The Highway Circular
Walk 13 - An easy circular walk from Garsdale Station taking in some elevated views from The Lady Anne Highway and returning via the Moorcock Inn - a good day out and not too taxing! - 8.5 miles [4 hours] - By car or train from Garsdale Station or Moorcock Inn. Alternatively this walk can be started from the Moorcock Inn in which case the length will be approx 7 miles. Back to Moorcock Walks
From Garsdale Station turn right almost immediately and proceed along the new Pennine Bridleway passing under Dandry Mire Viaduct and emerging at the main road and T junction opposite the Moorcock Inn. Turn left along the Kirkby Stephen Road and then immediately right to follow the bridle way to Ure Force Bridge. Follow the right hand track up to Yore House Farm. Pass through the farm yard and a gate to the left of the farm. Cross a small stream and continue across the rough pasture towards Hawes running parallel to the River Ure and passing through 4 stiles and to the right of Cobble Plantation. After crossing the 4th stile look for a stile midway along the wall and cross to the other side of the wall. This can be easily missed! Continue across two further fields to emerge in the farmyard at Thwaite Bridge Farm.
Immediate out of the farm and on to the old road turn left to climb steeply uphill through the copse. Cross a stile and after the second stile on the crest of the hill now turn left. This is the Highway. Continue along the Highway for 3 miles. The going is very easy apart from 1 dip and the views are good.
There are two opportunities to descend and shorten the walk the first being shortly after the plantation where the new Bridleway cuts in. This will go straight back to Ure Force. The second possibility is the path descending from High Dyke which descends to Blades Farm and then on to Ure Force.
Otherwise if attempting the full walk continue past High Dyke and over a footbridge. Just after there is a large gate. Immediately through the gate look for a small stile in the wall. Crossing the stile the path proceeds steeply downhill and then bearing left runs to the rear of Shaws, the former Garsdale Youth Hostel now closed for some years. Passing the rear wall there is a gate and steps leading down to a footbridge with an idyllic waterfall. The path goes steeply downhill over another footbridge and through a disused farmyard to arrive at Lunds Chapel. Spend a few moments to look around. Bear left at the chapel and over a small hillock. It can be pretty boggy under foot around here. Cross three fields and in the 3rd bear slightly left to the rear of Blades. The path is not distinct but there is a stile at the left hand side of the farm which allows passage around the buildings and then joins the farm track. As the track turns right continue straight on following the Ure to reach Ure Force and back to the Moorcock Inn on the bridleway
If the prospect of a boggy walk across the fields is uninviting an alternative is to cross the River Ure by means of the footbridge and proceed along the track serving Lunds and through a plantation. After 200m or so bear left way from the track through the recently felled plantation and diagonally across two fields. This has the disadvantage of following the main road back to the Moorcock Inn for 1/2 mile or so.
For the return walk to Garsdale Station, on leaving the Moorcock turn right and proceed along the main road towards Sedbergh for a very short while then turning left through a gate to follow the recently opened Pennine Bridleway which proceeds directly to the rear of the station passing under Dandry Mire Viaduct enroute. The station is slightly under a mile from the pub and 30-35 minutes should be allowed for this uphill walk! Remember that southbound trains run from the farthest platform and it is necessary to pass under the road bridge to gain access.
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©John Carey 2010