Marsett - Bardale Head - Marsett

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Hawes has it all: coaches queuing to disgorge trippers, suicidal motorcyclists binge-feeding burgers and chips before trying to reach Kirkby Lonsdale in under fifteen minutes (alive – aah, that’s the trick, boys) and on Market Days, local farmers piloting their SWB Land-Rovers, Ifor Williams trailers full to bursting with sheep. And if that’s not enough… Well, actually it is, thank you. Just a short distance along the Bainbridge road there is a turning right running steeply up to Burtersett and on over Burtersett High Pasture into a beautiful little valley – Raydale – that contains Semerwater and allegedly, England’s shortest river, the Bain.

Once you leave Wensleydale and start the descent towards Semerwater, you are in a different world. The three villages of Countersett, Stalling Busk and Marsett between them have no shops, no pubs and just three public telephones (I haven’t counted the horses). Even the RAF generally leaves the place alone, though you occasionally hear jets roaring along Wensleydale 500m above the River Ure, racing the motorcyclists no doubt. Without a car you will have to walk here from Hawes, but that is the beauty of the place.

Driving along the single-track road to Marsett recalls a bygone age of few cars. Park there and start walking along the valley away from your car, away from any road – a whole valley with only a river and footpaths! People talk of an 'air of mystery' surrounding Semerwater. Maybe that is so for some but I feel it is, quite simply, peaceful... and beautiful.

England - North England - Yorkshire - Yorkshire Dales


Great Views
10/09/2007 - Walkingworld Administrator

Thanks Lorraine. We've notched the distance up to 12km now. Chris Stewart.

05/09/2007 - Lorraine Cardwell

A very long 9.50km!! but worth it for the views

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13.1 Miles