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Ghaistrill's Strid and Grass Woods

Walk Summary
Distance:About 5 miles (8k)
Start: Grassington Visitor Centre or Grassington Square
Time: About 2-3 hours

This  is THE classic walk around Grassington, starting off with the most beautiful stretch of the Wharfe, then progressing through the beautiful Grass Woods and returning home through a wonderful system of field barns. If you start from the visitor centre, do down to the river and head upstream on the near bank until you reach the road bridge - making sure you notice Linton Falls on the way. If you start from the village, head out of the bottom of the square and turn right following the road downhill to the road bridge.
From the road bridge follow the river upstream through the meadow and along the bank. The river here is absolutely stuffed with Trout, and the meadows are once again starting to fill with wildflowers in the Spring and Summer.

picnicking near ghaistrills strid Just before the river bends you come to Ghaistrill's strid, a wonderful area of scoured pools and swirling waters. If the water's low it's an ideal spot for a picnic. At the bend of the river somebody's planted a park bench as a memorial to a drowned youngster. While I understand the sentiment, I have to say it's totally out of place here and a tree would have been far more appropriate.

Continue upstream and you come to  the lower part of Grass Woods. This is again a fantastic place for a picnic, and it's ideal swimming and diving for kids. I should know, I had several great holidays camped on the bank here in the early 70's.  Like most good things, that's not allowed anymore, and I'm sure it won't be long before they ban swimming in the name of Health & Safety.

 Head diagonally up through the woods towards the far corner - it doesn't matter which path you take, they all come out on the road anyway. Once you hit the far corner of the woods you can see the main body of Grass Woods on the other side of the road.  Walk a short way down the road to the end of Grass Woods and go into the wood.

field barns near Grassington Once in Grass Woods, head up the far side till you reach the peak. Keep your eyes peeld and you might see all kinds of wildlife. I've had reports of deer and red squirrels, but I must confess I've never seen either. Don't worry about which track you're on, just keep heading on up until you recah the highest point. This is Fort Gregory an ancient Brigantean settlement. The Brigantes were the indigenous people of much of Yorkshire in Roman times and this was one of the places they unsuccessfully tried to hold out against the might of Rome. Unless you're a trained archaeologist there's nothing to see, but it's a wonderful ancient woodland anyway. 

Form the top continue along the top keeping as much height as you can, until you reach the edge of the woods on the Grassington side. About halfway down this side is a stile and a footpath leading across the fields and into an ancient lane that takes you all the way back to Grassington. There is only one stile and one footpath, and you can see Grassington from the wood, so there's no way you can get lost.

Wander back along the well signed footpath and lane, admiring the lovely field barns as you go, and you enter Grassington at the top of the village next to a delightful little methodist chapel. And that's it, the walk is over.


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Comments (2)
Hi We are about to visit Grassington for the first time just after the Easter weekend. We will try this walk. Thanks very much. It's always good to get info before visiting!
posted by Sue White 15/03/2010 19:24:29
Thanks for the information - that sounds like a nice walk. However, I really think you should keep your views about how other people choose to mark the passing of a loved one to yourself, especially if those feelings could cause offence.
posted by Richard Robson 15/05/2011 01:25:48
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