THE distinctive, Matterhorn shaped hill (not mountain) of Addleborough lies on the southern edge of the central part of Wensleydale. It draws the eye while driving and few will not have been tempted. It is a relatively short walk but full of interest.

Thornton Rust lies on a back road, accessed from Aysgarth, and is a picture perfect village with its own, small, car park (look for the P).

From here join a walled lane leading south from the village and climbing steadily on to the open moors.

The path is obvious on the ground and being on National Trust land well signposted.

From the lane the path flattens out and after half a mile reaches a stile over the wall. Shortly afterwards is a second stile at the point of a finger sign.

The main bridleway carries on to Semer Water but take the right fork towards the distinctive shape of Addleborough over the stile. This is a permissive path, fine as we are walking on access land.

The path is initially easy to follow but where it arrives at a large stone becomes indistinct and steep.

If in need of a convenient rest take in the views behind, particularly of Penhill Beacon, part of the network of bonfire locations to warn the country of a foreign invasions.

The Spanish, French and Germans were all close at different points in history.

On emerging on the summit views open out in all directions.

Cross the ladder stile directly ahead of you to emerge at a large, robust cairn.

However, this is not the highest point of Addleborough, carry on for a few metres to a marker post and then climb to a jumble of stones marking the highest point.

The cup and ring marks on the rock are supposed to mark an ancient burial site (probably of a Breton chieftain) but what is more certain is the whole plateau was the site of a Roman fort/look out post.

With the views across all of Wensleydale it certainly makes sense.

The water to the west is Semer Water, one of only two natural lakes in the Dales, the other being Malham Tarn.

There is also signs of an old trig point but this was later moved to the west.

The easiest descent is to the west. Meet a fence going north/south. Head south along the line but 50 metres before it turns east hop over the fence and descend steep grassy slopes.

Part way down is the Devils stone, a large boulder used by giants of folk lore to throw at each other.

At the foot of the steep slope head north west across flattish land to meet a farm track which serves as a bridleway.

Follow this back in an easterly direct keeping a stone wall to your left to the small settlement of Cubeck.

The larger village downhill and over the wall is Bainbridge.

From Cubeck take the quiet road east back towards Thornton Rust.

Fact file

Distance: Roughly 5.5 miles

Height to Climb: 250 metres (820 feet).

Start: SD 972888. Small parking area in Thornton Rust.

Difficulty: Medium: Steep climb and steep descent from Addleborough is the only difficulty.

Refreshments: Either the Victorian Arms at Worton or Thornton Rust is midway between the pubs and cafes of Bainbridge and Aysgarth.

Be Prepared: The route description and sketch map only provide a guide to the walk. You must take out and be able to read a map (O/S Explorer OL30) and in cloudy/misty conditions a compass (essential on this walk). You must also wear the correct clothing and footwear for the outdoors. Whilst every effort is made to provide accurate information, walkers head out at their own risk. Please observe the Countryside Code and park sensibly.

Jonathan Smith runs Where2walk, a walking company in the Yorkshire Dales:

•Jonathan has written a book, the “Dales 30” based on the mountains in the Yorkshire Dales.

• Beginners and Intermediate 1 Day Navigation Courses. Courses available throughout the year, check web for dates.

•Offers a Guiding serve for those less confident in the outdoors

To find out more details on any of the above and details of the 100s of walks in the Yorkshire Dales & Moors visit his popular website, https://where2walk.