By Mike Higlett

Hello, I’m Mike. I am a husband, dad to college-aged kids, chartered engineer, scout leader and into radio as a hobby. All this life experience means I’ve also just turned 50! As a scout leader, my favourite thing is taking young people walking, hiking and navigating – mostly in the Yorkshire Dales or on Lakeland Fells.

I’d like to share my favourite local walk for teaching scouts navigation basics with you. The route is also great for ambling, views and eating!

Starting point: Burnsall Green ///chaos.flag.quiz
Start on Burnsall Green, where there’s a lovely view of Burnsall Bridge. Here I have seen curlews, oystercatchers, red kites and buzzards.

Next, cross the bridge road (but not the bridge itself) so you can follow the Dales Way footpath along the riverbank towards Grassington. Along here you’ll see lovely views of the river, plenty of wildlife and some great geology. The next point is 1.8km away, which is ///yummy.swimmers.overtones.

Countryside view of a bridge and river
Bursnall Bridge viewed from Burnsall Green

The Suspension Bridge ///yummy.swimmer.overtones
This suspension bridge is a bit of fun and a superb way to cross the river. Be warned that it does wobble as you walk across – but it’s been there for over a hundred years now and it’s a fantastic bit of Victorian engineering. Before you cross, have a look at the plaque at the bottom of the bridge that tells you how old it is.

Boy crossing a narrow bridge with river below in countryside
The Suspension Bridge

As you cross the bridge, follow the footpath straight ahead to join Bursnall Lane at ///rainbow.homeward.scared Next, turn right and then left to pick up a footpath into Hebden. You’ll pass a small weir next to the footbridge, at ///shared.rags.teamed

Alternatively, you can follow Mill Lane into Hebden. The walk is about 1km from bridge to village.

Hebden Village ///exits.beans.redeeming
There are several things worth visiting in this little village. Firstly, if you are at the what3words location mentioned, you should see a gold postbox. This golden box marks the winning of a gold medal by Andrew Triggs Hodge (a local at the time) in the Men’s Four Rowing during the 2012 London Olympics. The box was originally wall-mounted but when the post office closed it was changed for one on a post; the original is now in the London Postal Museum.

Gold postbox in a brick wall
The Hebden Golden Post Box

Also nearby is The Old School Tea Room, a favourite of many which you’ll find at ///track.suppers.rucksack This popular place has plenty of home-cooked food and is open until 5pm, seven days a week. Next door at ///jacket.resorting.transit there is also a nice playpark for the little ones, and not so little ones too!

The walk now continues into Grassington. Take the road through the village to the B6265, turn left and then take the last footpath on the right as you leave the village at ///dictation.premature.forget

This footpath becomes High Lane and you follow it all the way into Grassington Village Centre. This part of the walk is around 2.8km long.

Grassington Village Square ///rigs.town.chucks
There are many interesting shops in the centre of Grassington and plenty of places to get something to eat and drink. From here, our route continues out the bottom of the market square and east along the B6265 to the car park, passing the home of Upper Wharfedale Fell Rescue Association (the local Mountain Rescue Team) at ///systems.closes.surcharge

In the car park at ///adapt.openings.cages you’ll find a Yorkshire Dales National Park centre with some history and information about the area. From here, take Sedber Lane, a walled path, down to the footbridge over the River Wharfe at Linton Falls. This part of the walk is only 800m.

Yorkshire Dales National Park Centre Linton Falls ///looms.being.vipers
This footbridge across the River Wharfe gives a good vantage point for seeing Linton Falls. If conditions are right you can watch kayakers riding the white water over the falls. From the bridge, look upstream to the weirs and notice how one of the old mills now houses an archimedes screw which is used to generate electricity.

Now use a combination of bridleways, footpaths and Well Lane to walk into the centre of the village of Linton crossing the B6160 at ///future.player.clockwork This section of your walk is 2km.

Bridge crossing river barrier controlling the water flow

Linton Village ///glue.spacing.alpha
This is the village green between two rather old bridges across Linton Beck. This is a lovely spot to sit, watch the ducks, admire the beauty and let a bit of time go by.

To continue from here cross one of the bridges and then turn right to follow the lane before turning left to pick up a footpath across several fields to join Thorpe Lane at Waddy Lathe ///abolish.crackled.dial Continue along Thorpe Lane towards the village of Thorpe passing a few old lime kilns on the way. Once again this leg of the walk is 2km long.

Thorpe Village ///fussy.outings.clashing
Pause at the little village green here in Thorpe and read the story of the pranks the residents of Thorpe played on the residents of Burnsall when they stole their Maypole! Although rural now, have a look around at the buildings in Thorpe, was obviously once a small industrial area.

The final section of our walk is another 2km which starts along Kail Lane and then picks up a footpath that crosses Badger Lane at ///growl.nitrogen.jams The last part of the walk between Badger Lane and Burnsall crosses many typical Dales fields with stone stiles in the walls.

Table with coffee and cake on it with fire heater in the background
Treacle and tart to finish

Once you’re back in Burnsall, you’ve completed my favourite Wharfedale walk. For some post walk refreshments, you have several options: The Red Lion (///decisions.best.plod), the Wharfe View Tea Room (///rice.prank.bumping), and Riverbank (///query.describe.lodge) where on a crisp winter’s day I enjoy a lovely mug of tea and a hot treacle tart by an outside fire.

If you’d like to use Mike’s Wharfedale Walk as part of a school or scouting activity, you can find his Duke of Edinburgh route card with what3words addresses here.