What To Do

The High Path to Gayle

map_gayleMap based on Ordnance Survey mapping by permission of Ordnance Survey on behalf of the Controller of Her Majesty’s Stationery Office. © Crown Copyright.

Length of walk: 3 miles

Start: Burtersett, upper Wensleydale

Terrain: easy, lots of stiles

Burtersett nestles beneath a high point named Yorburgh, and has attracted the attentions of the paragliding fraternity in recent times. Those who engage themselves in those activities will undoubtedly achieve spectacular views of upper Wensleydale. If you prefer to keep both feet on the ground, and still obtain views from an elevated position, this is the walk for you. Roadside car parking at the top end of the village.

Start from the top end of the village, leaving Burtersett in a westerly direction. There’s a signpost to Gayle. Enter an uneven lane – Shaws Lane – with wonderful views of Wensleydale. Yorburgh (515m) presides high on the left. Hawes church will be visible towards the lane end. Leaving the enclosed section behind, pass between some barns heading towards a gated stile, then maintaining the same line cross four additional stiles to arrive at a fork in the path close to a barn.

At this point veer left – signposted Gayle south – and cross a ladder stile 50 yards beyond the barn. A succession of stiles leads across the meadows. Confirmation that you’re treading the correct route can be made by noting a series of barns 30 yards to the left.

Ten paces prior to reaching a wide metal gate, swing right, passing through a tiny gated stile to follow a clear path towards a road. Turn right, along the road, descending to Gayle alongside the spectacular waterfalls. Don’t cross the bridge, instead swing right, following the Bainbridge road. There are some attractive buildings at Gayle. Local pride is obvious.

Soon after passing Blackburn House farm, pass through a stile on the right signposted Burtersett. The path leads towards a campsite with Wether Fell and Yorburgh prominent, on the right. Staggs Fell rests on the opposite side of the valley.

Pass in front of the farmhouse seeking a stile in the wall facing, then continue across the meadows crossing a further six stiles, before swinging right and rising upwards towards the village. Enter the village close to a building painted white. Turn right; pass the former Wesleyan Chapel to return to your car.

From ‘Walks Around Hawes’ by Richard Musgrave


The information given in this walk has been provided in good faith and is intended only as a general guide. Whilst all reasonable efforts have been made to ensure that details were correct at the time of publication, the author and Country Publications Ltd cannot accept any responsibility for inaccuracies. It is the responsibility of individuals undertaking outdoor activities to approach the activity with caution and, especially if inexperienced, to do so under appropriate supervision. The activity described in this walk is strenuous and individuals should ensure that they are suitably fit before embarking upon it. They should carry the appropriate equipment and maps, be properly clothed and have adequate footwear. They should also take note of weather conditions and forecasts, and leave notice of their intended route and estimated time of return.