On Addlebrough

Addlebrough & Water Ling Force

Walk Summary

A climb on to the top of Addlebrough from Bainbridge via Brough Scar before visiting a couple of fine waterfalls and returning via Carpley Green Road.

Distance: 7.90 miles
Total ascent: 1255ft
Walk Rating: ****
Parking: Roadside parking in Bainbridge
Route: Download Route [GPX]

Photo Gallery

Walk Report

It had been almost ten years since I'd last set foot on Addlebrough. Although of fairly modest height there is no doubt that Addlebrough is one of the stand out hills in Wensleydale and I'd been meaning to go back for some time. As I was staying in Bainbridge for a weeks family holiday it was very conveniently placed for a long overdue return.

As was the case for most of the week the weather in the afternoon was a huge improvement on the morning. On this occasion it had snowed on our way to White Scar Cave and heaved it down with rain on the way back. Finally at about 2.30pm the skies started clear and I deemed it time to set off.

"I had little difficulty in reaching Addlebrough even if the final steep grassy slopes did have me catching my breath a bit."

Leaving the cottage we were staying in I walked down to the bridge that gives Bainbridge its name and had another attempt to take some photos of the lovely cascades just upstream. From the bridge I crossed the road and took the path climbing up the sides of Brough Hill, once the site of the Roman fort of Virosidum. Signs telling people to stick to the path suggest that the landowner is not keen on people pottering around the foundations of the fort.

Crossing the A684 I next took a path crossing a couple of pastures before slanting up on to the tree covered Brough Scar. There following a fine half mile section above the limestone scar before cutting across a few more fields to the small hamlet of Cubeck. From Cubeck I then took the quiet road above Worton Scar leading to Thornton Rust.

My original plan had been to approach Addlebrough from the bridleway leaving Thornton Rust but as I passed Scar Top Farm I noticed a permissive footpath sign for Addlebrough. Not marked on the map I was intrigued where this permissive path would lead so decided to take that instead. As it happened I didn't stay on the permissive path for long as it wasn't signed at all in the next pasture. Taking what I thought looked the most likely route it wasn't until I was on Thornton Rust Moor that I spotted the correct path on the other side of a wall and stream.

Regardless I had little difficulty in reaching Addlebrough even if the final steep grassy slopes did have me catching my breath a bit. After passing what I believe to be the re-sited remains of the former trig point I visited the summit of Addlebrough before walking west above the rim of limestone cliffs surrounding Addlebrough's summit plateau.

Turning south I descended through a gap in the crags to the obvious remains of a former settlement and then onwards to meet the bridleway leading to Carpley Green. At this point, instead of turning right to follow the Carpley Green Road back to Bainbridge, I first wanted to make a couple of detours to visit some nearby waterfalls.

The first of these, Water Ling Force was a lovely waterfall situated on access land to the south of Carpley Green. A brief flurry of snow coincided with my arrival at the waterfall so I hunkered down to wait for it to pass before getting my camera out.

The other waterfall I wanted to visit, Burnet Force, is on private land. Fortunately I happened to pass the farmer at Carpley Green and he was happy to give me permission to visit Burnet Force. It is a shame this waterfall is on private land because it is an absolute cracker. Certainly if it was on a public right of way with a nearby car park it would be very well known indeed.

Having taken plenty of photos I walked back up to Carpley Green Road and, turning left, followed it all the way back to Bainbridge. Throughout the descent there were fine views west towards Raydale and Semerwater. Finally, as the road dropped more steeply towards Bainbridge there was a good view of the outline of the Roman fort on Brough Hill.