Walk 6 – Botton Head

Length: 4.5 miles with 800 feet of climb (3.8%)

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Start grid reference SD 655 640
Park in a small lay-by next to the sharp road bend, 300 yards south of Ivah.


Set off along the road, down the 1:8 hill. At the bottom, cross Stairend bridge, then turn left through a gate by a footpath fingerpost. Ignore the direction of both fingers, and aim past a pile of concrete pillars, continuing in the same direction up a steep bank past a thorn tree. At the top of the bank, bear left so that you pass to the right of an isolated oak tree, then continue in this direction, passing 50 yards to the right of a line of mature trees, and then an isolated ash tree. After this, head for the right-hand of two wooden gates ahead, and cross a wall-stile 10 yards to its left. Keep ahead with a fence on your right to a footbridge and stile in the next corner, then continue towards the white house (Lower Thrushgill) ahead, over a stile. Cross a stile into the garden then pass right of the house (follow signs) and out through a gate. Turn right and follow the drive up to a surfaced road.

Turn left along the road, passing though a gate, and then uphill towards Higher Thrushgill, until you reach a footpath fingerpost. Turn left here, down a track to a brick building. When you reach it, ignore the gate ahead, and bear right to go slightly uphill, diagonally across the field to where an old hedge meets a wall. Cross a ditch, then a wall-stile just left of a small tree. Now follow the wall on your right at first, then head for a house (Lower Greenbank) passing through a gate in a double-fenced hedge.

On approaching the house, pass left of the garden fence, ignoring a stile, and follow the hedge/fence on your right down to a wooden gate. After the gate, turn left and follow the fence on your left steeply downhill, bearing left at the bottom to a bridge over Dale Beck. After the bridge, turn right and head uphill, keeping just right of a weed-infested shallow gully, until you can see a house ahead (Dicksons), then head for a gate (to the left of Dicksons barn) which leads onto a track.

Turn left along the track and follow it through the yard of Botton Head farm, after which it becomes a surfaced road. Follow this to Whitray farm.

Just after Whitray, on a right-hand bend, follow a footpath sign through a gate on the left, and follow the wall on your right down to a sleeper bridge. After this, turn left and follow a grassy path which follows the edge of the trees beside the beck. Continue until you see ahead a field barn halfway up the valley side opposite, then head for the barn to reach a green gate. After this head downhill to a footbridge.

Now head steeply uphill through the rushes, keeping right of a gully. When the gradient eases, bear right, so that you keep a small conifer plantation on your left, and then converge with and follow the fence on your left, until you reach a wall-stile. Climb this, then follow the fence on your left, up to Lythe.

Cross a stile, then keep ahead past a barn on the left to a track, then turn left through a gate into Lower Lythe farmyard. Pass the house, go through a gate out of the yard, then another after a small enclosure. Follow the fence on your left down to 2 gates in the field corner. Go through the right-hand gate and follow the wall on your left down to another gate by a ruined barn. Turn right after the gate to pass the ruin on your right, then follow a fence on your right, and then a ruined wall, down to a gateway with a tall waymarked gate-post.

Turn right through the gateway and keep level across the next field to a small gate. After the gate, cross a small stream, then follow the fence on your left, climbing slightly, and then a faint grassy path which leads down to a gate. After this, follow the grassy track to a gate by the barns of Swans farm, then left to a gate leading onto the farm track. Follow the track for 30 yards, then turn right and follow the wall on your right, uphill at first, then gently downhill, through a gap in a ruined wall, until you rejoin the farm track. Turn right along the track, over a cattle grid, and back to your starting point.

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!