Last month persuaded me summer had come early. April Fool’s Day fooled us all by bringing back frost!
I was lucky to enjoy this walk in full warm sunshine.
From the A59 road between Skipton and Bolton Abbey look for a roundabout.
Take the left exit on to the B6265, sign-posted Grassington. Continue for six miles and reach a large quarry. Turn right and follow a sign to Linton. There is parking close to the Fountaine Inn.
Start at Linton Green. Look at an impressive obelisk bearing an inscription “A tribute to Linton-in-Craven on being judged first in the News Chronicle loveliest village in the North West in 1949”.
The village is still a delight, the memorial remains in fine fettle, but the Chronicle has long faded into history. On the opposite side of the green is an attractive set of almshouses and its associated chapel known as Fountaine in 1721.
He was a local lad who became a timber merchant in London and made a fortune from the reconstruction of the city following the huge fire of 1666.
At the chapel turn left over an ancient clapper bridge and left again. Pass the 14th century packhorse bridge on the left and approach the road bridge dating to 1890.
Turn right along the road. At a crossroads go straight on following signs for Linton Church and Falls. Descend to the church where there is a pay-and-display car park.
Go straight ahead and past old cottages to church, which serves Linton, Grassington and Threshfield.
It has Norman origins but it is accepted there was a place of Christian worship on the banks of the Wharfe in the 5th century. From the church retrace the route past the car park alongside the road lined with old cottages and old watermills now converted into dwellings.
Turn right through a group of buildings to Linton Falls.
Turn right across a footbridge and then sharp right to follow part of the Dales Way running alongside the river.
Continue straight ahead and reach a substantial suspension bridge which links Hebden on the left with Thorpe on the right. The bridge, restored in recent years, dates to 1885 and was built by William Bell, the Hebden blacksmith.
Cross the bridge and turn left to find a sign to the right indicating the steep path to Thorpe. At the tip of the hill, pause for breath and descend into Thorpe. This hamlet has a triangular-shaped green dominated by a maypole, and no dwelling is more attractive than the 16th-century manor house.
From the village green find an obvious path which sweeps to the right. Ascend to meet a T-junction. Turn left and after nearly a mile find a stone-step stile.
A path leads through deciduous woodland rich in wildlife, especially flowers, typical of limestone.
From April onwards the flower list will be impressive. Once through the wood look out for a ladder stile. Cross this and return to Linton.
THE WALK: Restrictions on space mean this article provides a summary of the route. Anyone who plans to follow it should take a copy of the relevant Ordnance Survey map.
The Map: OS Landranger 98.
Grid Reference: 002 627.
Length of walk: 4 miles