THIS four and a half mile linear walk takes advantage of a popular DalesBus route.

The Pride of the Dales 72 (Mondays to Saturdays) or Witchway X43 (Sundays, Bank Holidays) from Skipton Bus Station - to enjoy unusual high level views from behind Swinden quarry, before taking tracks and paths through the lovely village of Linton to Grassington. Drivers should park at the National Park Centre in Grassington, take regular 72 or X43 bus to Cracoe Devonshire Arms, then have as much time as they need to walk back to the car.

Step by Step:

Get off your bus in the centre of Cracoe opposite the Devonshire Arms. Walk back along the pavement 350 metres to the road junction for Hetton, but take the stony track, signposted Linton three miles, to your right.

This track goes underneath the former Yorkshire Dales Railway, (closed to passengers since 1930 but still a busy freight railway to Swinden Quarry). About 100 metres beyond the bridge the track turns sharp right, along Swinden Lane. Walk ahead for 400 metres Do not go through the gate ahead, but the gate left (waymarked) following the track slowly and steadily up the hillside. At the next corner turn right again.

At the next gate , your route is through the gate slightly to the left (waymarked) into an open field. Follow the path as it slopes half left uphill, heading towards a stone barn with standing gateposts ahead.

At the barn take a few moments to enjoy panoramic views all around – the great curve of Cracoe and Rylstone Fells to the east, with the finger-like column of Cracoe War Memorial a landmark almost directly opposite; further along the skyline Rylstone Cross is easily distinguishable and to the south a great sweep of hills dominated by the twin peaks of Sharp Haw and Rough Haw to the south. Your way continues in the same direction, heading towards the right-hand side of a line of trees immediately below you. The bridleway follows a ditch into the shallow valley below, where the path swings left through a gate down to a shallow and stony ford across Ellerbeck

Cross at the informal stepping stones - these can be tricky after heavy rain. Bear left along the clear path up the slope, but at the top of the slope take the path which turn sharp right along the edge of the moor towards the gate you see below. You are now walking behind the great artificial crater of Swinden Quarry. Swinden was one of the seven unique limestone Craven Reef Knolls but has now been quarried for its pure limestone, used for a variety of industrial purposes. The hillside behind the quarry has been carefully landscaped with trees. Follow what soon becomes a narrow, raised cycle path along the edge of Linton Moor to reach the gate into Moor Lane. Easy walking now steadily downhill to the busy B6265 road.

Cross with great care, heading up the lane directly opposite, over a low hillock and bridge over the trackbed of the old railway. You join the lane. Walk 200 metres along the lane to Linton with its village green, sparking stream and stone hump back bridge, fine buildings, including almshouses (reputedly build to the designs of Vanbrugh) and a welcoming Fountaine inn.

Your route continues by turning left just before the main road bridge along the narrow enclosed track, Well Lane, following Linton Beck downstream, bending gently to the right. At the fork, keep right, signed Threshfield B6160. Go under the railway bridge ahead to cross a beck at a slab bridge and stile, then up towards a clump of trees by a stile.

Cross the road, and turn right for 20 metres to twin gates into a field path which curves over a low hill and the railway bridge, through gates, to emerge alongside Threshfield’s ancient Grammar School (reputedly haunted by a Fiddler known as Pam), now the village Primary School.

Turn left along the lane for 150 metres to where a gate, right, leads to the riverside path past the weir and newly restored hydroelectric power station. Keep ahead to a tiny stone bridge and stile that leads into the path alongside the site of former Linton Mill. Turn left here to the bridge over spectacular Linton Falls where the River Wharfe cascades over limestone crags formed by the Mid Craven Fault. Follow the enclosed, winding flagged path ahead –locally know as Snake Walk – uphill to where a pedestrian gate left gives access to the car park, bus interchange, toilets and National Park Visitor Centre. Hopefully you will have time to explore this fascinating former lead mine village with its cobbled Square and narrow “folds” or courtyards of cottages and shops, popular Folk Museum, inns and cafes, before returning on DalesBus 72 or X43 to Skipton .