logo Walking Britain

Yorkshire Dales Walk
Penhill & West Burton from Aysgarth Falls

Nat Park - Yorkshire Dales - Wensleydale

County/Area - North Yorkshire

Author - Lou Johnson

Length - 10.0 miles / 16.3 km    Ascent - 1500 feet / 455 metres

Time - 6 hours 30 minutes    Grade - moderate

Start - OS grid reference SE011887
Lat 54.293919 // Long -1.984602
Postcode DL8 3TH (approx. location only)
what3words start text.this.regrowth

Maps Ordnance Survey Logo Anquet Maps Logo

Ordnance Survey Explorer OL30Sheet Map1:25kBUY
Anquet OS Explorer OL30Digital Map1:25kBUY
Ordnance Survey Landranger 98Sheet Map1:50kBUY
Anquet OS Landranger 98Digital Map1:50kBUY

It is recommended you take a map. The preferred scale is 1:25k.

Walk Route Description

Photo from the walk - Penhill & West Burton from Aysgarth Falls Photo from the walk - Penhill & West Burton from Aysgarth Falls
Click thumbnails for larger images.

Wensleydale, unlike most other dales, is not named after the river that runs through it. This Yorkshire Dales walk visits a superb series of waterfalls on the River Ure and then continues to Pen Hill, which offers fine views across the dale before returning via the attractive village of West Burton. The start is the large car park adjacent to the National Park Centre (Grid ref. SE 011887) near Aysgarth Falls. This car park can be reached from the A684 Leyburn to Hawes road from just east of Aysgarth village.

From the car park exit south to the River Ure and cross the road bridge from where there are views on your right to High Force. On reaching the south bank of the river leave the road and follow the path to the church. Turn left and take the signed path to reach the river bank and views of Middle and Lower Force. More dramatic after heavy rain they are still an impressive sight in drier weather. Continue on the path to reach the A684. Sadly this road has become very busy in recent years and you need take care as you head east towards Leyburn.

Just before Temple Farm (Grid ref. SE 032889) turn right along a signed right of way. This leads after a short climb through woodland to the Knights Templars' Chapel where several interesting graves can be seen. After visiting this historic site return to the right of way and continue to a gate (Grid ref. SE 039886). Do not follow the path heading east instead turn right and follow the track south keeping the wall on your left. This leads to High Lane. Turn left and continue on this walled lane for two kilometres to a point where a path crosses the lane (Grid ref. SE 059877). Turn right here and ascend through fields to reach Flint Lane.

Go straight over this track and continue climbing to reach the main path that heads west to Penhill Beacon. Turn west (right) and continue to the Beacon from where you have superb views over Wensleydale. Following the path along the edge, which should be on your right, continue to Black Scar (Grid ref. SE 043867). The path is about 150 metres short of the second wall after leaving the trig point. Should you miss this path then descend alongside this second wall (Grid ref. SE 041866) trending northeast to locate the path that leads down to a wall (Grid ref. SE 043872). The onward path descends steadily to reach High Lane (Grid ref. SE 044879).

Turn left along the walled lane and continue until you reach Morpeth Scar. Ignore the lane descending the escarpment instead forking right in a southerly direction and climbing steadily to reach Hudson Quarry. Just before the quarry turn right down a signed footpath following this down the escarpment into the attractive village of West Burton. A popular place with car-bound visitors refreshments are available here and a short visit to the waterfalls adds further interest to the walk.

Leave West Burton on the main road heading north to the A684. At the road junction (Grid ref. SE 019872) take the left fork - Eshington Lane. The footpath runs in an adjacent field parallel with the road for s short distance before reaching Eshington Bridge. Where the road bends right locate the signed footpath on your left. Ascent at the end of a walk is never welcome and the climb is short and sweet with the A684 soon reached. Cross over the main road and follow the footpath past the church and down to the River Ure. Access to the car park is on your left.

Other walks nearby

Walk 3384 Aysgarth Falls and Caperby - easy - 4.0 miles/6.5 km

Walk 1680 Haw Lane & Aysgarth Moor from Aysgarth - easy/mod - 6.3 miles/10.2 km

Walk 3333 Redmire Force & the Templar's Chapel from West Witton - easy/mod - 6.7 miles/10.9 km

Walk 1694 Nappa Hall & Whitfield Gill Force from Askrigg - easy/mod - 6.0 miles/9.8 km

Walk 2822 Aysgarth & Castle Bolton From Askrigg - mod/hard - 14.5 miles/23.6 km

Walk 3524 Semer Water and Cam High Road from Bainbridge - easy/mod - 5.7 miles/9.3 km

Walk 1056 Gunnerside & Surrender Bridge - moderate - 10.3 miles/16.7 km

Walk 1197 Gunnerside & Swinner Gills from Gunnerside - moderate - 8.5 miles/13.8 km

Walk 3093 Bunton Hush, Blakethwaite & Gunnerside Gill - easy/mod - 5.5 miles/8.9 km

Walk 1252 Great Pinseat from Surrender Bridge - easy/mod - 5.5 miles/8.9 km

Recommended Books & eBooks

Walking in the Yorkshire Dales: North and East

Walking in the Yorkshire Dales: North and EastThis guidebook contains 43 circular day walks in the north and east Yorkshire Dales. It explores the dales, hills and moors between Kirkby Stephen and Pateley Bridge. Walking ranges from gentle 3 mile strolls to more strenuous day-long rambles across the Howgills, Wensleydale, Swaledale, Nidderdale, Mallerstang and Coverdale.
More information

Walking in the Yorkshire Dales: South and West

Walking in the Yorkshire Dales: South and WestPart of a two-book set, this guidebook describes 44 walks in the southern and western Yorkshire Dales, including the famous 23 mile Three Peaks circuit over Pen-y-Ghent, Whernside and Ingleborough. The other, mostly circular routes of 3½ to 13 miles cover the scenic region between Sedbergh, Kirkby Lonsdale, Settle, Skipton and Grassington.
More information


NavigationThis pocket handbook to navigation will help you master the necessary map and compass skills for mountain walking. Chapters include map scales, symbols and contours, grid references, map reading, bearings, route planning and night and bad-weather navigation, as well as navigating with a GPS.
More information

Social Media

Follow Walking Britain for the latest news.

Facebook Twitter

CBD For Walking & Hiking

Discover the benefits of CBD for walkers and hikers. More info.

Mountain Weather

Stay safe on the mountains with detailed weather forecasts - for iOS devices or for Android devices.

Digital Mapping Guide

Digital Mapping Guide - a simple guide of how to start using digital mapping. Includes advice and useful links.