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Trollers Ghyll Walk

Walk Summary
Distance:About 4½ miles (7k)
Difficulty:Moderate - bit of scrambling in the Ghyll
Start:Lay-by just past Stump Cross Caverns (SE SE 084 634)
Time:four hours or so

This is a great Summer's walk,using one of the old lead mining roads and exploring the wonderful little gorge of Trollers Ghyll. In Summer it's lovely easy walking, but after a downpoar it can be decidedly tricky if not impassable.

Trollers Ghyll This walk is circular and can be done either clockwise or counter-clockwise. It really depends if you want to clamber down the gorge or up it. And there's loads of places to park. To my mind the best is the gravel lay-by just past Stump Cross Caverns as you're heading towards Grassington on the Greenhow to Grassington Road. If you don't want to start here, there's another good parking spot that'll be mentioned later on.

So, starting from the lay-by just beyond Stump Cross, wander a few yards along the road to where you can see a fine broad track angling left across the moors. This is an ancienr road not a footpath so it's unsigned, but totally unmistakeable. Last time I visited, somebody had kindly padlocked the entrance gate so I had to climb over. Presumably this is to stop the ignorant gits in 4x4's who've wrecked so many other ancienr roads in the Dales. While I deplore the padlocking I applaud the sentiment, so hats off to whoever did it. Don't worry about it not being waymarked, it's not only a well known right of way popular with both walkers and mountain bikers it's officially designated access land as well. But don't panic, access land or not, this walk stays on unmistakeable paths all the way.

After climbing the gate the follow the broad track across the moor and up the hill. All around you are the remains of the lead mining industry which dates back to Roman times. There are bell pits (holes in the ground, and adits (almost horizontal tunnels into the hillside). The industry is long gone now, and the remains are obviously dangerous, so tread carefully. If you really want to crawl down some tunnels, you can do, but on Grassington Moor, not here!

At the brow of the hill is a well signposted permissive footpath down to Trollers Ghyll. It doesn't really need to be permissive anymore as this is now access land, but again it's a beautiful broad grassy footpath down to the Ghyll. The footpath ends at another abandoned lead mine, this time with a beautiful example of an adit. Unsurprisingly from here you proceeed straight down the gorge until you come out at t'other end. It can be slippery underfoot so be careful.

At the other end of the gorge you emerge into open country, which passes a ruined dam and comes out at the back of Parcevall Hall. The hall is an outstanding architectural piece, dating back to the Middle Ages, when it was a rest house for the monks of Fountains Abbey while out visiting their vast Granges in this area. In 1928 it was restyled by the architect Sir William Milner, and after that fell back into the clutches of the Church. It's now an Anglican retreat, no doubt to give the poor Bishops a rest from the stress and grief of living in palaces, high dining  and having to cope with the awful uncertainties of chauffeur driven cars. Time for a quick round of disestablishmentarianism methinks.

 You can stop off at the tearoom here for a bite to eat if you want, but if your desire is to look at the gardens that'll set you back five a and a half quid (2007). My Bible knowledge is a bit rusty, but I don't think even the pharisees charged that much to enter the temple garden.

Continue down the very quiet road into Middle Skyreholme  and then at the the village, take the left fork which is marked as a dead end. Do not be fooled, this is the very road we started out on, and once you get to the top of the hill it turns into a moorland track again. After a few hundred yards there's a junction with another road which goes off to the right.  Don't take the right, keep left on the main track and follow it all the way over the moor back to where we started. Incidentally, that junction is an excellent place to park for this walk, especially if there's a few of you as there's tons of room.

Pictures From the Walk

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