Aysgarth Falls & Castle Bolton.
Distance: 7½ miles / 12 kilometers
Time: 3 hours 30 minutes
Map: OS Explorer OL30 - Yorkshire Dales, Northern & Central areas
The actual walk takes about 3 hours or so. However, it really needs a full day to fully enjoy the highlights of the falls, the features & events at the castle and the pastureland over West Bolton and parkland should not be rushed unless the weather turns sour. With a visit to the Aysgarth Falls National Park Visitor Centre either durinsg the start of the walk or at the end.
The walk starts at the car park of the Aysgarth Falls Cafe Bar car park, into the grounds of St Andrew's Church and then through St Joseph's Wood and on to the triple stepped Aysgarth Falls (High Force, Middle Force and Lower Force), a well known beauty spot which was used for the fight scene between Robin Hood and Little John in the feature film Robin Hood Prince of Thieves starring Kevin Costner.
After visiting the falls the walk continues over moorland past Hollins House, on to High Thoresby before reaching Castle Bolton & tea room. The medieval castle was built in 1378-1395 by Sir Richard le Scrope who was Lord Chancellor in the reign of Richard II. Mary Queen of Scotts was imprisoned here in 1568. St Oswald's Church at Castle Bolton also dates back to the 14th Century and was restored in 1853.
From the castle head west along the path which runs adjacent to the car park before heading across open moorland along a clearly defined path that tracks south down into Carperby. After stopping for a wee breather at the Wheatsheath for a pint or two, head across the fields back to Freeolder's Wood and back to the start. A very interesting and pleasant easy going walk.