Introduction: This walk takes you through part of the industrial heritage of Burley-in-Wharfedale, including the attractive row of cottages at Iron Row, built about 1800 by the Burley Cotton Mill owners at Greenholme for their workers, then passing the old cotton mill itself. We then proceed along the course of the goit, which powered the mill and now provides hydro-electric power, before crossing the River Wharfe by the stepping stones, alongside the weir which made all the former possible. A walk through the fields brings us to the village of Askwith, where refreshments can be obtained at the Askwith Arms. A further refreshment opportunity arises at the café at Cock Pit Farm (open Thursdays to Sundays all year), after a further short rural ramble which offers good views across and along the Wharfe valley. Finally we stroll to the tiny village of Weston, passing Weston Hall and visiting Weston All Saints Church, both Grade I listed. The church dates from the 11th century with additions in the late 14th century and 1686. There is an unusual grave in the churchyard with rocks on it, one of which has cup and ring markings. Weston Hall is an intriguing jumble of structures, dating from the late 16th/early 17th centuries, though with Tudor origins. It is believed the house has never been on the market and has been passed on only by inheritance. There is a little road walking on the outward and return journeys along the Otley/Askwith road. This can be busy and care is needed. The walk starts at the Roundhouse, in Burley Park.
Start: With your back to the door of the Roundhouse (SE 166464), turn right and drop down to Main Street, opposite the Red Lion pub. Turn right and pass the Queen Hall. Note the prominent memorials to William Forster (1818-1886) and William Fison (1820-1900). Continue past the pedestrian crossing then take the next left turn along Iron Row (SE 167464). The route continues through the old stone gateposts for what was the mill entrance and through the underpass under the A65. Pass the recreation ground and rise gently to Great Pasture Lane and turn left. There are good views on the left here towards Burley Moor. As Great Pasture Lane turns left into Great Pasture (private road), go straight on at the bend to walk along the fenced footpath (SE167468). The path is marked with a small green sign indicating a permissive footpath. Along here, you realise the scale of the Greenholme Mill building on the right. Go through a metal kissing gate and follow the path as it swings left through the trees. It drops down to the corner of the fence marking the Greenholme Mill boundary. Turn left here, following the course of the goit. Pass a large green metal gate on the right. This is the entrance, over the bridge, to private land owned by the West Riding Anglers and the hydro-electric generating plant (the stone building which you might see through the trees) and it marks the spot at which water from the goit flows to it. You will note a marked increase in the speed of the water from here on. Continue along the broad track and after passing some triangular gates, (SE 166474), turn right here to cross the river via stepping stones.
On the north bank, bear left about 45° to a walkers’ gate in the far left corner of the field. Follow the next field along its left hand boundary and through another walkers’ gate. Views of Wharfedale and the Cow and Calf rocks start to open up. Continue your line of travel in a straight line, arriving at the road in Askwith via a narrow walled footpath, reached via a five-bar gate in the left hand corner of the last, largest field. Good views open up along this field towards Rombald’s Moor and Ilkley. Turn left for the Askwith Arms but right to continue the walk. As you leave the village and the road bends to the right, turn left at the small grassy island to follow Hallam Lane (SE 173480). Stay on this lane until it bends left at Hallam Cottage. Branch off to the right of the cottage, following the yellow footpath arrow. Follow the right hand field boundary, along what looks like an old sunken lane. Towards the end of the field, the path curves left to cross a footbridge. Once over it, bear slightly left, again following a yellow arrow, to the diagonally opposite corner of the field. Cross a stone step stile and head right, towards Covey Hall Farm for a few yards only then, at the end of a wall, turn right to follow the left hand side of the wall. At the end of this field, join the access track to the farm and turn right (SE 184482). Follow this track (becoming Moor Lane) for three quarters of a mile. There are lovely views here west along the valley. The lane joins the Otley/Askwith road at Cock Pit Farm (SE 178471).
Turn left then immediately right by a telephone box, down a no-through road, for about a quarter of a mile, to pass Weston Hall and visit the church. Afterwards, return to the Otley/Askwith road and turn left. After half a mile, where the road bends sharply right, branch off left to follow a blue bridleway arrow and fingerpost (SE 174476). The path comes out at a former Quaker meeting house, now a private house (SE 171479). Turn right here then quickly left to pass anti-clockwise round the property, following a yellow footpath arrow. The path emerges into a field. Turn left, initially to follow the left hand boundary but when the boundary retreats to the left, continue in a straight line down to the river. As you near the river, there is a little “valley” which might tempt you but ignore this and keep right to return to the stepping stones. At the far side of the river, turn right to follow the lane (Leatherbank) back to Burley Main Street, then left again back to the start.
Reproduced with permission from 'Yet More Rambles from the Roundhouse', published by Burley in Wharfedale Walkers are Welcome. Leaflets can be purchased from the following Burley businesses: Cohens Chemist, AM / PM convenience store, the Coffee Station, and Dacre Son and Hartley.