This is a beautiful part of The Yorkshire Dales that was completely new to me, when people mention the Dales they tend to think of the three peaks, however there are a vast amount of places to be explored! This walk takes you from Burnsall village through to Trollers Gill.
For this walk I would advise waterproofs, only from personal experience of it raining when Ive done this one! You really don’t want to be caught out so a jacket is always handy, it can get quite slippy and muddy by the gill itself so a good pare of boots is a must. This walk also took around 2.5 hours to complete (not counting those all important snack stops).
There is a small carpark in the Village, just outside the The Red Lion Hotel and the Riverbank cafe, this is pay and display. However there are parking spots around the village at the side of the road which are free to park in. At this starting point, there are numerous benches to sit and get your boots on, have a snack or just get yourself ready for the walk! From here, cross the five-arched bridge where you will then fork right following the Dales Way footpath sign and follow the river Wharfe. Keep to the river until you come to Mason’s campsite, if you turn left, taking you away from the river, there is a small footpath which will keep the campsite to your left. At the end of this path, you will come to a main road, if you follow this it will take you to Appletreewick (a very fairytale name which I love!).
Appletreewick is a really beautiful village, its a place where traffic noises are replaced with birds and the tree’s, something I believe we can forget about and is in-fact extremely refreshing. There are two pubs you will pass as you walk through, the Craven Arms and the New Inn, you will come the Craven Arms first where it has lovely outdoor seating where you can take in the stunning views. Once you have passed both pubs, you carry walking through this beautiful village until you come to a fork in the road, the sign post will read straight on for Skyreholme, or up New Rd towards Stump Cross Caverns.
From this point, both roads lead to Trollers Gill, however I like to go up New Rd (probably the less used route) as you will then be walking down into Trollers Gill which will give you some incredible Birdseye views!
As you go up New road, you will start to get a feel of the vastness of the Dales. This road will first wind left then right, and then becomes a straight flat road, it may seem like you’ll be walking for miles on this road but don’t worry you’ll turn off soon! After around half a mile ( 12-15 mins or so) you will come to a public footpath sign post directing you over the fields, there is a stile just next to the sign you can use. From this vantage point you will start to see the entrance to trollers Gill where the hills are carved out (this part I find most exciting!) If you walk across this field, diagonally, you will come to another stile, there tend to be sheep in this field so I would advise keeping dogs on leads for this part! Once over the stile, you will come to a winding path that takes you down into Skyreholme Beck, leading to the Gill. This is why I love this particular route here, walking down into the landscape is truly magical.
This part can get extremely muddy, especially if you’re as lucky as I am and get rain every time, so just be careful with your footing. At this point you should come to an old farm building, walk around this to join the main path which runs next to Skyreholme Beck, keep following this path and you will come to Trollers Gill. Ive always found the name ‘Troller’ very interesting and it comes from the belief that trolls had existed here in the limestone gorge (I doubt you will see any on your visit unfortunately). Depending on the time of year you come, sometimes the Gill itself can be inaccessible due to the Beck flooding, so please take care and be responsible when walking through!
To journey back to Burnsall, you need to turn back on yourself and then all you need to do is follow the Beck! After you pass Parcevall Hall, turn left up Skyreholme Lane, you will then be at the fork in the road you came to before! From here you can walk back through Appletreewick and onto Burnsall, where I’m sure a sit on a bench by the Wharfe is needed.
Jodie O'Connor | @joc_creative