Walk 3584 - printer friendly version
Gragareth from Ireby Walk
Author - Lou Johnson
Length - 7.4 miles / 12 km
Ascent - 1500 feet / 455 metres
Grade - moderate
Start - OS grid reference SD654755
Lat 54.1741140 + Long -2.5315431
Postcode LA6 2JY (approx. location only)
This Yorkshire Dales walk in Lancashire walk explores the lonely landscape of Gragareth which rises to the west of Kingsdale. The summit sees few walkers yet offers fine views east to Whernside and Ingleborough and west to Morecambe Bay. During the ascent you will pass the three cairns known as the "Three Men of Gragareth".
The start is the village of Ireby where limited on street parking is available (grid ref. SD654755). After parking walk south to the road junction and turn right signed to Leck. After 500 metres, the lane bears left near Todgill Farm (grid ref. SD652759). From here walk straight ahead on an enclosed track. Follow this track for about two kilometres to reach a lane at a metal gate (grid ref. SD657776). Turn right along the lane and continue climbing with a distant view to Morecambe Bay on your left. You already have a sense of the isolated nature of this area.
Pass through a metal gate and continue up the lane to where it goes left to Leck House Farm (grid ref. SD676791). Go through the wooden gate on the right onto a clear track. Follow a very feint path which leaves the track on the right just after passing through the gate. The path soon fades, and you need to take advantage of the grassy areas amid the boulders to ease the steep ascent up to the "Three Men of Gragareth", which come into view as you gain height. Once the cairns have been reached head east on a clear path ignoring cross paths and tracks to reach the trig point on Gragareth (grid ref. SD688793). With most of the ascent now complete it is a perfect place for a rest and to enjoy the view.
Leave the summit on a path leading east to reach a wall (the boundary of Lancashire and North Yorkshire). Turn right along the wall (wall on your left) and head south to a wall junction with a stile. Cross the stile and continue alongside the wall (wall now on your right) and continue over a stile. Maintain direction parallel with the wall and continue to reach a stone stile on the right by a derelict wooden stile (grid ref. SD667772). Turn right over the stile and follow the path which leads to the left of Ireby Fell Cavern (grid ref. SD673773). Continue half left to reach a wall.
Turn left along the wall (wall on your right). There is some soft ground which can be easily avoided. However, do keep as close to the wall as you can as this provides a perfect navigational aid. Continue down until you see a tree by a wall (grid ref. SD768650). Initially aim for the tree to locate a track heading southwest. Follow the track downhill to reach a pair of gates just to the left of a paid of barns (High Barn). Take the left-hand gate and follow the track down to a lane. Bear left and return to the start.