Jonathan Smith runs Where2walk, a walking company in the Yorkshire Dales.

Jonathan has written his own book, the Dales 30 which details the highest mountains in the Dales.

He also runs one-day navigation courses for beginners and intermediates. Join his Learn a Skill, Climb a Hill weekends in the Dales.

To find out more details on any of the above visit his website,

THIS is a short walk though some of the most lovely countryside in Wensleydale. The villages are lovely, the views good with the imposing castle itself always providing the backdrop.

Redmire is an attractive small village with some limited parking spaces just north of the central green. However as an alternative to arriving by car try and arrive on the Wensleydale Railway which finishes in Redmire.

Originally built in the 19th century during the ‘rail building era’ it linked the east coast main line with the Settle to Carlisle railway at Garsdale. Although closed and the tracks removed in the 1950s the Wensleydale Railway was gradually reopened in the 1970s as a boost for tourism. It now terminates in Redmire but there is hope for an extension all the way at some stage in the future.

Walk past the excellent Bolton Arms and 100 metres up the road join a signposted small gunnel on the left.

The path crosses a small stream via a footbridge before heading north west towards the now imposing site of Bolton Castle. The path crosses open fields (well signposted) for nearly half a mile before meeting a second path coming in from the left. Both paths head due north through a gate in to the immaculately presented village of Castle Bolton (confusingly the village surrounding Bolton Castle). On entering the village turn left and walk the 200 metres along the wide avenue towards the castle.

The castle is owned by Lord Bolton, a descendant of the Scrope family who have owned the castle since the 14th century. The castle is wonderfully positioned, with inspiring views across central Wensleydale and the well preserved castle walls make it the most iconic site in the area.

There is a cost to visit the maze and the rough interior but I enjoy simply walking around, trying to gain the best angle for a photo! Amongst other stories the most famous is of Mary Queen of Scots, imprisoned for 6 months although she did have enough freedom to roam the grounds and enjoy the views. However her less happy end was not far away. Visit the church opposite as part of the walk.

Head south on the road heading downhill under the castle walls for half a mile then turn left on to the marginally busier road. After 200 metres a path comes in from the left, this cuts the corner, crosses the river at a second footbridge and enters the village of Redmire at the Bolton Arms pub.

This path offers some great views up to the castle itself, the concave gradient of the land meaning the castle is perched on the hillside.

Fact File:

Distance: Roughly two miles (3km). Height to Climb: 80m (260 feet)

Start: SE 045913. There is limited parking in the village but best to arrive by train. .

Difficulty: Easy. Straightforward and easy to follow throughout. .

Refreshments: The Bolton Arms in Redmire is an excellent, traditional Dales pub.

Be Prepared:

The route description and sketch map only provide a guide to the walk. You must take out and be able to read a map (O/S Explorer OL30) and in cloudy/misty conditions a compass (essential on this walk). You must also wear the correct clothing and footwear for the outdoors. Whilst every effort is made to provide accurate information, walkers head out at their own risk.

Please observe the Countryside Code and park sensibly.