Walks Around Addingham

[Books about Addingham]

Walks Around Addingham

One of the best ways to appreciate and learn more about the natural environment is to walk in the countryside. Addingham, like many villages in England, has an extensive network of public footpaths, many of them established in medieval times.

Here is a collection of circular walks, of varying length and difficulty, all starting in the village and going out into the delightful countryside around Addingham, from The Moorside in the south to Bolton Abbey in the north; Ilkley in the east to Counter Hill in the west. All the walks have optional shortcuts so that it’s possible to choose your option to suit your available time and energy level. Using different starting points give even more options.

The walks are described below, with links to full route details in PDF format which can be downloaded and printed off on A4 paper.

They have been published in book form: ‘Walks Around Addingham’ by Don Barrett. In addition to the route directions, the book includes much additional information on the history, natural history and geology of the buildings and landscape to be seen on the walks. See the Books page for details of the book and how to get it. 

Cycling Routes 

See www.addinghamcycleroutes.co.uk for cycle routes starting and ending at The Swan pub.


Following comments from users, I have amended some of the walks and updated details. The amended routes are shown below and will be in future revisions of the book. An insert page to update existing books is available here – 2021 update insert
It has been suggested that the dog-friendliness of the walks would be helpful. Not being a dog owner I cannot comment but please let me have any comments about problems walking with dogs as below.
Please report errors, omissions, criticisms or even praise(!), plus suggestions for improvement, via the Contact Form

Hot weather walks

If the weather is a bit hot and sunny for some of the walks I have put some shady suggestions HERE.

GPS Navigation

Those with a smartphone or tablet may find it useful to use it as an aid to navigation. We use an app called Outdooractive (outdooractive.com, apps are available for IOS and Android).  The free maps included (based on the OpenStreetMap) are actually quite good and show most (though not all) footpaths, but OS maps are available with the ‘Pro’ version. Maps can be used offline if downloaded in advance.
If using your phone, ensure that it is fully charged at the start (GPS uses more power than just the phone) and, preferably, carry a power bank to recharge in the field. Also, carry a paper map and compass as backup.
These routes have been added to the Outdooractive collection  – tap ‘Find a route’ and search for Addingham.

The Countryside Code

Please follow The Countryside Code – in particular, leave no litter, leave gates as you found them and keep dogs on a lead when farm animals are around. Click countryside-code for a copy.

The Walks

Combined Map – This shows all the walks in the book

Ordnance Survey maps reproduced with permission
Copyright 2017 Licence CS 29084-H6Q3K7

Walk 1: Highfield, Lob Wood & Riverside

Start: The Hen Pen Garden, Main Street, Addingham LS29 0NS, SE 077 498.
Alternative Start: Near Bolton Bridge SE 071 525 (see page 6).
Full walk: 4.5 miles (7.2km), height gain 584ft (190m).
Shorter walk: 4 miles (6.4km), height gain 584ft (190m).
OS Maps: Explorer 297 or Landranger 204

This is a fairly easy walk with lots of interesting features along the way, including fine views across to Beamsley Beacon and up Wharfedale to Bolton Abbey and beyond (photograph below), the dramatic (but almost hidden) Lob Wood railway viaduct, the ancient Farfield Friends’ Meeting House, abundant wildlife and a lovely Dales Way river walk to finish. The route description includes an optional shorter link and an alternative start point near Bolton Bridge. You should carry appropriate outdoor clothing. The ground may be muddy in places so good footwear is essential.

Walk 1 route details here: Walk 1 Web

Walk 2: Beamsley Beacon and Bolton Abbey

Start and Finish: The Memorial Hall, Main Street, Addingham, LS29 0LZ, SE 079 497
The shortest walk is about 5½ miles (8.8km)
The medium Walk is about 8¼ miles (13.2km)
The full walk is about 9 miles (14.4km)
Height gain: 1022ft (335m)
OS Maps: Explorer Sheet 297, Landranger Sheet 104

This is a great walk up Addingham’s local hill and on to the ancient ruins of Bolton Priory before a gentle return along the riverside stretch of the Dales Way. Although the full walk is about nine miles and includes the climb up Beamsley Beacon, there are two shorter options detailed, and a number of other possibilities if using other starting points. However, the 360 degree panorama from the top of the Beacon, and the dramatic ruins of Bolton Priory, make the effort well worthwhile.

Walk 2 route details here: Walk 2 Web

Walk 3: Ilkley and back via Nesfield, Middleton & Dales Way

Start & Finish: The Memorial Hall, Addingham Main Street, LS29 0LZ, SE 079 497
Distance – 7¼ miles
Height gain – 360ft (109m)
OS Maps: Explorer Sheet 297 or Landranger Sheet 104

A gentle walk to Ilkley and back, good for hot day as it is mostly shaded and wooded, but nice anytime. Convenient for a diversion into Ilkley for shopping or refreshment but also passes the Riverside pub which has a takeaway food outlet. Ilkley would make an alternative start point.

Walk 3 route details here: Walk 3 Web

Walk 4: Addingham Blue Plaques Trail

Start & Finish: Addingham Memorial Hall, Main Street, Addingham, LS29 0LZ, SE 079 497Full Walk: 7.4 miles
Medium Walk: 4.4 miles (excluding Farfield Meeting House)
Short route: 3.7 miles (excluding Farfield and the Band ’Oil)
Addingham Civic Society and Parish Council have erected twelve blue plaques on buildings around the village to commemorate notable people, buildings or events. These are in addition to two bronze plaques which were erected in the 1990s. Most of the plaques were also supported by the owners of the premises on which they are fixed.
This walk passes all the plaques and the following pages include more information than could be written on the plaques themselves. It also passes many other places of interest in the village and includes two shorter options.
The going is easy, mainly along roads but includes some footpaths where suitable footwear is needed.

Walk 4 route details here: Walk 4 Web

Walk 5: Netherwood House, Heber’s Ghyll and the Moor Edge 

Start & Finish: Memorial Hall, Main Street, Addingham LS29 0LZ, SE 079 497
Full Route: Approx. 6 ½ m (10½ km)
Short route: 4 ¾ m (7½ km)
Height gain: 928ft (282m)
OS Maps: Explorer Sheet 297 or Landranger Sheet 104

Starting from Addingham, the walk climbs in a south-easterly direction up the Addingham Moorside meadows to the edge of Ilkley, crosses the bridges up over the tumbling waters of Heber’s Ghyll, continuing along the breezy edge of the moor for 1½ miles, and then straight back down to the village. A shorter option stays below the edge of the High Moor but still has fine views.
The going is moderate up the Moorside meadows, the climb steeper up Heber’s Ghyll, and then the uphill section along the moor edge is more gentle. The first part downhill is rocky through the millstone quarry, the downhill path through meadows much easier.

Walk 5 route details here: Walk 5 web

Walk 6: Moorside and Millstones

Start & Finish – The Memorial Hall, Main Street, Addingham, LS29 0LZ, SE 079 497.
Full walk – 5 miles (8km), height gain 830ft (272m).
With shortcut A – 4 miles (6.2Km), height gain 672ft (202m).
With shortcut B – 3 miles (4.8Km), height gain 670ft (202m). Ordnance Survey Maps – Explorer 297 or Landranger 104

The full walk is one of the more energetic in this book but the views over Addingham and up Wharfedale, and the sight of the millstone quarry, the Doubler Stones (photograph below), and the many traditional farmhouses, make it well worth the effort. The going is fairly gently uphill across meadows until the Moorside Road is crossed, when it becomes steeper. These often flower-rich upland meadows and heather moorland are valuable habitats for wading birds and echo to the sound of lapwing and curlew from the spring onwards. Please avoid disturbing ground nesting or foraging birds. You should carry appropriate outdoor clothing. The ground may be muddy in places so good footwear is essential.

Walk 6 route details here: Walk 6 Web

Walk 7: Southfield, Marchup and High Laithe

Start & Finish: Addingham Main Street car park by Beckside Close, LS29 0PD, SE 075 498,
Main Walk: about 2¾ miles (4.4km), Height Gain 209ft Shorter Walk: 2 miles (3.2km)OS Maps: Explorer Sheet 297 or Landranger Sheet 104

This is a short walk round the top half of the village which includes the ancient Southfield, the village nature reserve at Marchup Ghyll and the ‘Museum of Gateposts’ at High Laithe. The going is easy, on meadows and public footpaths, though the section alongside the bypass can be muddy when wet and there is a (shallow) ford so good footwear is needed.

Walk 7 route details here: Walk 7 Web

Walk 8: Counter Hill & Round Dykes

Start & Finish: Townhead Trading Estate, Main Street, Addingham LS29 0PD, SE 072499Full walk: 4¾ miles Shorter walk: 3 milesHeight gain (full walk): 575ftOS Maps:Explorer 297 (except for a small section) or Landranger 104

There was a lot of pre-historic activity around Addingham – witness all the enigmatic ‘cup & ring’ stones, and other remains, on Rombald’s Moor – and this walk goes through another ‘hot spot’, on Addingham Low Moor with Tumuli, Enclosures and the striking Round Dykes. The walk starts at Townhead Mill trading estate at the top of Main Street, follows Marchup Beck to the Daniel Palmer Nature Reserve at Marchup Ghyll, continuing along Parson’s Lane up to Addingham Low Moor and then looping back to view Round Dykes and finishing close to Heathness Gill back to the village. There is a shorter variation for those with less time or energy. The going is gently uphill, to begin with, and along tracks, footpaths or across grassy meadows but parts of this walk can get very muddy and it is not recommended in wet weather without suitable footwear and some of the wall stiles can be difficult, especially for those with short legs, unless aided.

Walk 8 route details here: Walk 8 Web


A Short Village Walk: Southfield to Marchup Ghyll

Parish Online ©Contains Ordnance Survey data: Crown copyright and database right 2017

Other Walks
around the Addingham area and The Dales 

Addingham is situated in marvellous walking country whichever way you go. The Dales Way long distance path (from Ilkley to Bowness on Windermere, with extensions east) passes through the edge of the village along the River Wharfe, Rombalds Moor to the south links with Ilkley Moor and Baildon Moor, whereas north is the Yorkshire Dales. (See Nearby Places page)

Silsden Strolls – an excellent collection of walks around our neighbouring village here.

Bradford Council has several self-guided walk leaflets which can be found here.

Lower Wharfedale Ramblers – details on our Clubs page

Walks in the Dales – Walks in Yorkshire and Where2Walk in the Dales

 Wharfedale Wayfarer Walks by  ‘First Bus, Leeds’
These walks all start and finish at convenient bus stops. See Transport page for timetables etc.

1. Chelker Reservoir to Ilkley (81/2 miles) 
From the County Boundary by Chelker Res, take Yorkshire Water track passing the Pump House. Where it divides, ignore the prominent track left and take one straight ahead through a field gate and follow wheel-marks by the left-hand wall. At the far corner, go through the gate, pass a ruin on the left and continue on this track to the farm. Take the second turn right between farm buildings and down a surfaced track to the main road. Cross to a gate and across the field to another gate.

walkmap1Left along the road and first right. Through the gates on the old road, over the bridge and join the new road. Forward and take first road right signed “Beamsley”. Just pass the first house on the left, turn left. At the far edge of the farmyard, take the middle track. Over a stile by the gate onto a woodland path then up the lefthand edge of a field. Halfway along the field bear right onto a flat area closer to the beck. This leads to a wall stile in the field corner with a barn on the left. Beyond it, go left by the beck. Forward through two stiles and into woodland ascending to the hamlet of Deerstones.
Beyond the first house, bear right downslope then turn back-right to the bridge. Up the far bank on a wide track.Through the gate at the top and forward aiming just right of the farm. At the next gate go left to the main farm access lane. Turn right along it to the road. Left on the road verge past the highest point. Where the road turns right, continue ahead on a stoned track for just over 1/2 mile keeping left wherever it forks.

Before the last house, take a path easing leftwards onto the moor edge. Keep near the right-hand wall for 400 yards to a square, inscribed stone.
Turn left on the track to the next wall. Turn right before the wall and follow the track for 1/2 mile. Where the wall leaves the track, continue ahead. Just before the next wall, the track bears left and then turn right at a junction by the wall corner. In 400 yards, at the top of the rise, the track swings right but continue straight ahead through the left-hand of two gates. Continue to a surfaced road.
Straight over the road to the right-hand of two gates. Walk along the left-hand edge of the field, through a gate in the far corner and left onto a farm track. Through a gate and along the lane for 500 yards to another gate. Beyond this, pass two short rows of houses. The lane swings left before two large houses and continues to a surfaced road. Left briefly, then right at the road junction and walk 100 yards along to a stile on the right.
Half-left down the field to another stile 20 yards left of a solitary tree. At the bottom of the first slope in the wood turn right, then left at the fork soon after. At the ‘T’ junction turn right down steps and forward at the bottom. At the next junction go straight across, right at the next fork (signed “Public Footpath, Ilkley”) and down more steps to the road. Cross and go left 25 yards to a stile. Descend the path to playing fields and pass the Swimming Baths. Go over the road beyond, and across football fields to the riverside. Turn right to the bridge and left into Ilkley.

Wharfedale Wayfarer Walk 2:-

2. Addingham to Burley in Wharfedale (10 miles) 
In Addingham main street, take Old Station Way by the Fish Restaurant and Post Office. Go uphill and third right into Southfield Lane. At the far end, continue ahead on a streamside path near the top of Southfield Terrace. Cross the top of one field and into an enclosed section. After a left turn, walk up the side of a field to the by-pass. Cross to the path opposite. Bear right round a clump of bushes to a stile in the dip and follow a track uphill to the farm.

walkmap2Pass farm buildings on your left and straight ahead to the house. Left there across the grass to a stile, half-left across the next small plot to a gate onto the access lane. Turn left and follow the lane to the surfaced road. Straight across into another lane to where the track divides. Forward over the cattle grid and then immediately right up a grassy strip. Follow this to the top of the slope and a small grassy area. Ignore the prominent track right, and go ahead through the stile between gates. Along the side of 2 fields then half-right to pass the right-hand end of a building on to the farm track. Turn right on the track for 350 yards (including one left-hand bend) to the road.
Left, then first right by Slade Farm over a ladderstile, up the field side and through the top gate onto moorland. Follow the track for 150 yards then fork right on to a fainter path heading towards the top corner of the right-hand wall. Level with that corner, cross a sunken track and continue to the hilltop. Turn left and stick to the path on, or very near, the top of this slope for the next 2 miles.

Approaching Ilkley, a small reservoir comes into view. Forward on the path close to the reservoir and continue to a surfaced road. Right to the first bridge over a stream. Left there onto a path at right-angles to the road climbing towards a plantation. As you get nearer, select the path across the bottom side of the trees. Forward along the hillside aiming at the top of the next plantation. Pass this and at a fork in the path, go right gaining height passing above White Wells. Head for the next plantation and near it, bear right on an obvious path going across the top of the trees.
Walk forward rising slowly to a large cairn, slightly left there on a clear path, and over a path junction. At the next crest, Cow & Calf rocks can be seen half-left, but continue forward soon descending to a stream and straight up the opposite bank.This path meets a wide track, bear left along it to a large, isolated roundish boulder. At this boulder go a few yards left to the other side of it and take another path ahead. This goes along the top of a downslope to your left. Stay on it for the next 11/4 miles.

After a section alongside a wall, cross a major stream and straight up the other side. At the top, forward on the obvious path. After 100 yards, fork left to stay near the edge. Follow the path to a point opposite an isolated house and bear left on a grassy track down to the road junction. Right on the road for 50 yards and left on the signed concrete path. Before the gates of “Far Brow” go right and cross the fields to the top of a group of houses. Cross their access lane into a short enclosed path. Along the wallside in the field beyond and pass the side of the farm. Turn left after the buildings onto their access lane and follow it to Burley station. Turn right at the road down to the village.

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