We have been out and about this week exploring some new walks, as well as re-visiting old favourites. Troller’s Gill is a bit of both, as it is a walk I had never done before, but one that Sam has known for years. This walk comes up trumps with a great mix of beautiful Dales scenery, inspiring natural rock formations, and plenty of opportunities for the dogs to jump in water to cool off.
Troller’s Gill itself is a limestone gorge not far from Pateley Bridge in Nidderdale. It is easily accessed via footpaths from just off the B6265 and is popular with local climbers. Park in a lay-by at the start of the walk. The gorge is about half a mile long, and is named after the supposed trolls who were thought to live there, according to local folklore! Keep your eyes peeled and see if you can spot the Barghest, the huge black dog who can turn you to stone with a single look, who folklore also attributes to living in the gorge.
For the majority of the year the gorge is dry, however, in extremely wet weather Skyreholme beck runs over the ground through the middle instead of solely below ground. On these occasions I’d recommend wearing your wellies!
A route similar to the walk that we did is available on the Walking Englishman, although we extended ours a bit so that it was closer to two hours. The footpaths are generally very well surfaced the whole way around, but the gorge itself is very rocky, so sturdy boots are recommended!
We enjoyed a lovely stroll to the gorge and back in beautiful sunshine – we were even able to let the dogs off their leads in areas where there were no sheep. This may have been a mistake, as it took several minutes and a brief but intense disagreement between Sam and I to coax Merry out of the river, as he was having so much fun fishing out rocks (don’t ask!) that he didn’t want to come out! You also pass some old mines on the walk which are tempting for those who love dark enclosed spaces and less so for those who don’t. DON’T go into the mines as they are potentially dangerous.
Dog friendly rating – 4/5. I was expecting to need to keep the dogs on the leads for the whole way round this walk but there was a good mile or two stretch where we were able to let them off. Merry in particular loved Skyreholme beck (pictured) which you follow for about half of the walk. There is a good spot where you first reach the beck that would be ideal for picnics – we sat in the sunshine for ten minutes or so while the dogs played in the water – it was wonderful. Obviously if there are sheep around, keep your dogs on a lead, and don’t let them stray down any mine shafts! But for a lovely gentle afternoon stroll with your dog you can’t go far wrong with this walk.
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