Yorkshire Dales Walks
Middleham Low Moor
Date: 12th March 2005
Distance: 7 miles
Ascent: 910 feet
Time: 2 hours 35 mins
Start Grid Ref: SE102863
A gentle walk exploring lower Coverdale just west of Middleham and including the trig point on Middleham Low Moor.
Route Summary: Coverham - Caldbergh - Hanghow Pastures - Braithwaite Hall - Hullo Bridge - Midldeham Low Moor - Ashgill - Coverham Lane - Coverham
1. Pen Hill
2. Looking east to the distant snow topped North York Moors
3. Lisa backed by Caldbergh Pasture
4. Braithwaite Hall
5. Lisa on Hullo Bridge
6. The River Cover from Hullo Bridge
7. A glimpse of Middleham Castle
8. Putting the horses through their paces on Middleham Low Moor
9. By the trig point on Middleham Low Moor
Walk Detail: I got a bit stressed out before I'd even set foot out the car as parking on the road near Coverham church was limited to say the least. When I had finally parked up there was the added disappointment of not being able to view the remnants of Coverham Abbey as the landowners had closed access to its meagre remains.
Slightly disheartened we set off up the road to Caldbergh, which other than the pretty Coverham Bridge was pretty dull for the first three quartes of a mile. Once we cleared the trees on our right though the view opened up westward down the length of Coverdale taking in Buckden Pike and Pen Hill, the latter top dominating the entire walk.
From the small hamlet of Caldeburgh we followed a nice path across Caldbergh and then Hanghow Pastures, which gave us some more good views including the snow capped North York Moors far to the east. It was while traversing this path that I saw my first curlews of the year. We finally came off this path near the manor house of Braithwaite Hall.
We crossed over the River Cover at Hullo Bridge, similar to the one at Coverham but in a better position to be photographed. The river itself is really quite pretty in this area and I think Cover Banks warrants further investigation in the future. The climb up to the Middleham road from the bridge was probably the steepest section of the whole walk but was so short it hardly required any effort.
Middleham Low Moor is a famous area for training race horses and the walk along the moor was dominated by the horses, which the jockeys were putting through their paces. It was quite an unusual but nevertheless exhilarating sight.
The trig point on the moor was, in altitude, the lowest that I’d been to up to that point but despite this it still had a good view of the eastern end of Wensleydale including Wensley and Leyburn. The view, like so much of the walk is dominated westwards by Pen Hill. The finest view though was to the southwest where we finally got a view of Little Whernside, Nidd Head and Great Whernside.
The return back to the car was via a number of stables as well as the Forbidden Corner which I should really visit one of these days. Finally we had a quick look at the attractive old church at Coverham. All in all this was quite an attractive little walk with very little energy expended.