it's an isolated hill, so the views are outstanding in good weather. From here, drop down to Lothersdale and the Hare and Hounds. Accommodation is scarce around here, but there's a camp site 300m from the route. Failing that, a bus to Skipton might be your best bet.

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Bus LogoMalham: Gargrave

Train LogoGargrave

Car LogoMalham: Airton: Gargrave A65: East Marton A59: Thornton A56: Pinhaw: Lothersdale

Beer LogoMasons Arms, Gargrave: Hare and Hounds, Lothersdale

Bed LogoCowling (0.5 miles)

Tent LogoIckornshaw: Lothersdale

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Day 32: Hare and Hounds, Lothersdale to Pack Horse Inn, Widdop Moor, 13.7 miles/22 km

836m ascent, 777m descent, total 445 miles/716.2 km

A traverse of the wild Ickornshaw moors and the Brontë moors to the isolated moorland Pack Horse Inn

From Lothersdale, climb up south out of the village past Woodhead Farm (now cottages) and follow the Pennine Way carefully to Ickornshaw (no facilities, but Cowling is not far away), where we cross the A6068 road. Now we climb up onto Ickornshaw Moor, which is of modest height but quite wild. The route passes close to the highest point, the Wolf Stones, then drops down to a minor road. Follow the minor road briefly, then descend steeply to Ponden reservoir and follow the path along its bank to the hamlet of Ponden where there are a couple of pubs a short distance away, and a camp site. Now clear your throat and stretch your vocal cords, because it's time for a sing-song. Climb up on to the famous Brontë moors towards Top Withins, singing Kate Bush's Wuthering Heights song at the top of your voice, and watch out for Japanese way signs as you approach Top Withins ruined house just before the highest point. The Way then descends to Walshaw Dean Reservoirs and eventually reaches the Pack Horse Inn. Note carefully that our route diverges from the Pennine Way briefly in order to visit the pub. The Packhorse Inn is a famous Pennine Way pub, but watch out if you like chips, as they don't serve them! You may get a bed here, or you can camp in the car park if you're tough and hard, like me. I booked a room.

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Bus LogoLothersdale: Cowling: Haworth:

Train LogoSkipton: Cononley

Car LogoLothersdale: Ickornshaw A6068: Ponden: Packhorse Inn

Beer LogoPack Horse Inn, Widdop Moor

Bed LogoPack Horse Inn, Widdop Moor

Tent LogoPack Horse Inn, Widdop Moor (wild)

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Day 33: Packhorse Inn, Widdop Moor to White House Inn, Blackstone Edge, 12.6 miles/20.3 km

626m ascent, 553m descent, total 457.6 miles/736.4 km

A moorland crossing to the Calder Valley, then a stiff climb to Stoodley Pike and easy walking to the White House Inn

From the Pack Horse Inn, there's a pleasant moorland stretch climbing up gently over Heptonstall Moor. On a clear day up on this moor there's a view south to Black Hill with its TV mast, with Bleaklow and Kinder Scout beyond - a great motivational sight for bedraggled Pennine Way walkers heading south. Eventually you reach the village of Colden, passing the famous Aladdin's Cave shop where you can buy just about anything. Around here there's a myriad of paths in all directions, but just follow the Pennine Way all the way down to the Calder Valley where we cross the A646 road. It's a short bus ride to Hebden Bridge from here, if you need provisions, as there's nothing from here on except the White House Inn. Climb up through Callis Wood, before emerging onto the open moor on a farm track. Keep on the Pennine Way, past probably the best natural water source on the entire walk (see if you can find it!), then climb up to the famous monument Stoodley Pike. Climb its 39 steps for a better view. The path is easier and well-defined now, and eventually you reach the reservoir tracks which follow the water closely. Owners of spirit levels will immediately realise that the paths are perfectly flat here, so you can make good progress to the White House Inn which is the end of today's stage. There's food and beer here, but no accommodation, so you may need to head west or east on the A58 to find a bed for the night. Campers may find a wild spot around here and spend a pleasant evening in the pub.

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Bus LogoCalder Valley: Hebden Bridge

Train LogoHebden Bridge

Car LogoPackhorse Inn: Colden: A646 Calder Valley: A58 White House Inn

Beer LogoWhite House Inn, Blackstone Edge

Bed LogoLittleborough

Tent LogoWhite House Inn, Blackstone Edge (wild)

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Day 34: White House Inn, Blackstone Edge (main route via Saddleworth Moor) to Holme Moss, 14.1 miles/22.7 km

477m ascent, 327m descent, total 471.7 miles/759.1 km

A very hard and boggy route for peat-loving purists, crossing the M62 motorway then taking the original Pennine Way over Saddleworth Moor

Make sure you stock up well at the White House Inn, as there's no habitation or refreshment opportunities now until the Fox House Inn, over 40 miles and 3 days further on. If you can't carry enough food for 3 days walking, my tip would be to aim for Standedge first, where you can get a bus to Marsden to do some shopping, then back up to continue the walk. After Standedge the only possible options are to get a taxi/lift (no bus service) from Holme Moss or from Woodhead Pass the day after, so think very carefully before turning down the Marsden option. Anyway, let's get going. Navigation is not difficult, just keep following the Pennine Way south over Blackstone Edge to the M62 crossing, using the footbridge specially built for Wild Yorkshire Way walkers (honest!). From here, follow the Pennine Way south over White Hill and the A640 road to Standedge, where I strongly recommend you get a lift/bus/taxi to Marsden for supplies. Now keep following the Pennine Way to Black Moss reservoir, but keep to the south-west bank of the reservoir unless you want to follow the alternative route on the Pennine Way to Wessenden. Follow a good paved path to the A635 road across the infamous Saddleworth moor, bowing your head for a minute to think of the poor victims of the Moors Murders back in the 1960s. In the 1980's I sank waist deep into a bog here while walking alone on the Pennine Way, and was lucky that I had my dog on a lead so I could pull myself out before I disappeared beneath the morass, so be careful if you leave the paved path for any reason. Cross the A635 and follow the original Pennine Way south east to Black Hill, where the TV mast is a perfect guide unless hidden by mist. It's hard going at times, and in bad weather at this point you'll be thinking you should have taken the alternative! Eventually you will reach the trig point at Black Hill summit, where we finally leave the Pennine Way so we can remain in Yorkshire. The next bit is tricky, as the path is either non-existent or faint, so wallow due east until you reach the infant Heyden Brook, then follow its north-eastern bank, without descending into its valley, all the way to the A6024 road at Holme Moss. It's remote here, so put your tent up if you can't get a lift to Holme or Holmfirth to the east. The best escape route is north-east down the A6024 road to Holme (about 2 miles) where there's a pub but no accommodation, and also a bus service to Holmbridge and Holmfirth where there is ample accommodation. Make sure you've enough provisions here, as tomorrow is just about the hardest day on the walk, with no habitation or accommodation without considerable detours.

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Bus LogoStandedge

Train LogoLittleborough

Car LogoA58 White House Inn: M62/A672: A640: A62 Standedge: A635 Saddleworth Moor: A6024 Holme Moss

Beer LogoFleece Inn, Holme (2 miles)

Bed LogoHolmbridge (3 miles): Holmfirth (4.5 miles)

Tent LogoHolme Moss (wild)

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Day 34 (alternative): White House Inn, Blackstone Edge (alternative via Pennine Way/Wessenden Head) to Holme Moss, 15.2 miles/24.5 km

910m ascent, 798m descent, total 471.7 miles/759.1 km

An easier alternative avoiding the worst peat bogs, on the current Pennine Way up the Wessenden Valley

In bad weather, I recommend this alternative as the main route could be boggy and route finding is difficult in mist. From Black Moss reservoir, just keep on the current Pennine Way to Wessenden Reservoir, where there's an annoying drop down and climb back up to join a good track heading south-east to the A635 road. There's sometimes a burger van and/or an ice-cream van here, but don't rely on it. If it's there, make sure you empty it. The path then continues, paved nearly all the way, up to Black Hill summit where you rejoin the main route.

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Bus LogoStandedge

Train LogoLittleborough

Car LogoA58 White House Inn: M62/A672: A640: A62 Standedge: A635 Wessenden Head: A6024 Holme Moss

Beer LogoFleece Inn, Holme (2 miles)

Bed LogoHolmbridge (3 miles): Holmfirth (4.5 miles)

Tent LogoHolme Moss (wild)

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Day 35: Holme Moss (main route via Howden Edge) to Back Tor, 14.6 miles/23.5 km

325m ascent, 386m descent, total 486.3 miles/782.6 km

A wild and remote day, with undefined paths, possibly boggy in bad weather, and little chance of accommodation or refreshment without substantial detours

Make no mistake, this is one of the wildest and hardest days on the walk, and is where the Wild Yorkshire Way got its name from! From Holme Moss, cross the road and head south east, roughly following the Yorkshire boundary to Britland Edge Hill. From here, you'll join a fence which eases route finding in bad weather. There's no path on the map, but in practice there's a faint path on the ground. Follow the path and/or fence over Upper Dead Edge, until you reach the point where the fence turns abruptly south west near Wike Head. At this point we need to head roughly south east to find a track heading to the road, but this can be tricky in bad visibility. Make sure you don't follow Dearden Clough, which is the first stream you'll meet, but you can follow the next stream downhill which will lead you almost to the track. If you feel some vibrations coming from under the ground around here, it probably means the old Woodhead railway tunnel has just re-opened. Once on the track, follow it all the way to the Dunford Bridge road and eventually to the A628 Woodhead Pass road. This is a convenient pick up point for a lift or taxi if you're struggling, but the route carries on due south and eventually joins the track east to Lady Cross, where we branch south across the open moor on a faint path. Head for Round Hill, then shortly afterwards you should pick up the Howden Edge path heading east. Keep on relentlessly until the path turns south and passes Outer Edge, before you finally reach the famous Cut Gate track. There's an escape route to Langsett here, if you turn left. Continue straight ahead, passing Margery Hill, until you reach High Stones. You're close now, but route finding is difficult. You're heading for a faint path alongside Cartledge Brook, and I think the best plan is to head due east to start with, until you find the stream. Follow it downstream and eventually you'll reach a well-defined public footpath, but be careful. Don't lose any height, otherwise you'll end up following Abbey Brook down to the Derwent Reservoir. Instead, continue on and watch for the second path, where we turn right and it's a pleasant walk up to Back Tor. Back Tor is a great place for a bivouac or wild camp in good weather, as there's ample shelter between the rocks, otherwise head east down to the Strines Inn (about 2 miles) for beer, food, company and a bed.

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Bus LogoHolme (2 miles)

Train Logo

Car LogoA6024 Holme Moss: A628 Woodhead Pass

Beer LogoStrines Inn (2 miles)

Bed LogoStrines Inn (2 miles)

Tent LogoBack Tor (wild): Derwent Edge (wild)

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Day 35 (alternative): Holme Moss (alternative via Upper Derwent Valley) to Back Tor, 14.7 miles/23.7 km

478m ascent, 523m descent, total 486.3 miles/782.6 km

An easier alternative with good route finding, dropping down into the Derwent Valley before climbing to join the main route

Follow the main route until you reach the Howden Edge path, but then head south to Shepherds Meeting Stones, where there is shelter in bad weather. From here the path drops steeply down alongside Hoar Clough, then path then follows the infant River Derwent all the way to Slippery Stones, a well-known wild swimming spot in summer. Keep on, but do not cross the river here. AFter passing Howden Dam, turn sharp left in Abbey Tip Plantation onto a track ascending the moor. Keep on the track - do not follow the footpath to the right, and eventually you'll climb up on a flagged path to Lost Lad, a bizarre name more suited to the main route. Lost Lad is a superb viewpoint with a lovely memorial depicting the multitude of hills in view. From here it's a short walk to Back Tor which is clearly in view unless you're in mist.

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Bus LogoHolme (2 miles)

Train Logo

Car LogoA6024 Holme Moss: A628 Woodhead Pass

Beer LogoStrines Inn (2 miles)

Bed LogoStrines Inn (2 miles)

Tent LogoBack Tor (wild): Derwent Edge (wild)

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Day 35 (alternative): Holme Moss (alternative via Langsett) to Back Tor, 15 miles/24.1 km

725m ascent, 657m descent, total 486.3 miles/782.6 km

An alternative which avoids the wildest section of the main route, but with some road walking

If you decide to take this route, you really should split the day into two by stopping overnight at the Waggon and Horses or the Dog and Partridge. If you do, let me know and I might join you as I live not far away, but make sure you have enough money to buy me a few pints and pay for my taxi home! At Lady Cross, leave the main route and continue along the track to the A628 Woodhead Pass road. At this point, you may well find it quicker to dig a tunnel under the road, rather than wait for a gap in the traffic, but cross the road somehow and descend the old snow road on the other side to the Dog and Partridge pub, where accommodation is available. Just below the pub, turn right away from the road and follow the path along Swinden Lane and past the ruined farm of Swinden to head for Langsett where the Waggon and Horses awaits (if it's open!), and there's also a useful café here. If you don't need to visit Langsett, there's a beautiful path around the south side of Langsett Reservoir, passing the ambitiously named ruined farm of North America to Upper Midhope, then follow Gill Royd lane to join the moorland Strines road. From Langsett, you eventually arrive at the same place. Looking at the map, you may be tempted to continue along Mortimer Road to the Old Mustard Pot pub at Midhopestones, but sadly the pub has now closed. Now follow the road roughly south, descending to Ewden Beck in magnificent surroundings. After climbing up from valley, turn right (thankfully!) off the road onto a track which serves a shooting lodge high up on the moors. Follow the track all the way past the shooting lodge until it peters out, then strike out across the open moorland due south until you reach the Dukes Road bridleway. Head west here and follow the track all the way to Back Tor, rejoining the main route near Cartledge Brook. At Back Tor, I'm afraid it's a wild camp, or a descent to the Strines Inn about 2 miles further.

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Bus LogoHolme (2 miles): Langsett

Train LogoPenistone

Car LogoA6024 Holme Moss: A628 Woodhead Pass: Langsett: Ewden

Beer LogoDog and Partridge, Woodhead Pass: Waggon and Horses, Langsett

Bed LogoDog and Partridge, Woodhead Pass: Waggon and Horses, Langsett

Tent LogoBack Tor (wild): Derwent Edge (wild)

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Day 36: Back Tor to Norfolk Arms, Ringinglow, 14.4 miles/23.2 km

470m ascent, 680m descent, total 500.7 miles/805.8 km

A hard but exhilarating day's walk on the majestic Derwent and Stanage Edges, with far reaching views west to Kinder Scout and Bleaklow

If you resisted the temptation to visit the Strines Inn last night, leave Back Tor due south and enjoy magnificent views from Derwent Edge, one of the highlights of the entire walk. You'll see spectacular wind-sculptured rocks with bizarre names like Cakes of Bread and Salt Cellar, and you'll enjoy tremendous views into the Derwent Valley far below, whistling the theme from Dambusters as you march along. Eventually you'll reach the Wheel Stones, after which we soon turn east and descend to the A57 just after Moscar House Farm. Follow the A57 a short distance uphill towards Sheffield, then turn right on the path up to join the famous Stanage Edge, a rock climber's paradise, and follow the edge over High Neb all the way to Upper Burbage Bridge on the Ringinglow Road. From here, head roughly south over Higger Tor and Carl Wark Fort before you finally arrive at the Fox House Inn. If you've followed the route exactly, you've just completed a 3 day trek of over 40 miles from the White House Inn, with 2 nights sleeping out wild on the moors, and you've probably run out of food, and you'll be thirsty. The Fox House could be the worst pub in the world, and you'd still be delighted, but it's a lovely pub where you will probably empty the kitchen and cellar. There's good accommodation here, which will be difficult to resist, but the route continues over Houndkirk Moor to today's end at Ringinglow. The Norfolk Arms at Ringinglow does accommodation, food, real ales and a huge range of superb malt whiskies, and if you ask nicely they may allow camping in their grounds. There's also a warm wood-burning stove which is very useful after your 3 day trek if the weather's been bad. You've now finished with the really wild stuff, but go steady with the whiskies, as tomorrow you've got a surprising hard day to come.

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Bus LogoRinginglow

Train LogoSheffield

Car LogoA57: Upper Burbage Bridge: A6187 Fox House Inn: Ringinglow

Beer LogoStrines Inn (2 miles): Fox House Inn, Longshaw: Norfolk Arms, Ringinglow

Bed LogoFox House Inn, Longshaw: Norfolk Arms, Ringinglow

Tent LogoNorfolk Arms, Ringinglow

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Day 37: Norfolk Arms, Ringinglow to Cock Inn, Oughtibridge, 12.6 miles/20.3 km

539m ascent, 795m descent, total 513.3 miles/826.1 km

A surprisingly hard day, with lots of ascent and descent, in beautiful countryside west of Sheffield in the foothills of the Pennines

From the Norfolk Arms, head down the road towards Sheffield, then after the pub car park turn left downhill, then follow an intricate series of paths and roads, past the majestic Fulwood Hall and through playing fields to Lodge Moor. Turn right, then left to enter the Fox Hagg nature reserve, and descend all the way to the bottom. Here the path crosses the River Rivelin with a delightful series of stepping stones, but watch out if the river is in spate as the stones are slippy and some have fast flowing water covering them. Having negotiated the stepping stones, climb back up and cross the A57 road, then head north up the hill. Follow the route carefully from here, through Dungworth and steeply down to the Damflask reservoir where we follow the permissive path on the south west bank to Lower Bradfield. It's a steep climb up to High Bradfield, but the reward is the Old Horns pub for those interested (like me). After refreshments, leave the village south east on the road, but branch off left towards Holdworth and eventually to Worrall. From here it's a short walk to our destination at Oughtibridge, where the Cock Inn greets you, or you can press on to the Pheasant a bit further on. Both are fine real ale, muddy boots, food and dogs pubs. Accommodation is non-existent in Oughtibridge, but there are good bus connections to Sheffield or Stocksbridge.

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Bus LogoRinginglow: Rivelin Valley: Dungworth: Bradfield: Oughtibridge:

Train LogoSheffield

Car LogoRinginglow: A57 Rivelin Valley: Dungworth: Bradfield: Oughtibridge

Beer Logo3 Merry Lads, Sportsman's Inn, Lodge Moor: Plough, Old Horns, Bradfield: Blue Ball, Shoulder of Mutton, Worrall: Cock Inn, Pheasant Inn, Oughtibridge

Bed LogoSheffield

Tent Logo3 Merry Lads, Lodge Moor

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Day 38: Cock Inn, Oughtibridge to Stainborough Cricket Club, 13.2 miles/21.2 km

392m ascent, 395m descent, total 526.5 miles/847.3 km

The last day, with outstanding views west from Wharncliffe Crags to the Peak District National Park, then mainly flat on the Trans Pennine Trail to the triumphant end at Stainborough

One day to go, so head east out of Oughtibridge, past the Pheasant, which you probably investigated last night! Turn left on the path up to Wharncliffe Woods on part of the Trans Pennine Trail, but make sure you head up to the highest point on Wharncliffe Crags so you can enjoy the views back to Back Tor and Black Hill, of recent memory. Eventually you descend from the crags past a pond and rejoin the Trail, which we now follow almost all the way to journey's end at Stainborough. Follow the trail north through the beautiful River Don valley, including a tunnel complete with lighting provided by Barnsley Council, but at the bridge at Oxspring climb up to the road and head north east to cut a small corner off. You may be tempted to call in at the Waggon and Horses here, and who would blame you, but leave your boots outside. Further up the hill there's the Travellers Rest, which is more amenable to boots and does good food. After lunch, just follow the trail, which is well signposted, all the way towards Gilroyd, but watch out for a path crossing the Trail. Turn right to leave the trail here, then march triumphantly up the hill, past the Strafford Arms to the cricket club. If the club bar is open, ask someone to ring me and I'll get you a pint. Well done, thank you for following my walk, and please let me know your feedback. After your free pint, set off again, but do it the other way so you can see the views from the opposite perspective. Happy walking!

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Bus LogoOughtibridge: Oxspring: Dodworth: Stainborough

Train LogoSheffield: Penistone: Silkstone Common: Dodworth: Barnsley

Car LogoOughtibridge: A616: Thurgoland: Oxspring: Silkstone Common: Stainborough

Beer LogoWaggon and Horses, Travellers Rest, Oxspring: Station, Silkstone Common (0.2 miles): Stainborough Cricket Club: Strafford Arms, Stainborough

Bed LogoSheffield: Dodworth: Barnsley

Tent LogoWharncliffe Crags (wild): Travellers Rest, Oxspring: Stainborough Cricket Club