Despite the fact that the TV series All Creatures Great and Small is very much in the past, its memory still haunts this village.

This is a pity because the village is a super place and my stroll is full of fact, fiction and natural history.

Askrigg is one of those large villages which is almost, but not quite, a town. In the old days there was a hill fair and a poem was written about it in 1847: Stallions proud with ribbons prancing.

Joyous fiddling and dancing Issac Horsfield who was there, He made sport for all the fair.

A handsome show of china ware Of much variety was there.

Cheese-cakes plenty might be got, Ginger breed and good tom-rot I’ve tried without success for many years to find out just what Tom Rot was, but it does not sound as if it would be worth eating.

Getting there

From East Lancashire go through Settle and Ribblehead. Take the A684 through Hawes and take a minor road signed from Bainbridge to Askrigg. There is usually plenty of street parking.

The walk

I began near the King’s Arms which in the TV Series passed as the Drover’s Arms. From here turn left and look for a signpost. Follow a steep climb and turn past Hargill House on the left. Follow the footpath through a gap in a wall.

Follow a wall over a field and swing left. Here on the last week of May the sun was shining and I heard the clear sounds of lapwing, curlew and oyster catcher. The path leads between fields and walls leading to a little stream leading towards Newbiggin.

Newbiggin is best described as a mixture of cottages and green fields. After a number of fields through which there are obvious signs look for a barn close to a wall and then through yet more walls and turn right towards the hamlet of Nappa Scar. Here turn right.

Follow the road for just over a quarter of a mile and then swing right out to Nappa Hall, one of the most interesting of buildings. This is not open to the public but there are such excellent views from the footpaths but this does not matter.

Nappa is a fortified manor house based upon two very solid towers with a lower hall between the two. It was built by one James Metcalfe, who paid 100 archers to fight against the French with Henry V at Agincourt in 1415.

Following the defeat of the French the Metcalfes became one of the most prominent families in Yorkshire. In the 16th century they had a private army of 380. The family were not a peaceful lot and often feuded with their neighbours.

Sir Thomas Metcalfe was called the Black Knight. In 1671 he laid siege to Raydale House, close to Semerwater, during a feud and two people were killed.

Leave Nappa on the left and follow an obvious footpath through several fields.

Cross a minor road and turn right parallel to Low Gate. Follow this until Askrigg is apprached.

Turn left here and return to the starting point.