This walk is actually Mark Reid’s from “Inn Way to black Sheep pubs of the Yorkshire Dales”, but with a better finish, and making it 6.8 miles, and a leisurely floral delight. Park free at Wensley Bridge and go through the village to use the paths east from here to Leyburn. The first delight is the Old Glebe Meadow, a nature reserve of wild flowers, at SE101897. You will know its position from afar as a flock of Black Headed Gulls will likely be swooping on insects which love the flora here, whereas you will see non on the other sterile fields. There are many common spotted orchids, some bee orchids for the diligent, and some burnt orchids, at present the latter are wired protected from rabbits over by the far hedge. After a leisurely coffee in Leyburn, find the Shawl, a rising limestone edge in wooded surrounds, with glorious views over lower Wensleydale. There are musk mallows here, and much more flora. At the end descend to Preston-under-Scar and then south to pass between Bolton Hall and its outbuildings. The Inn Way directs you back via the Hall Road, but a much more interesting finish is to go over Lords Bridge and back via the riverside path. The book probably goes their way because Lords Bridge is not marked as a path on the OS maps, but as there are no hindrances to passage, and no “Private”, “no access” “trespassers will be prosecuted” signs, or other such that some landowners welcome us to our countryside with (this landowner is obviously a good sort), it is OK. Fifty metres on turn left on the footpath, which leads through a wood, the first part of which is a heartening plantation of youngish oaks, and with more of floral interest.
There are interesting contents in The Holy Trinity Church, and more of interest in the Three Horseshoes, particularly during happy hour, today (Sunday) between 4 and 5pm!
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