WE got up early and beat the Bank Holiday traffic to the western dales, seeking a quiet and very colourful walk on the land between Grassington and Malham. The sun shone on Boss Moor and a big owl was floating along the gritstone walls till ushered away by a crow.

We strolled off north-west and descended into a hot valley, getting a preview of the day's terrain of open upland pasture sparsely occupied by farms and an isolated house or two.

At this time of the year you'll see a bright patch on the turf covered-hills two miles away, our target by a roundabout route.

Lainger House 1673 has fancy windows, a beck and sweet bridge. There is no through road hereabouts and with minimal farming machinery to damage the well-maintained track the two mile climb up and along valley side was a smooth and head-up pleasure. No cars, one cyclist and two walkers all day. Verges were packed with plants, the sheep have black faces, black and white oystercatchers were in a meadow.

We reached Bordley which is a dozen stone buildings (one dated 1664), mostly barns, and watched a litter of sheepdog pups instinctively round up a tolerant hen. Then we turned west up Kealcup Hill to 1300ft, our top spot with super views south towards range after range of hills. Sandwiches were consumed and a noon kip taken in a hollow decorated with pure yellow mountain pansies.

A farm here is extraordinary, a huge thing, mostly hidden from a distance bar its fine silage clamp with a thousand tyres.

Adjacent to the agribiz complex, separated by a limestone wall, is the very opposite and the very rare. New House Farm is a 'national treasure', a National Nature Reserve and is National Trust. Its four meadows have escaped modern agriculture and have felt nothing but the scythe for the last 40 years.

After the farm we crossed thin film of tepid stream and dropped right down into the pretty valley. At Bordley Hall a handful of springs bubble up within yards and we soaked our sun hats in the crystal rush.


When in doubt look at the map. Check your position at each point. Keep straight on unless otherwise directed.

1. North along road from parking area, down hill, sharp right-hand bend to walled lane opposite a bridleway track, fieldgate, 200 yards to houses.

2. Bridge by phone box, track uphill (signed Bordley), track swings left after fieldgate, ignore side turns.

3. Stay on track past conifer plantation on left.

4. Fieldgate into Bordley farmyard, 100 yards, left (signpost), 100 yards and pass house/paddock and right opposite 1664 barn, track uphill, 50 yards, fieldgate to track (ignore right turn after 50 yards).

5. Uphill from dip (ignore track on left), track swings left before lane, fieldgate into farmyard and track swings left, pass house, and stay on track (fieldgates/cattlegrids).

6. Through farmyard, 1 o'clock across pasture in front of New House, fieldgate and left (waymark), 150 yards, wooden stile on left, cross stream then right to grassy track uphill, maintain height, wall appears to right, 100 yards.

7. Wooden gate on right by telegraph pole, through meadow (wall to left), right at end, 30 yards, gateway on left, downhill 100 yards to gate at 1 o'clock, cross fields.

8. Right by farmyard to track, fieldgate, ford stream, track for 200 yards then leave it for grassy path by wall to left. Ladderstile, immediately cross stream and gently up/contour (telegraph pole after 100 yards).

9. Gate by copse, ladderstile by stream, ladderstile and left to track.

Fact File

Distance: Six miles.

Time: Three hours.

General Location: South-west Dales.

Start: High point of Boss Moor Lane, by disused quarry. GR 955619.

Right of Way: The complete route is along public rights of way.

Date walked: Saturday, June 1 2002.

Road Route: North of Rylstone on the Bordley only road.

Car Parking: Roadside.

Lavatories: None.

Refreshments: None.

Tourist & Public Transport Information: Grassington TIC 01756 752774.

Map: Based on OS Explorer OL2 Yorkshire Dales southern and western areas.

Terrain: Upland grassland and valley.

Points of interest: New House Farm is on English Nature's web site.

Difficulty: Moderate.

Dogs: Suitable.

Weather Forecast: Evening Press and recorded forecast 0891 500 418

Please observe the Country Code and park sensibly. While every effort is made to provide accurate information, walkers set out at their own risk.

Click here to view a map of the walk

Updated: 11:29 Saturday, June 08, 2002