Hardraw - Cotterdale - High Dike - Appersett - Hardraw

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The magic starts as soon as you drive into Hardraw, a charismatic little hamlet famous for its waterfall. Look for dippers from the bridge and earmark the tea rooms for your return! Take a deep breath for the initial pull up the walled track and onto the moorland of the approach to Shunner Fell. Pass the old quarries and then stride out as you skirt the great hill to descend through still, dark woodland into Cotterdale. The hamlet is a gem; take time to observe the old architecture.

Oystercatchers and curlews will deafen you in early summer. The large block stepping-stones are a treat to navigate; think of the farm workers who used this route on a regular basis. As you climb the side of the damp hill look out for frogs and lizards; we have seen owls in the daytime cruising up and down looking for tasty morsels. We saw a deer once near the top wood as it cantered easily up and over the long moor (wished we had its energy). Cotton grass, in season, bobs and waves on the top of the moor but the track is comfortable and easy to tread. Views down to Mallerstangdale, Mossdale and Garsdale Junction are breathtaking.

Joining Lady Anne's Highway is a relief on a cold, wet and windy day and following the old stone wall gives protection from extreme elements.

The river meadows heading to Appersett are spectacular in early summer, even rivalling the Muker meadows of Swaledale. Ragged-robin, bluebells, cranesbill, buttercups and bugle were all in profusion when we walked it in early June and the colours were stunning. This stretch can be very muddy after rain. You could sprint up the road back to your parked car after crossing the road-bridge at Appersett, but far better to follow our route and arrive back on the lane where you started: who needs tarmac?

England - North England - Yorkshire - Yorkshire Dales - Wensleydale


Ancient Monument, Birds, Butterflies, Cafe, Church, Flowers, Food Shop, Gift Shop, Great Views, Hills or Fells, Moor, National Trust, Pub, River, Tea Shop, Toilets, Waterfall, Wildlife, Woodland
4/26/2013 - Barbara Howcroft

Did this walk 20/4/2013.In fact this was the second time we have done this walk, we got the mileage the first time as 13.5 miles. This was the mileage we got the second time with a different GPS machine. Other than that it is very dog friendly and a good walk. Once you get past 12 mile another 1.5 miles only adds to the enjoyment. Thanks Jeff, Barb, Kath, Paul and Millie the dog.

9/21/2011 - Mike Park

A. On 16/8/11 the woodland track is now fully open, but woodland is largely felled. B. Waymarks 2/3 - "straight ahead Pennine Way, left for Cotterdale" - agreed. But it is the LEFT turn, not the pennine Way, one follows to get to Abbotside Common notice, sink holes and then the woodland. C. Waymark 11. The grouse butt 12 - you must surely keep this on your LEFT, not on your right. It is only by going right that one reaches the bridge and subsequently descends to High Dyke Farm direct. As we found out, in heavy rain and poor visibility, going left leads to very poor ground and a descent onto the Drive much further on than the farm.

5/25/2010 - Adrian Perkins

Our thanks to David Miller for his updates on this walk. May 2010 Adrian (Admin)

5/25/2010 - David Miller

I completed this walk on Tuesday 18th May 2010. It is a fine walk with contrasting views and well worth the effort. The public footpath through the plantation has been closed since March 2010 for tree felling. There is no reasonable alternative offered. I followed the public path without dificulty or hindrance (rather than return to Hardraw). The path should reopen late 2010.

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14.9 Miles