Yorkshire Dales walk - Grassington to Hebden circular
- Credit: Paul Kirkwood
Starting in Grassington, this 11km walk will take you past historic lead mine workings, over stepping stones and to a waterfall. It looks beautiful in the snow but it's one you can keep for calmer days.
1. Turn left out of car park and right up Main St. At top of road in front of Devonshire Institute turn left down Chapel Lane and first right down Intake Lane. At end at fingerpost bear right onto footpath signposted to Moor Lane. At large barn bear right away from farm track keeping wall on right. Cross stile, go through metal gate, over ladder stile and stile beside wooden gate and finally a stile over a wall to reach Moor Lane.
2. Turn left and head towards a clump of trees ignoring two signed bridleways to Hebden. Opposite Yarnbury Lodge turn right on to old mine track signed ‘Hebden 2½ miles’. Pass through gap in wall and keep ahead and, after 50 yards, fork left. Pass through gate and follow track as it winds down to Hebden Beck and bears right.
3. Pass through another wooden gate and heed instructions on it to cross beck via stepping stones 100 yards downstream. Keep ahead beside beck and eventually cross old stone bridge to reach Hole Bottom where track becomes road. Continue ahead.
4. In Hebden cross main road and continue ahead into village centre. Immediately after Old School Tea Room pass through metal kissing gate on left to follow the footpath signed ‘Hebden suspension bridge ½’. Bear right at beck and continue alongside it. Pass through kissing gate then immediately over footbridge. Soon afterwards follow central path of three, again signposted to suspension bridge. Pass through gate, small wood and between backs of houses to emerge at road. Turn right, over a stone bridge and after 100 yards, left onto footpath to suspension bridge over the Wharfe.
5. At bridge turn right onto Dales Way signed ‘Grassington 2½’. After 1½ miles go straight over crossroads of paths and after 30 yards through gate leading to narrow Tarmac road. As road bears sharp right turn left onto footpath passing through wall stile and remaining on Dales Way. Head towards sound of waterfall through gaps in two successive walls to reach Linton Bridge. Turn right onto narrow walled and flagged lane which leads up and back up to road beside the car park. Turn left to car park.
POINTS OF INTEREST
The outgoing leg of this varied walk takes you from Grassington up to Yarnbury to explore the old lead mine workings. They date back to the 17th and 18th centuries and, at their peak, employed 170 people. Then follow pretty Hebden Beck to link up with the River Wharfe which provides a gentle return to the village. As well as the industrial archaeology there are lots of water features including three sets of stepping stones, two waterfalls and an elaborate Victorian suspension footbridge.
Grassington Moor Lead Mining Trail: Grassington Moor was a major lead working centre from the 17th to the 19th centuries. The mines were once owned by the Duke of Devonshire. Between 1821 and 1861 more than 20,000 tons of lead were produced, employing 170 people. Mining ended in 1880 when cheap imported lead and the depletion of reserves meant that the operation became uneconomic. Ruins of many structures remain.
Scale Haw Force: Picturesque waterfall hidden in the trees and an ideal resting spot. To find it look for the signed footpath to the left off the road just after leaving Hole Bottom.
Hebden suspension bridge: The bridge, next to stepping stones, was built in 1884 to connect Hebden with Thorpe after a man drowned trying to cross the Wharfe. Nearby Burnsall Bridge, also on the river, had been swept away in a storm the previous year. The new bridge was built by the Hebden blacksmith using 262 yards of redundant steel rope from the old lead mines. It was restored in 2014/15.
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Linton stepping stones: You don’t need to cross them but the stones are nevertheless worth a very small diversion and provide another scenic place to rest. At the crossroads of paths as you approach Linton Bridge (see directions, below) continue ahead for just a few yards to view.
The Devonshire, Grassington. Now famous as The Drovers Arms in the Channel 5 re-make of the All Creatures Great and Small TV drama. Refurbished in recent years and currently managed by an enthusiastic husband and wife team. Rooms available. timothytaylor.co.uk/pubs/devonshire-grassington.
The Old School Tea Room, Hebden. Family run, traditional but quirky tea room. Gifts, crafts and cards also available. School dates back to 1874 and the old bell still chimes every hour! Open 10am-5pm weekdays and 9am-5pm at weekends. theoldschooltearoom.com.
Start/finish: Grassington National Park Visitor Centre. BD23 5LB, SE 0186377.
Time/distance: 3½ hours; 11km.
Accessibility: Easy with no gradients and well signed footpaths throughout. No muddy sections.
Map: OS Explorer OL2, Landranger 98.
Parking: As above.
Map link: https://osmaps.ordnancesurvey.co.uk/route/9625576/Grassington-complete