This impressive circular walk in the heart of Wharfedale in North Yorkshire, is full of history and ice age formations that won’t leave you disappointed. From the distinctive knoll of Conistone Pie and Capplestone Gate to Conistone Dib, which is a narrow dry gorge created by post glacial floodwater. Add Gurling Through which leads upwards from the village green of Conistone to an area of spectacular limestone scenery where Moss dale caverns lie within Moss dale, and you are in for an interesting and scenic walk.
The famous Kilnsey Crag is close by and dominates the landscape to the west of Conistone. At 51 meters high this limestone cliff is a popular destination for rock climbers all year around.
Neither Kilnsey or Conistone have a shop but Kilnsey does boast having a pub called the Tennants Arms. The nearest village is Grassington which is 3 miles southwards. Kilnsey has a park which is a popular tourist attraction and Consitone has St Mary’s Church which is a grade II listed building dating back to 11th or 12th century.
To start this walk you can either park at Kilnsey Car Park for a fee or you can park on the road which leads to Conistone village by the river Wharfe. Parking is limited so be mindful and especially of the locals. Head over Conistone bridge and walk through the village so the cottages are on your left-hand side until you come to a metal gate. Head through the gate which will take you upwards through a meadow.
Once through the meadow you will come to Gurling Through which was carved from the ice age. Head through it and admire its features which definitely are unique to the area. The passage can be narrow in places and in wet weather it could be tricky under foot. On the other side of Gurling Through it opens up to a V shaped valley covered in limestone rocks towering above. Heading upwards you will eventually come to a dry-stone wall with a stile/gate, head through it and continue upwards until you come to a gorge. Head up through the gorge following the path upwards in a mini type of scramble until you reach Scot Gate Lane.
Head up the lane until it changes to Bycliffe Road and then take the path to the left up Tophams Road (Conistone Turf Road). Where the road turns right, head straight across so the trees are to your right and at the end right again until you end back on Topsham’s Road.
This will lead you up towards Pook O Malt Mine and Capplestone Gate. Once there head north through the disused mines and shake holes and follow the path has it heads south west down Highgate Leys Lane. You will come off the lane to the right for a while has you follow the path downhill before crossing back over and then onto the Dales way.
Follow the way through Swineber Scar and onto Scot Gate lane which will eventually lead you back into the village of Conistone.