Grassington (Grass Woods, Bastow Woods, and River Wharfe)
North Yorkshire, England
A pleasant walk from the National Park Centre via country roads, fields and woodland, looping back via a long riverside path.
|Est. Time:||2 hrs 20 mins|
|Total Ascent:||614 ft|
|Total Descent:||614 ft|
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Grassington Villahe and National Park Centre.
Grass Woods Nature Reserve and Bastow Woods.
Riverside walk beside the River Wharfe.
From the National Park Centre in Grassington at GR003637 walk out of the entrance and turn left to walk up the road into the town centre. At the four-way junction go straight ahead into Wood Lane. Walk past the Police Station and on out of town and past some fields then turn right into another lane at GR999643. At the next junction, where there is a grassy triangle with a tree in the centre, turn left to join Cove Lane, which quickly deteriorates into a (potentially muddy) farm track passing between dry-stone walls. Go through a gate and continue ahead towards a hill and follow the track as it turns 90 degrees left then go through another gate. Pass a footpath sign and go through a gate then head directly across the field towards a gap in the dry-stone wall opposite. After passing through that gap, head slightly right across the next field towards a stone stile at GR995650, which take you into Grass Wood Nature Reserve and a woodland path leading uphill through the woods. Where the path forks take the right hand fork to keep close to Bastow Wood and continue uphill.
When you reach the four-way crossing of footpaths at GR989655 go straight ahead following the sign to Grass Wood Lane. The path heads downhill then veers sharply left near the end of the woods and, from this point, the route starts to turn back towards Grassington. Come to a gate at GR981657 leading out onto Grass Wood Lane in clear view of the River Wharfe; go through the gate and turn left onto the road. As the road approaches the brow of a hill turn right and go through a metal gate onto a footpath at GR982653. The signpost indicates Grassington Bridge 1.5 miles and Wood Lane 1.5 miles. The two routes run together most of the way back, but your destination is Grassington Bridge.
Follow the path down to walk alongside the river and stay on the path, as close to the river as it allows, all the way down to Grassington Bridge. The riverside path passes through a gate and, later, a ladder stile next to some rapids (opposite Ghaistrill’s Strid), then two stone step-stiles in quick succession; then it goes over another stile and through a gate. At GR993645 the Wood Lane path leads left, away from the riverside; continue ahead along the riverside path. Cross a gated footbridge leading over a side-stream; then Grassington Bridge comes into view ahead. Go through a gate and continue towards the bridge, then follow the path as it veers across the field towards the left hand end of the bridge, where the path leads out onto the road. Go through a gate and turn left onto the road at GR989639.
Back in Grassington, at the junction with Wood Lane and Hebdon Road, follow the main road right and to head back to the National Park Centre.
This is generally a safe and easy walk, but take care of traffic at the start end end of the walk, which routes via public roads and Grasssington town centre. Watch out also for any damage to the riverside path, which is subject to erosion, particularly after heavy rain or flooding.
Grassington Village has a number of shops, restaurants and pubs
The recommended car park is attached to the National Park Centre, which is itself worth a look. The Visitor Centre also has public conveniences.
The paths on this route are generally well defined and easy to follow. But watch out for cross routes, especially through the woodland section. In general, you should be OK if you stay on the broadest path.