Yorkshire Dales Walk
Grassington, Mastilles Lane & Conistone Dib
Walk Route Description
Grassington is the main village in the lower reaches of Wharfedale in the Yorkshire Dales National Park. Retaining much character, despite the gift shops, the village almost has the feel of a town. Although this is a long Yorkshire Dales walk, the miles slip by quickly. The ascent is easy and especially in Consitone Dib passes almost unnoticed.
The easiest place to Park is on the large car park adjacent to the National Park information centre (grid ref. SE 002637). Head north along the road towards the village centre (plenty of pubs and cafes if you need refreshment). Take the main road to Threshfield crossing the River Wharfe as it meanders sedately towards the sea.
At Threshfield turn right along the B6160 towards Kettlewell turning left into Skirethorns Lane after a few hundred yards. Follow this lane, turning right into Wood Lane. The end of the road walking is now in sight. Turn left up the main drive into the Caravan site at Wood Nook continuing through the site to emerge alongside Rowley Beck.
The true nature of the countryside is now evident with outcrops of limestone becoming more frequent. Climbing slowly Height House, an abandoned farm, is soon reached and the path continues westwards to Height Laithe Farm which nestles in the valley.
Care is needed in this area as there are a number of paths near the farm although the next objective, Bordley, is signed. The path loses height quite quickly as it approaches Bordley. Reaching the farm access road turn right along it regaining lost height as you head north. Dropping slightly you reach a hollow. Here you leave the road and follow the wall north to Mastilles Lane to Mastilles Gate.
Turn east along the well graded walled lane. You cross wild country - limestone uplands as you cross Kilnsey Moor. Quite suddenly the view ahead opens up across Wharfedale to Great Whernside. You can also clearly see the defile of Conistone Dib immediately behind the village.
With an easy downhill walk you can admire the views staying on the lane until you are under Cool Scar. On the right is a well disguised stile (grid ref. 968673) which leads onto a path down to Bow Bridge Farm. Left on to the main road and right over the Wharfe into Conistone. It is worth looking north from here to the impressive outcrop known as Kilnsey Crag - apparently well favoured by climbers.
A pleasant unspoilt village (no refreshments were found) with cottages grouped together around the small village "green". Leave the road and take the path heading east. This follows the floor of Conistone Dib, a classic limestone gorge, climbing slowly to reach the limestone plateau above. The last section is an easy scramble but should not cause any problems. On reaching the plateau turn immediately right. Do not go through the gate, and follow this path south, ignoring paths descending right.
You are now on the Dales Way (poorly signed in this area) which needs to be followed all the way back to Grassington. To your right and left are excellent examples of limestone pavements. They are very extensive in this area and are certainly equal to those found above Malham. The path splits roughly half way to Grassington (grid ref. SD 996663). The best route is to stay with the wall on your left which eventually leads into a walled lane. Soon you are back in Grassington.
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Walking in the Yorkshire Dales: South and West
Part 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.