Wether Fell from Marsett.

Start. Marsett.

Route. Marsett - Marsett Bridge - Bella or Knight Close - Cam High Road - Wether Fell - Beggarman's Road - Bardale Head - Low Ash Gill Wood - Marsett Bridge - Marsett.

Notes. Wether Fell rising to the south of Hawes has been on the radar for ages, high ground decorated with a patchwork of fields and jig-saw of dry stone walls, scarred by ancient mine workings and small quarries. Roman legions marched across it's summit on what they called Cam High Road, a safe passage from their fort at Bainbridge (Virosidvm) to Ribblehead then on to Ingleton, high above the forested dales and the beasts that inhabited them, including local tribes who didn't take kindly to being ruled by the might of Rome. This walk ignores Hawes in favour of the ascent from Marsett in Raydale, we sampled a small slice of the 13 mile Cam High Road before descending in the company of Curlew, Lapwing and Oystecatchers, through a wild, lonely unspoiled valley, Bardale.

Marsett can boast a large uncared for village green, ungroomed and rather rough, we parked to the east of the telephone box next to Marsett Beck, no complaints from local residents so I guessed it was ok. Walking back down the road we crossed Marsett Bridge, ignoring the foot-path into Bardale, just round the corner a finger-post directed us up a farm lane, 'Burtersett 2, Hawes 3'. Between dry stone walls we ascended before passing through two gates on our left. We entered the farmyard at Bella or Knight Close, directly to our right a steep grass banking allowed access to a small gate, here we entered cow pastures. Ascending through fields faint paths carried us from wall stile to wall stile, eventually we stepped through a field gate onto Cam High Road, the original surface laid over 2,000 years ago can still be seen, this made for a delightful walk to the head of Sleddale where we stepped onto the tarmac of Beggarman's Road.

The walk over tarmac was short lived as we rounded the corner another finger-post invited us back to Marsett, following a farm track we descended to reach a dry stone wall, the path although faint ran down the left side, descending into Bardale. We followed this through fields, some close cropped by the local sheep population others rather wet and boggy. Losing the path a couple of times we wandered on a compass bearing until reaching Low Ash Gill Wood, this is a conservation area, a delight to ramble through. We soon found ourselves passing Green Head cottage, another hundred yards saw us step onto the tarmac at Marsett Bridge.

view route map.


On the ascent to Bella or Knight Close looking down on Marsett,

Pastures above Marsett.

Semer Water backed by the flat top of Addlebrough.

Looking to the head of Bardale with the slopes of Cock Lake Side to the left.

Cock Lake a strange name for a fell, seen over lonely Bardale.

Viewing Wensleydale's northern skyline with Cam High Road now visible in the foreground to the left.

Hemmed in by the dry stone walls of the Cam High Road looking to Bainbridge, with the moors of Beldon and Carperby dominating the horizon....

....when the Romans trod these hills the walls had yet to be built, the view, Addlebrough and Pen Hill with the North York Moors just visible across a blue/grey horizon.

Pen-y-ghent as seen over Bardale.

Duerley Farm nestles in Sleddale, I'll put my head on the block and say the chisel shaped hill, dark on the horizon is Wild Boar Fell.

Beggarman's Road ascending from Hawes carries today's road traffic over Outershaw Moss to the head of Wharfdale.

Semer Water seen from our descent into Bardale.

Meandering down the valley Bardale Beck in no hurry to deposit it's waters into Semer Water.

This small unnamed waterfall near Low Ash Gill Wood proved to be quite interesting, it marks a change from the grit stone of the high moors to the underlying limestone associated with the dales.

From grit stone to limestone, the beck's about to plunge into a wonderful limestone gorge, totally unexpected, unfortunately we were on the wrong side of the beck to take photo's.

Off our route but always worth a stop Semer Water the largest body of water in the dales, the becks of Cragdale, Raydale and Bardale combine to feed this lovely lake, the two boulders known as the Mermaid Stones are part of the debris left by the retreating glaciers, damming the valley creating the lake, another larger boulder stands nearby, known as the Carlow Stone or Devils Stone, it's said was once used for pagan human sacrifice, but that's another story left for the ascent of Addlebrough?

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