This circular walk is about 6km long and can take between 1.5hrs to 2 hours depending on your pace and how many stops you make (or more if you take your cameras with you).
This walk is entirely on the flat with little if no height gain. It is on well prepared paths save for the last 500m or so when it crosses fields.
This short and enjoyable walk which starts in the car park of St Hilda’s Church in Ellerburn (just outside Thornton le Dale) at Grid OS Grid Ref: SE 84122 84185 (or item.outgrown.baths) is about 10 minutes from our self catering holiday cottages at Cliff House. The walk takes you in to the bottom areas of Dalby Forest, where it can get a little busier with walkers and mountain bikers. The walk can also be extended quite easily to take you to the Dalby Forest visitor centre (and coffee and cake!) – but more of that later.
Start from the car park at St Hilda’s Church, note that you have to pay for the use and it may be full/closed – particularly on Sunday’s. Please park considerately. From the car park, head away from the direction you arrived at the car park from (go east), you will very quickly arrive at a fork in the road. Keep following the road round to the right, keeping the fish hatchery and the Thornton Beck on your left. Continue past the old paper mill pond and what looks like some fenced off pit heads. You will walk through fields that usually contain live stock, please keep your dog on a lead at least until you get to the gates at SE 8579 8494. There is a fishing pond on the left – you can go in and explore. If you are a photographer, there are are a number of interesting vignettes around the edges of the fish pond. Back on the main track there’s a side turning on the left a couple of hundred metres along which will take you to a bird watching hide It might also be worth while bringing the binoculars that we provide for each cottage with you on the walk so that you can see some of the wildlife a bit closer up.
Keep on the main path until you get to around SE 8577 8608, here you can carry straight on to Low Dalby and the Dalby Forest Visitor Centre, which will add roughly another 3km on to your walk. Once you get to the visitor centre either double back to this point, or follow the path/trail on the other side of the Dalby Beck. If you don’t want to carry on to the visitor centre, head down the gentle slope towards the Dalby Beck and cross the small footbridge. Once on the other side, turn left – this is you now heading back towards Ellerburn and the start of the walk.
Follow the path and you will come back to the fish hatchery, again on your left hand side and you will rejoin the lane that will take you back to the car park at St Hilda’s Church. Why not stop in Thornton le Dale for cake or sausage rolls from the bakery or delicatessen before returning back to Cliff House for a dip in our indoor heated pool?
For more walks from Cliff House Holiday Cottages, please visit our walks home page.
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