MY choice this week is the short stroll around Bolton Castle and the Yorkshire Dales village of Redmire.
The castle was built by the first Lord Scrope in 1397.
Bolton was well fortified but great store was placed on comfort.
The place is well worth a long visit and still has the feel of a family home.
The herb garden and a vineyard close to the walls adds to this feel, as does the children’s play area. It is said to have taken 18 years to build and cost £12,000 which was an enormous sum of money
in those days.
The castle has played a prominent role in British history because it was here that Mary Queen of Scots was imprisoned between July 1658 and January 1659.
The village which nestles below the castle is a delight, especially the Norman church which houses a small museum.
The walk starts and ends in the village of Redmire. From East Lancashire head to Settle on the A65, follow the B6479 along to Ribbleford and then the A684 to Hawes and on to Aygarth.
A left turn leads into Redmire where there is street parking.
You should plan this walk for the end of March or early April before the tourist traffic increases.
Take the time to visit Castle Bolton where there is a shop and a cafe. (Tel 01969 623981).
1.From the old Bolton Arms Inn in Redmire turn left along Hargill Lane and ascend to reach an old railway bridge. Pass underneath the bridge and turn left along a wall marked footpath.
2.Cross a bridge over Apedale Beck which is a tiny tributary of the river Ure. In the old days this dale was known as Uredale and only in recent times has it been Wensleydale named after the large
village of Wensley.
Stroll straight forwards and keep in parallel with the embankment. Go right over another footbridge this time across a ditch and pass over a field towards a barn on the left.
In the corner there is a gap in the wall and follow the obvious track through more wall gaps towards Castle Bolton.
A left turn leads to the castle. This is a stunning view and this should not be rushed and the entry fee is well worth it. Although the stroll itself is short the visit should be long.
3.From the castle turn right and descend along a quiet lane which bends gently to the left. Cross an obvious stile and pass between dry stone walls.
A few years ago I once saw a weasel peering out of a crack in the wall but it is always full of interesting flowers and ferns. Now approach the wall gaps negotiated during the outward route. This
leads to the embankment.
4.Cross the embankment and fork to the right leading to a set of stepping stones. Dogs love this stretch as it gives them a chance for a good splash! Children also love to paddle and this is
therefore a smashing walk for all the family.
Cross a meadow and through more wall gaps and swing right on a track passing cottages and leading to Hargill Lane.
5.Turn right and lead back to the starting point.