A fine walk from Hardraw up on to the breezy limestone heights of High Clint before returning via the waterfalls of Shaw Gill and Hardraw Force.
|Parking:||Green Dragon, Hardraw|
|Route:||Download Route [GPX]|
This was the second of three walks that my wife and I did whilst based at the Green Dragon Inn in Hardraw, Wensleydale. After enjoying a super walk in Mossdale and Cotterdale the day before this time we set off directly from the Green Dragon to visit the limestone heights above.
It was a very murky morning so we actually delayed setting off. Instead we spent most of the morning in nearby Hawes and Gayle where we visited the Wensleydale Creamery. Late morning a few isolated patches of sunshine began to break through the gloom so we decided to head out.
"The subsequent walk along the rim of High Clint was simply superb. The only slight shame was that the skies were remaining stubbornly murky."
Leaving Hardraw Force to the end of the walk we set off from Hardraw via a footpath to the right of the pub that seems to pass through someone's backgarden. After a short way we took a thinner path heading to the right. This soon led through a nice strip of woodland and on to a road junction.
Crossing over the road heading for Buttertubs we took Sedbusk Lane opposite. A very narrow, but thankfully very quiet back road, this led us easily into the attractive hamlet of Sedbusk. Passing the green we took a track climbing up out of the village on to the fell side beyond. Called Shutt Lane this led steadily uphill until we took a fainter bridleway signposted on the left.
Passing through Shutt Gate the bridleway then wound its way around the back of High Clint. However, I wanted to walk along the limestone edge itself so we left the bridleway for an easy climb on grass to reach the dramatic cliffs.
The subsequent walk along the rim of High Clint was simply superb. The only slight shame was that the skies were remaining stubbornly murky. That said we could still see the outlines of the nearby hills and patches of sunshine were trying to brighten things up in the valley below.
After stopping for a while at a pair of prominent cairns we moved back away from the faltering edge to gain a track. Turning left on this we followed it north-west a short way before taking a fork to the left. This wound its way down to meet the road.
Turning left down the road we now had a trio of options. The most direct route would have been to continue down the road to High Shaw. Another option was a path on the right dropping down through pastures to reach the top of Shaw Gill. Instead we took a path on the left. This was primarily so that I could visit a prominent collection of cairns up to our left.
To reach these we took a thin path to a gate. Carrying on for another thirty metres, to avoid steeper ground, I then doubled back up to the left. It was a worthwhile diversion and one that brought back some happy memories from the first and last time I'd visited these cairns 13 years ago.
Returning back to the path I arrived at a lower set of cairns, where Lisa was waiting for me. Not seen until you are actually stood by the cairns are a couple of old mine levels that run below the path. Heading east along this old track we passed through more mine workings until reaching a thin path slanting down to the right. Cutting across a couple of fields to Low Shaw we were soon back on the road.
Again the quickest route back would have been to cross the road to take the path direct to Hardraw. Instead we walked briefly along the road to the right to gain a path dropping down into Shaw Gill. The following loop in Shaw Gill was quite beautiful and included a trio of modest but attractive waterfalls.
Returning back to the road it was then a simple case of returning to Hardraw and the final highlight of the day - a visit to Hardraw Force. A small charge is required to visit the waterfall. It is worth it though as the 100ft single drop is quite spectacular.
The murky weather earlier in the day almost put me off doing this walk. I'm glad it didn't as the combination of the limestone heights of High Clint and the waterfalls of Shaw Gill make for a fine walk. One day though I'd like to visit High Clint when the sun is properly out and visibility is excellent.