THIS walk has primarily been devised to link two World War Two aircrash sites at Windgate Nick and High Crag.
Walkers should be confident they can walk the distance and should be fit enough to contend with the rough moorland terrain and the hills both up and down which make up the majority of the route.
The walk - provided courtesy of Bradford Council - is not suitable for wheelchairs, pushchairs and people with limited mobility.
Step by step
Starting from the turning circle near the bottom of Heber’s Ghyll and looking west along Heber’s Ghyll Drive, ignore the first footpath immediately on your left to take the second path under the trees across the footbridge to the bottom of Heber’s Ghyll. Here, in front of a small stone building, the path divides. Take the path to the right.
After only a short distance the path starts to climb steeply up into the woodland. Look out here for where the path divides again and follow the path off to the right, keeping near to the bottom edge of the woodland.
Eventually the path starts to climb for a second time. Here again look out for where the path divides. Bear right and eventually go through a wide gap through a stone wall.
Go straight ahead the short distance across the grass verge to join a narrow surfaced private road. Bear left along the road passing the entrance to Brackenwood to continue straight ahead through the wide gateway.
Here our route bears left for a short distance until you reach the lamp post by the rear of Briery Wood Farm Cottage. Take the narrow grass track off to the left and up a slight incline to reach a field gate with stile.
Go over the stile and where the footpath divides, bear slightly left across the centre of the field to find a stile through a short length of isolated stone wall.
The path continues straight ahead, crossing the next field to another stile, to the right of a large gateway. Through the stile, it's straight ahead, soon joining several worn paths as you pass behind the trees on your right before crossing a small stream to reach the wall corner.
Continue by following the wall on your left up a slight incline to eventually find a stile hidden from view in the wall corner, four yards to the left of the gate. Over the stile, the path bears right and is easy to follow across the boggy ground to the small gate leading into Hardwick House Farm. Go through the gate and through a second gate into the farmyard, turn left across the farmyard before joining the obvious vehicle tracks. Eventually the track will lead you to a cattle grid at Hardwick Cottage. Continue following the track past the building and through a gate and up a slight incline before reaching a
second gate leading into Crag House Farm. On entering the farm complex turn immediately left to continue following the rough track to a surfaced road.
Continue to follow this quiet country road for 800 yards. Just beyond Lumb Beck Farm, look out on your left for the stile in the wall directly opposite the driveway which leads down to Beck House Farm and Stegg House Farm. Go through the stile and across a small stream before starting a long steep climb up the boardwalks and between the gorse bushes walking as close as possible to the wall.
After 225 yards and just above the last of the gorse bushes look out for the stile through the wall on your left. Climb the stile, turning immediately right to cross a boggy section of path as you continue uphill now with the wall on your right.
After 100 yards, where the wall turns right, our route continues straight ahead uphill to open country. Follow the faint but obvious path leading to a ladder stile over the wall which separates the rough moorland grassland and Addingham Moor.
Over the stile, the path bears to the right and continues uphill in the general direction of the rocky outcrop which can be seen ahead on the skyline above. Take extra care as you need to pick your way carefully over the rock strewn path before eventually walking through a wide gap cut into the hillside to reach the stone cairn on the level open moorland.
Turn right at the cairn to walk in a westerly direction along the ridge of the moorland following the well worn path for 300 yards to find the memorial stone to the crew of the World War Two aircraft which crashed near this location on March 23, 1943.
To continue, turn left down the slight incline away from the moorland ridge to the stile in the wall. Turn left ignoring the stile and passing the gate to walk in an easterly direction with the wall on your right. Follow the grassy strip along the wall side for three-quarters of a mile to the highest part of the walk, the trig point on the top of Addingham High Moor.
On nearing the trig point, the path becomes enclosed, with a squeeze stile at the top where the walls meet. Go through the gap in the wall, turn right to continue uphill still following the wall on your right.
After only a short distance, leave the perimeter path by turning left across the moorland heather on a very well worn path to the trig point. From here continue in a easterly direction by taking the left of the three paths, heading for the ladder stile over the wall ahead.
Over the stile, the path is faint at first but soon becomes more obvious as you walk straight ahead following the contour of Long Ridge End. After only a short distance, you reach two small pits dug into the hillside. Here the faint path drops down the side and along the bottom of the pits and continues straight ahead, soon bearing slightly right and regaining height as you make your way across the level moorland.
Eventually, a path crosses our route by a boulder which partially blocks our way straight ahead. Continue along the level path still walking in a easterly
direction soon crossing a second path. Our route continues straight ahead on the level on a wider path, passing High Crag - an outcrop of rocks - on your left.
From here, it's only a short distance along the path to the memorial stone marking the site where an Halifax Bomber DK 185 crashed on January 31, 1944.
From the memorial stone, continue straight ahead, passing a large stone boundary marker on your left, and head towards the dry stone wall which can be seen in the near distance. Nearing the wall, at the junction with another path, the route bears slightly right and continues straight ahead.
After 300 yards, ignore the gate in the wall and continue along the path a further 200 yards to find a second gate.
Here leave the path, by turning sharp left to walk across the rough grass and heather to a gate. Go through it and follow the faint and steep path down the hillside to the sandstone track which can clearly be seen at the bottom of the hill.
On reaching the track, cross straight ahead and down through bracken to find a metal kissing gate through the wall on your right. Go through the gate where almost immediately the path divides. Take the path bearing slightly to the left walking in the general direction of the reservoir.
The path becomes very rocky before eventually emerging onto the main well-trod path flanked at the top of Heber’s Ghyll. Turn left at the railings to go through the metal kissing gate to start a steep descent through the woodland and via several footbridges to the start point on Heber’s Ghyll Drive.
Start/finish: The turning circle at the bottom of Heber’s Ghyll, on Heber’s Ghyll Drive, Ilkley (GR SE 100473).
Distance: 4¾ miles (7.6km) circular walk
Public transport: Limited Bus service from Ilkley Bus Station to quite near the walk start point. Contact Metroline 0113 2457676 for details.
Car parking: Plenty of room for on street parking (please do not block the turning circle).
Refreshments: Plenty in Ilkley
OS Map: Landranger 104