CHRISTMAS OFFER Subscribe to Yorkshire Life today CLICK HERE

Yorkshire Dales walk - Bainbridge

PUBLISHED: 00:00 02 March 2016 | UPDATED: 16:33 14 August 2018

Walkers on Cam High Road

Walkers on Cam High Road

Not Archant

Terry Fletcher takes in some record breakers in the Yorkshire Dales on a walk from beautiful Bainbridge

Semer WaterSemer Water

The Yorkshire Dales are steeped in history and legend and this walk enjoys both, setting off from one of our most beautiful villages to march in the footsteps of the Roman legions before visiting the scene of a cautionary folk tale. For good measure it also takes in the county’s second biggest natural lake before finishing off by following the country’s shortest river.The day starts in Bainbridge, a picturesque community gathered round one of the largest village greens in the Dales. All in all it adds up to quite a day for superlatives.


From the sloping green, take the road which climbs across the top of it signed to Marsett, Semer Water and Countersett. After about half a mile, where the road turns sharply left, carry on straight ahead up the broad track which climbs arrow-straight up the hillside ahead and is signed as a byway to Beggarmans Road.

Dogs get their own routeDogs get their own route

This is part of the Cam High Road and while its uncompromising line bears the signature directness of the Roman road builders it was actually already old even before Caesar’s armies arrived. Its origins are lost in pre-history but it is thought to have been a very early trade route trodden into existence by ancient man.

Carry on climbing steadily up the track for about a mile and half to where it is crossed by a tarmac lane at Four Lane Ends and then press on ahead again for a little over a mile more until signposts on either side of the track mark the crossing of a path from Burtersett to Marsett. Here, turn left through the gated stile on the path to Marsett, which climbs a short hill.

At the top go through a gate and carry on ahead along a shallow valley to reach a four-armed signpost. Carry on ahead and cross the watershed to where Raydale opens up before you with Semer Water down to your left with the flat-topped hill of Addlebrough beyond.

The path winds steeply down the grass slope, making for Marsett below. At the bottom of the hill the path climbs a stile to join a farm access track. Turn left down this to a road and then turn right up this to cross a bridge into Marsett, a tiny hamlet clustered round a small green and still graced with a traditional red telephone box.

Walking in the Yorkshire Dales
Facebook Group · 63 members
Join Group
A place for people who love walking in the Yorkshire Dales. Share your recommendations, routes and photos here.

Once over the bridge, take the left hand fork to a signpost and turn left onto the track signed to Stalling Busk. Initially, the track follows the beck before curling away rightwards. Cross two foot bridges and after the second the path leads slightly left before following the right hand wall and then passing through it at a gate to climb to a barn with another gate beside it. Go through this to begin a gently rising traverse across a series of narrow pastures and a quick succession of gates and stiles aiming down the valley towards Semer Water.

Eventually the path reaches the roofless ruin of the isolated old Stalling Busk Church, which dates from the 18th century and was in use until the early 20th when it was replaced by the new church of St Matthew in the village itself in 1909.

After exploring the ruins, take the continuation path down the valley to pass above the lake to emerge on a tarmac lane by a farm. Turn left downhill to the lake.

Legend says that Yorkshire’s own Atlantis lies beneath the placid waters. An old beggar, or in some versions an angel, came to the city that stood there and begged for food and drink but was turned away from every door until he reached a hovel belonging to an old couple who took him in. The next day he cursed the city and the lake rose to drown all the inhabitants except the couple who helped him.

At the outlet do not cross the bridge but turn right on the path beside the River Bain, at just two and half miles long before it joins the Ure, said to be the shortest named river in England. Take the path down the eastern bank, initially following the river, until after about three quarters of a mile the path angles rightwards up the hillside and the river cuts its way through a steep-sided gorge. Carry on above the water with Wensleydale now ahead.

When the path reaches a road, ignore a stile and instead carry on along a path beside the fence to reach the main valley road. Here turn left into Bainbridge at the end of a delightful day’s walking.


Start/finish: Bainbridge

Distance: 8 miles/13km

Time: 3-4hours

Terrain: Good tracks and field paths

Parking: By village green in Bainbridge

Refreshments: Pubs and cafés in Bainbridge

Map: OS Explorer OL30 Yorkshire Dales Northern and Central


Welcome , please leave your message below.

Optional - JPG files only
Optional - MP3 files only
Optional - 3GP, AVI, MOV, MPG or WMV files

Please log in to leave a comment and share your views with other Yorkshire Life visitors.

We enable people to post comments with the aim of encouraging open debate.

Only people who register and sign up to our terms and conditions can post comments. These terms and conditions explain our house rules and legal guidelines.

Comments are not edited by Yorkshire Life staff prior to publication but may be automatically filtered.

If you have a complaint about a comment please contact us by clicking on the Report This Comment button next to the comment.

Not a member yet?

Register to create your own unique Yorkshire Life account for free.

Signing up is free, quick and easy and offers you the chance to add comments, personalise the site with local information picked just for you, and more.

Sign up now

More from Out & About

Yesterday, 00:00

Depending on wwho you ask, Hebden Bridge is a place for artists, commuters and hippies. Walkers also love this market town for its proximity to some fine West Yorskhire countryside.

Read more
Hebden Bridge
Wednesday, November 7, 2018

Bizarre shapes and many different sizes of rock make this as fascinating for walkers as it is for climbers

Read more
Pateley Bridge
Wednesday, November 7, 2018

We talk to the woman charged with keeping the National Railway Museum on track

Read more
Monday, November 5, 2018

In recent years, Harrogate has suffered from shop closures like any other town. It’s fighting back with various initiatives designed to bring in shoppers, tourists and businesses, reports Tony Greenway

Read more
Friday, November 2, 2018

The time is right to claim the South Pennines as England’s first regional park, say campaigners

Read more
Monday, October 22, 2018

The Yorkshire Dales market town of Settle has much to offer at the turn of the season, as Tony Greenway discovers

Read more
Settle Autumn
Wednesday, October 17, 2018

Is Doncaster soaring in the slipstream of success created by its award-winning airport?

Read more
Doncaster Sheffield
Tuesday, October 16, 2018

Thousands of people come through Ingleton every year to tackle the famous Yorkshire Three Peaks, but there are plenty of other walking options available in the area.

Read more
Thursday, October 11, 2018

Explore an historic North Yorkshire town and its countryside with some guidance from Richard Darn.

Read more
Wednesday, October 10, 2018

A grand upland walk without too much effort

Read more

Topics of Interest

Follow us on Twitter

Like us on Facebook

Subscribe or buy a mag today

subscription ad

Local Business Directory

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy

Property Search