Bainbridge and the Roman Road

This is night No 78/2018 living in my caravan. This is my second night at Hawes C&MC Site in the Yorkshire Dales.

Got up around 0630 to light rain. It had been raining constant all night, but it was easing as I took the dogs around the dog field for a good run around before breakfast.

I was keen to do one of the routes in my guidebook today, 'Bainbridge to Semer Water' which is a cross country way out to a lake, and a return leg by a Roman Road. I was really keen to walk along this Road. I had researched it, and it is a very direct straight route even though it descends along an undulating hillside.

After breakfast, we headed about 4 miles east to the village of Bainbridge. A nice little place, very well preserved with a traditional village green.

I parked next to the green and left a donation for parking in one of the honesty boxes. It pays for the upkeep of the green which is carried out by volunteers.

Crossed the River Bain in the village. A long series of spectacular waterfalls, or as they seem to be known in Yorkshire 'forces'.

We passed through a number of stiles as we gained height. Looking back at Bainbridge.

The 'public footpath' I was on crossed fields, bordered fields, and followed the river on the outward journey. Crossed many stiles and passed through lots of gates. Quite a strenuous walk!

We finally came to the road at Semer Water Bridge, a very old humpback affair.

Semer Water. This is one of only two sizeable natural lakes in the Yorkshire Dales.

We climbed the road, it was a 25% gradient, through the village of Countersett, climbed even more over the ridge of Bainbridge High Pasture, and descended onto the Roman Road.

To the south west, it disappears over the horizon, straight as an arrow. I read that it was also used as the 'turnpike' but in winter it became too hazardous for travellers which led to the modern route of the main A684 at the floor of the valley.

This was a real highlight of this walk. Excellent under foot, bordered by stone walls all well kept, and downhill all the way back.

Joined the road leading back into Bainbridge which follows the old Roman Road in parts. Looking at the OS map, there is the remains of a large Roman Fort just on the outskirts of the village.

Later in the afternoon, I took the dogs along another route in my book. Hardraw Force and Sedbusk. Started by following the Pennine Way over the Haylands Bridge between Hawes and Hardraw. There are miles and miles of really well constructed stone walls.

Looking back along the Pennine Way.

I entered Hardraw then followed a public footpath up a hill towards Simonstone. Looking back down the hill to Hardraw. It is possible to visit the Hardraw Force from the village, but it's a bit of a tourist magnet and the Dragon Inn (who own(?) the waterfall) charge £2.50 to visit it.

The path climbs up to Simonstone where there is a few houses and this very fine hotel.

Beyond the hotel, I had hoped to continue onto Sedbusk, but unfortunately the path went through a field with cows, with calves. That's a no brainer when you've got dogs, so I reversed my track and headed back to Hawes. Still a great day out.


  1. I'm impressed again at your orderly tourist behaviour, donating to honesty boxes (I wonder if Frere Andrew ever did that), controlling the dogs and undertaking recommended walks. Nice one, Iain. Again, looks like a terrific spot - but you still haven't yet reported on the "local scone IQ" yet. By the way, that Dragon Inn is reputed to be the oldest pub in Yorkshire, operating since 1445, so I wouldn't grudge them charging wealthy travelling pensioners, with their pastel coloured trousers and new tighty whities, a small waterfall fee to help them stay afloat.


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