Twelve Apostles Walk, Burley in Wharfedale
By Paul Besley
This beautiful walk is your chance to leave a poem in a postbox hidden on a South Pennine moor…
Start: Burley in Wharfedale Station.
GR: SE 163458.
Distance: 8.7 miles
Total ascent: 368m
SatNav: LS29 7AA
This is a delight of a walk. Enjoy it on a fine summer day, allowing plenty of time to sit and enjoy the views. Burley in Wharfedale is a beautiful Yorkshire market town, full of interesting shops and cafes; good rail and road access make it a superb base for a weekend of walking.
The relaxing ascent up on to the moors gives time for the views to be taken in. The views are wide and far. The Yorkshire Dales can be seen to the north and the edges of the Lake District to the west. Accompanying such views is a wealth of historical interest including hidden wells, rock art with cup and ring markings adorning many gritstone boulders, ancient waymarks and posts showing the passages across the moor and time, and the wonderful Twelve Apostles stone circle – probably one of the best in Yorkshire.
From the stone circle the white golf balls of the RAF Menwith Hill can be seen – a rather ominous part of the landscape. The return journey passes by a unique postbox, specifically for your poems, to be enjoyed by all – including the Poet Laureate Simon Armitage. The Poetry Postbox and Poetry Seat are part of the Stanza Stones poetry trail.
1. Exit Burley in Wharfedale Station by the west platform and turn left into Hag Farm Road. Take the first public footpath on the right, through the gate across fields to woodland. Follow the waymarker signs through the woods and across fields to exit on to a small lane. Turn left and walk to a road junction. Turn right and walk along the road for 60m.
2. Turn left on to the footpath out on to the moor, bearing left at the house boundary wall. Follow the wall south to a tarmac track then keep to the wall line for 500m to reach an overhead powerline.
3. Turn right up to a stony track with a fence to the left. Go north-west passing the Great Skirtful of Stones on the left, then a wooden shooting hut, until reaching a path junction and gritstone outcrop on Burley Moor.
4. Turn left and follow the footpath south-west to Horncliffe Well. Cross the stile and turn right to follow the wall north-west then go through the first gate and continue in the same direction to arrive at a large stone waymarker.
5. Go north along the trail to the Twelve Apostles stone circle, then head north-west along the trail to the Lanshaw Lad.
6. Follow the stone path downhill; just after crossing Backstone Beck turn right to follow the footpath north-east along the western side of the beck to the Poetry Seat on the left. Continue downhill and cross the beck by a group of large boulders in the stream bed.
7. Walk east until you reach the Dales Way; turn right along the trail and walk for 1.1km, noting the Pancake Stone on the right covered in ancient cup and ring marks.
8. Turn left along the waymarked public footpath down to the road and cross to a gate on the other side. Follow the waymarked path across farmland to exit on to a tarmac lane. Turn right and walk along the lane; at a sharp right-hand bend take the footpath straight ahead into fields. Follow the footpath heading east then southeast until you reach an iron gate; go through the gate on to a tarmac lane.
9. Turn right and walk along the lane; bear left just after a recreation field and take the public footpath through trees to emerge on to a road. Turn left and walk along the road then turn right to return to Burley in Wharfedale Station.
Feature taken from ‘Day Walks in the South Pennines’ by Paul Besley, published by Vertebrate Publishing, £11.96