Carlton in Coverdale is the base for a walk exploring remote moorland and two lesser known dales. It is a place where traditional outdoor practices prevail and the walker is privileged to watch them in practice.

Start at Carlton in Coverdale. It may not seem so but this is one of the biggest villages in Coverdale, and it has a pub. The road may have been more popular in times past as it linked the northern and southern dales, emerging further the north in Lower Wensleydale.

At the west end of the village, where the road bends sharply left, take the farm lane continuing west. Almost immediately there is a fork, take the right hand one although both end in the same place. The track climbs steeply for 200 metres before returning to its westerly direction. The track continues for one mile before reaching some grouse butts on your right. Keep heading west and leave the wall behind as the footpath continues to climb.

The high land to your left is Harland Hill. To the right is the Heights of Hazelby, more often known as Penhill for its large beacon on the eastern slopes. The track is heading for the col between them. If you decide to climb either choose the Heights of Hazelby where the views are best.

Being a bridleway the route you are on tends to have more history than a footpath (this one was probably a drovers road). For the walker it has gates rather than stiles between fields and it is possible to encounter horses in your way. At the col, pass through a gate and start to descend steeply in to the Walden valley.

Thrupton Gill is the small stream in the deep valley on your right. The Walden valley is a narrow and barely visited valley leading south from West Burton. All there is, is a road to nowhere and good farming land. On meeting the road turn left and head south for one mile. The views improve as the road climbs up the eastern side of the valley. After a sharp left and right take the left fork and start to climb out the Walden valley initially on a farm track. Where the track turns sharply left and soon flattens a footpath carries on over the moors.

Follow the footpath south for a mile until it meets a further farm/track at a wall. Follow the track south and where it splits take the right fork. The left fork is direct to the start but passes through non access land. Cross a stream and the track bends east of south. After meeting some more shooting butts veer left through a gate and leave the main track. This bridlepath path heads east to a further stone wall. Here cross the stile and head down the footpath until it meets High Gill and drops in to the pretty village of Horsehouse.

It is just over two miles back to Carlton along the quiet road. If you would like more off road walking there is an intermittent path running alongside the River Cover on your right. Midway between Horsehouse and Carlton is Gammersgill, another lovely and unspoilt village, as with most of Coverdale hidden away from the busy world.

Fact Box:

Distance: Roughly 10.5 miles.

Height to Climb: 575m (1,890 feet) Start: SE 067846. Park near the pub in Carlton I Coverdale.

Difficulty: Hard due to the moorland walking and associated navigation challenges. The tracks are mainly very good however.

Refreshments: The Foresters Arms in Carlton is the obvious choice, and a good one (opens late Mon/Tue).

Be prepared: The route description and sketch map only provide a guide to the walk. You must take out and be able to read a map (O/S Explorer OL30) and in cloudy/misty conditions a compass. You must also wear the correct clothing and footwear for the outdoors. Whilst every effort is made to provide accurate information, walkers head out at their own risk. Please observe the Countryside Code and park sensibly.

Jonathan runs Where2walk, a walking company based in the Yorkshire Dales:

• He has published 3 books on walks in the Dales; ‘The Yorkshire 3 Peaks’, ‘The Dales 30’ mountains and the New ‘Walks without Stiles’ book.

• All (and more) are available direct from the Where2walk website.

• Book a Navigation Training day in Long Preston (Two Levels: Beginners or ‘Hill Skills’) First Available Date is 17th June. also features 100’s of walks across Yorkshire and beyond, from easy strolls to harder climbs.