Yorkshire Dales Walks
Date: 10th October 2015
Distance: 4.0 miles
Ascent: 430 feet
Time: 1 hour 50 mins
With: On my own
Start Grid Ref: SD877897
A lovely low level walk from Hawes following Gayle Beck upstream to the superb waterfall of Aysgill Force.
Route Summary: Hawes - Gayle - Gayle Beck - Aysgill Force - West Close Barn - Faw Head - West End - Gayle - Hawes.
Photos: Click on the photos below to enlarge.
Walk Detail: After a fairly long, and in places rough, walk up on to Lovely Seat in the morning I arrived back in Hawes about 2pm. With time and energy to do another, shorter walk I set off on this ramble to view Aysgill Force, one of a handful of major Dales waterfalls that I'd not previously visited.
Leaving Hawes from the car parks opposite the Board Inn I took a field path to reach Gayle Lane. Turning left past the Wensleydale Creamery I walked up through the village to the bridge. After a quick look at the small waterfall just upstream I took a colourful flagged path past some houses and on to a lane leading out of the village.
From there I crossed a couple of pastures before gaining the path dropping down towards Gayle Beck. The following half a mile walking upstream above Gayle Beck was quite delightful and culminated in Aysgill Force itself, a lovely waterfall and much higher than I'd expected.
After taking numerous photos of the waterfall I continued on the path upstream passing a couple of footbridges before climbing slightly to reach a track. Turning right on this I began the return to Hawes, the slight elevation of the track giving good views back up Sleddale and across the valley to Wether Fell.
I hadn't gone far when I had one of my oddest encounters whilst out walking. Passing a pasture on my left I heard some odd noises and noticed a trio of piglets snuffling around in some reeds. Carrying on I was just about to pass the open entrance into the pasture when a large sow stepped on to the track directly in front of me. She was as startled as I but instead of darting back into the field it ran up the path ahead before turning to face me.
I've never encountered a pig before and certainly didn't want to get between mother and piglets so I backed away until eventually the pig decided she was safe enough to head back in to her field. Breathing a sigh of relief I was finally able to continue on my way. The rest of the walk was straightforward and rather uneventful by contrast.
Close encounters of the porcine kind notwithstanding this was a smashing little walk and definitely worth the modest effort in order to visit Aysgill Force. It is the kind of walk that is too short for me to make the journey up into Wensleydale to do on its own but as I was staying in Hawes for the weekend it was the perfect opportunity to do it.