Weekend Walk: Grassington - Hebden circular

Field path between Hebden and Grassington
Field path between Hebden and Grassington
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Of the numerous circular walks available from Grassington this is one of the shortest, easiest and most satisfying.

The route is largely over sheep pastures and hay meadows but there are also stretches of lovely walled tracks and a delightful path through the woodland at Grassington Park Estate Meadows, site of the old Grassington Hospital built in 1919 as a TB Sanatorium to allow sufferers to breathe pure Yorkshire Dales air. The final stretch is along the Dales Way footpath, where the agile might consider an optional detour by crossing the stepping stones to Linton Church (though only when the River Wharfe is low) and rejoining the route at Linton Falls. Look out for sand martins, grey wagtails and kingfishers on the river, green woodpeckers near Grassington Park.

Stepping stones over the River Wharfe near Linton Church

Stepping stones over the River Wharfe near Linton Church

1. Turn left from Grassington National Park Centre and walk along Hebden Road. Turn right into Main Street and walk uphill, passing the village pump, and keep ahead as the road narrows past shops to arrive in front of the Devonshire Institute, which has a white-faced hexagonal clock.

2. Turn right and look for Low Lane slanting uphill on the left. Within a short distance this leads to lovely track on the left called High Lane. Follow it to the end, crossing a stile, into a field, and when the wall ends on the right continue ahead on a clear field path to enter Grassington Park Estate meadows. Continue in a straight course through woods then across fields to join a walled lane into the village of Hebden.

3. Turn left and walk along the B6265 for a short distance then cross with care to Bradshaw Lane. Continue past houses and opposite the churchyard take a footpath on the right signposted to Linton Falls & Grassington. Descend the field, pass through a gate entrance and at a second cross a stile on the left. Continue ahead to another stile, and follow the worn path as it curves up to the right through a narrow field. The path is clear from here and delineated by yellow-topped marker posts on the approach to Halfway House Farm.

4. Keep the farm on your right. Through a gate the clear path soon descends to a track. Turn right and follow it downhill to turn right onto the Dales Way. (An optional detour to Linton Church via stepping stones is available here). Go through a gate on the right and pass houses and a fish farm. On the tarmac lane go left over a wall stile and follow the field path to emerge at Linton Falls, which is over the bridge on the left. To complete the walk turn right on Sedber Lane to return to Grassington.

On the field path between Hebden and Grassington

On the field path between Hebden and Grassington

Difficulty rating: 1 star

Distance: 4 miles

Time: 2 hours

Maps: OS Explorer (1:25000) OL2 Yorkshire Dales Southern & Western areas

Parking: Grassington National Park Centre (pay-and-display)

Public Transport: 72 service to Grassington from Skipton or 74 from Ilkley. By rail from Leeds & Bradford, Skipton is on the Airedale Line; Ilkley is on the Wharfedale Line. For all times check www.wymetro.com or www.dalesbus.org or phone 0113 245 7676

Toilets and Refreshments: Grassington, Hebden