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Here you can read a personal account of the route for this stage, together with route maps centred around the start and end points, and information on transport connections, pubs, accommodation and camp sites. You can see a photo gallery, browse through the walk stages, and you can use Google search to look up the start and end points of your day's walking. GPX files for your sat nav are available for download, but please don't blame me if you get lost following them!

From: MiddlehamTo: Masham (alternative via Jervaulx Abbey)12.2 miles19.6 km140m ascent178m descent
ThumbnailLeave Middleham due south past the magnificent castle, but immediately turn left diagonally across the fields, signposted "Stepping Stones" on the flank of William's Hill to join the River Cover. There's a delightful set of stepping stones here, which you can cross if you prefer to take the path on the south side of the river. This will avoid a dangerous crossing of Cover Bridge later. However, if you want to visit the Cover Bridge Inn (and you should, if only to look at its beautiful beer garden), it is better to follow the north bank of the Rover Cover. By the way, the name is pronounced as if it rhymes with "over", rather than with "lover", but even the locals don't quite agree on this. If you visit the pub, be very careful crossing the Cover Bridge, as it's not wide enough for 2 vehicles and a walker to cross. The best tactic is to run like mad and hope for the best, but please be careful. Assuming you have negotiated the bridge safely, follow the river downstream until it joins the Ure, then keep on the bank of the Ure to Jervaulx Abbey, where there's a lovely café for refreshments. Our route heads through the beautiful abbey grounds, where you should avoid the main path heading south east to the road. Keep on heading east, eventually joining a minor road, then at Kilgram Grange turn sharp right, then left to cross Coultermire Plantation on pleasant walking to the tiny hamlet of Low Ellington, which has no facilities. From there it's tricky navigation on little-used paths, past High Mains farm to eventually join the River Ure for the third time on the walk. There's something very satisfying about walking along a wide slow moving river, especially when we remember crossing its infant version near Hell Gill Bridge on Abbottside Common about 5 or 6 days ago, and the magnificent Aysgarth Falls more recently. Follow the river downstream, and watch out for an angler's cabin, complete with alcohol stocks, on the river bank. Eventually we reach the small brewery town of Masham (pronounced Massum) at Masham Bridge. In Masham centre we rejoin walkers on the main route - assuming they have survived the horrors of the high Little Whernside ridge walk. One advantage of taking this alternative is that it knocks 3 miles off the slog from here to Ainderby Quernhow on the next day, so enjoy your evening in Black Sheep and Theakstons territory.
Bus LogoMiddleham: MashamBeer LogoCover Bridge: East Witton (off route and posh): Masham
Train LogoNoneBed LogoCover Bridge: Masham
Car LogoMiddleham: Cover Bridge: Jervaulx Abbey: Low Ellington: MashamTent LogoNorth Cote Farm, Masham
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