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Yorkshire Dales Walk
Hebden Gill & Cupola Corner

Nat Park - Yorkshire Dales - Upper Wharfedale

County/Area - North Yorkshire

Author - Darren Hoyle

Length - 6.5 miles / 10.6 km

Ascent - 1180 feet / 358 metres

Time - 4 hours 30 minutes

Grade - easy/mod

Start - OS grid reference SE025631
Lat 54.063838 // Long -1.963296
Postcode BD23 5DP (approx. location only)
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Walk Route Description

Photo from the walk - Hebden Gill & Cupola Corner Photo from the walk - Hebden Gill & Cupola Corner Photo from the walk - Hebden Gill & Cupola Corner Photo from the walk - Hebden Gill & Cupola Corner Photo from the walk - Hebden Gill & Cupola Corner Photo from the walk - Hebden Gill & Cupola Corner
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NOTE : Although this Yorkshire Dales walk is listed as Easy/Moderate, some parts are a little strenuous and care must be taken especially in wet weather. DO also take care near old mine workings. For a shorter version of this walk go to Walk 2611.

Hebden village is located a few miles east of Grassington on the B6265 to Ripon. After parking locate the village Post Office (Grid ref. SE025631) from where you cross over the B6265, and walk straight north up Town Hill, noting the wonderful bridge on your right over Hebden Beck. Continue along this lane past High Green and Knowles Lathe until after about 1km the lovely hamlet of Hole Bottom is reached.

Go through the gate, which is at the end of the small row of cottages, and cross over the very picturesque stone bridge over Hebden Beck. The walk now follows the old lead miners track for the next 3km. The first of the mines passed here is the Longshaw Level and is now a source of water for Yorkshire Water, so care is needed not to contaminate. On the opposite side is the remains of Dukes Level also a source of water. In addition there are big mine tips here too.

Continuing along the miners track and through several gates the Hebden Moor Mines Dressing Floors are reached. There are many interesting mining features to look at. Once past the dressing floors look right into Bolton Gill (Grid ref. SE 026652) where more mining relics are in evidence high up the gill. A short climb up the gill one can see the remains of the Bolton Gill Engine Shaft. From here climb up to the rocky top of Bolton Haw, one can observe several stone pillars that dominate the skyline from within Hebden Gill.

Return down to the junction of Hebden Gill and Bolton Gill and turn right (upstream) along the miners track through more gates, and over a large spoil heap. The track is still easy to follow and continues through a tight opening in the stone wall ahead - rucksacks off at this point - and hop over the steam on the other side of the wall.

Continue along the track though very pleasant grassy areas. Where the path bears left at Loss Gill Bank, go right into what looks like a rocky canyon of about 200 metres in length with a dam at the far end. Stay on the left hand side of this canyon until you reach the dam. Then climb up the steep end and you reach Dukes New Road, which is a rough track.

Turn right here and a short walk up this track leads you to the Cupola Smelt Mill, one of Britain's premier lead mining centres. From the smelt mill one can follow the line of the flues that leads up to the Cupola Chimney (Grid ref. SE 029665) about 1km away high on Grassington Moor. A walk along the line of the flue provides an interesting part of the walk.

From the Smelt Mill chimney walk across the moorland to Dukes New Road (Track) where the Processing Mill remains are, which are also a very interesting feature. Standing at the processing plant stop and take a look around. The whole area is covered in old lead mine workings. Some might call this ugly and a blot on the landscape but it is part of the Yorkshire Dales history and adds extra interest to a wonderful day's walk.

Once past the smelt mill again continue down to the dam where you came up and drop back down into that boulder strewn canyon. Stay on the right hand side this time and continue along the easy path back down Hebden Gill towards its junction with Bolton Gill (Grid ref. SE 026652).

Turn left up Bolton Gill and then sharp right to continue over Mossy Moor passing Mossy Moor Reservoir. Shortly afterwards there is a small prehistoric stone circle of eight stones, although they can be awkward to spot in the heather. Continuing along the track across Edge Top drop down back to Hebden via High Dene to walk back along the B6265 for about 350m back into Hebden Village.

Back in Hebden opposite the Post Office is a small Public Convenience which is very useful to change into those long awaited dry clothes, especially if you decided to walk on one of those nice wet days that only the Dales can provide. A warm welcome can be found in the nearby Clarendon Hotel.

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