Walk 7 – Helks & Lythe

Length: 5.3 miles with 965 feet of climb (3.5%)

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Start grid reference SD 653 648
Park by the roadside in Lowgill village


Starting from the war-memorial/phone-box end of Lowgill, follow the road northwards (Wray direction) until you reach the Methodist Chapel. After the chapel, turn through the second gate on the left (footpath sign). Go straight ahead, and through a wooden gate 40 yards away, then down a stony track. When the track bends left by a wall corner, leave it, bearing slightly right, to head down the field to a small gate in a hedge (ignore the larger waymarked field gate nearby on the right).

Go through the small gate, into a long, narrow field. Walk down this field to a gate and stile at the bottom. Cross the stile, then follow a small path steeply down through the woods to a small gate at the bottom. Cross a field to a large footbridge across the Hindburn river.

After the bridge, head uphill towards an electricity pole, after which continue in the same direction, so that you converge with a fence and woodland on your right. Follow the fence uphill until you come to a wooden gate. Go through, then follow a small level path through bracken to another gate. Climb the stile on its right, then climb up beside the gully ahead. At the top of the gully, turn half-left, and follow a faint old path up to a stream. Cross it, then bear left to pass left of an electricity pole to a gate.

With your back to the gate, turn half-right to cross a tree-lined gully, then continue diagonally up the next field, passing left of the nearest oak tree, to reach a double-stile in a fence. Cross it, then follow the fence on your left up to a gate.

After the gate, turn left, then go through the next gate on the left. Follow the fence on your right till it reaches a corner, then keep straight ahead to a gate. Go through, and across a stream, then keep level across the next field to a fence corner. Just past (left of) the corner you will reach a stile. Cross it, then go round the top of a small valley to a gate. Go through, then follow the fence on your right until it turns right at a corner. Now keep in the same direction as before, with woodland on your left, until you reach a stream.

Turn left immediately before the stream, down a track which leads to a gate. Don’t go through this gate, but instead turn right, and follow the fence on your left to another gate, just after a stream. After the gate, keep level across the next field to join a track, and follow this beside a fence on your left to a wooden gate in the field corner. Go through, then head diagonally downhill to a gate. Keep level across the next field to another gate, then go diagonally downhill to Helks farm.

Pass left of the garden wall corner, then turn half-left, to pass left of nearby trees, after which head steeply downhill beside a gully on your right towards a road below. Bear left before the fence to reach a stile, hidden behind a tree. After the stile, turn right and follow the road up to a junction. Keep left here, past Botton Mill, and continue along the road for nearly ½ mile.

Just after the crest of a hill, turn left at a footpath sign, down the drive to Lower Thrushgill. Pass right of the houses to a gate, then head down the field, aiming 45 degrees to the right of a hillside barn across the valley. This direction will bring you to a fence, with a steep wooded slope beyond. Turn left beside the fence until you find yourself on an old sunken grassy track, then keep following the track, down through the woodland. You will pass an eroded section and a large fallen tree, soon after which the (now less distinct) track bends sharp right. Follow it down to the valley bottom, then follow the bottom edge of the woods on your right to converge with the Hindburn river and reach a footbridge over it.

Bear left to pass between woods on the left and a fenced enclosure on the right, then head uphill with a fence on your left to a stile. Continue uphill with a fence on your left, diverging from it as you near the top of the field and aiming right of a hut to another stile, then keep ahead to a gate, with a wall stile on its right. Bear slightly right to cross a ruined wall by a tall waymarked gatepost. Keep in the same direction as before, with an old fence nearby on your left, up to a ruined barn. Go through the wooden gate just after the barn, then follow the wall on your right uphill to the next gate. Go through, then follow the fence on your right up to Lythe.

Keep ahead through two gates, past a house, and then through another gate onto a track. Turn left towards a house, then left through a gate, and pass left of the barns to a gate leading out into a boggy field. Head across this field towards the electricity pole with two “horns” on top (look for a bank and ditch to the right of the direct line – small path along bank top).

When you reach the pole, you will find a pond. Cross the stream (wooden bridge) just below the pond, then turn right to a stile over the wall beyond. After crossing it, follow the wall on your right in the same direction for over ½ mile, using several gates/stiles, and finally a stile at the corner of a walled and wooded enclosure. After this, follow the wall on your right to a gate leading onto a road.

Turn right up the road to a junction, then left along Craggs Lane until you reach a track on the left leading to Brackenbottom. Go down this, through the gate leading into the property, and past the houses on your left to a waymarked wooden gate. Go through, then follow the wall/fence on your left to a ruined barn. Cross the stile on its right, then follow the wall/fence on your left to a wall stile a little to the right of the next field corner. Cross it, then follow the fence on your left down to a gate, through a farmyard and back to Lowgill.

We hope you’ll enjoy walking this route. We’d like to keep these directions accurate and up-to-date, so please let us know if they need correcting, updating or clarifying. Thank you!