Agility needed – but strenuous effort is worth it!

Afternoon tea at the Timble Inn.
Afternoon tea at the Timble Inn.

The walk is strenuous, there are more stiles than gates and many of the stiles are in poor condition, there are also stepping stones. Agility is required but it is worth the effort.

The former footbridge.

The former footbridge.

The Route:

Park in Timble and follow the No Through road behind the Timble Oak, soon the tarmac becomes dirt and eventually into fields.

Over a cattle grid the path forks and there are no way-markers here, take the right hand fork and follow the path towards the farm.

Just before the farm buildings take the metal gate, go through two more gates and turn right onto a poetic ancient road well hung with alder, blackthorn and with may blossom creating confetti below the improbably leaning dry stone walls.

A pretty start.

A pretty start.

Follow this path into a field and down the hill.

You pass magnificent examples of mature sycamore, ash and oak.

When you reach the river turn right, this is the river Washburn, follow the well-marked path over a little bridge into a field, cross the little ditch and follow the footpath keeping the river to your left.

Soon the path goes through some woodland, there is another stream with stepping stones, cross this and turn right and follow the path through a metal gate up the muddy track, across another rivulet, through another metal gate to skirt the edge of a hay meadow.

Soon you reach Dobpark Bridge on the left, but our path goes right, up the broad track.

Follow this up the hill until you meet the surfaced road, turn right into the driveway of Dob Park House Farm.

Before you reach the farm, in the wall behind the conifer hedge on the left is a metal stile, the path goes round behind the farmhouse, there is a positively vertiginous stile here where the land is muchhigher on the far side.

Back on the grass lane after the farm, you can see in the distance the Menwith Hill tracking station.

Soon you will see on the right, on the edge of the trees, remains of Dobpark Lodge, a 17th Century hunting lodge and scheduled Ancient Monument , and Swinsty reservoir behind it.

When the green lane comes to an end cross the huge field, the stile is to the right of the wind turbine, at the end of the trees.

Cross over another stile, turn right down the hill, over the road to a way-marker between a house and a barn.

Follow the track and, at the pair of almost adjacent field gates, take the right hand one, along and over the waymarked stile, through a field of sheep to another way marker and a nicely constructed stone stile.

Cross this and head left diagonally across the hay field, towards a barn.

At the far side of the field cross three stiles and after the third, on the other side of the farm track, the path leads diagonally right across a field to the corner of the stone wall, continue with the dry stone wall on your left into Washburn Farm.

Go through the farmyard, left and onto the farm track, immediately double back to the right into the adjacent farmyard.

Turn sharp left between a range of stores on your left and a barn on your right, along the track with way marked post and bear left, over a stile and along the edge of the field into the valley.

Through a new gate on the far side of the field join a track, keep left through the gate with the way-marker, cross the footbridge.

Head up to the right away from the bog, when you reach the bottom of the hill skirt it on the little terrace and when you reach a dry stone wall, go through it and turn sharp right keep the wall on your right and at the far side of the field the path drops steely down to a dilapidated stile and eventually down to a stream with only the nib ends of a footbridge remaining but a stony bottom provides a route for the intrepid.

On the other side of the little river is another stile and a way-marker pointing diagonally left across the field in front of you.

Follow this to a gate to the left of a huge ash tree beside this gate is an old milk stand, a broad platform on which milk churns would be left for collection.

Through the gate follow the field edge, with the wall on your left through another gate, look ahead and you will see the way onto the next track.

Over the next wall turn right into a very narrow old walled lane and in a few yards turn left onto the lane you set off on and back to Timble.

Now you have a choice – afternoon tea at The Timble Inn or an ice cream at Swinsty!