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,

FROM the popular visit of Hawes in Wensleydale a short walk takes you to the spectacular Hardraw Force waterfall and a return via the village of Appersett.

Home to Wensleydale Cheese, Gay; Mill and the Pennine Way Hawes is a busy market town at the head of Wensleydale.

From the car park at the Wensleydale Heritage Museum join the nearby road heading across the river to Swaledale.

A footpath avoids the traffic on the sometimes busy road for 300m before joining the road over the road bridge.

Immediately afterwards take the signed footpath across the floodplain to the north of the River Ure.

It is three quarters of a mile to Hardraw along a path that can be difficult to follow. Follow the buildings just to the north of west and when you come to a fence there will be a stile.

On entering Hardraw next to the small river turn briefly right and follow the sign to Hardraw Force.

There is small cost to actually visit the waterfall which is paid at a new café/information centre. It is a pleasant place and relaxed, worth a break for a quick coffee and cake.

The short walk to the waterfall is on a well maintained path through the woods.

The waterfall at Hardraw Force is a single drop of 110 feet (30m) which may or may not be the largest in the country. Return to the visitor centre via the path on the far side of the stream.

When you are back on the main road turn right and pass through the village.

On your right just past the bridge a lane marks the route of the Pennine Way and its long four mile climb of Great Shunner Fell.

The road heads west for three quarters of a mile to the main road out of Hawes. From here cross the bridge on your left and join a footpath on the far side of the road. This heads towards the village of Appersett.

It is a small village of only 23 houses, spread out with an open village square to sit in.

The suffix ‘sett’ is only used in places towards the head of Wensleydale – a local custom.

Just over the bridge in to the village is a hard-surfaced lane heading south. Take this and walk for 300m to pass just under the old railway line.

There is some debate as to whether this line may be reopened in the future, it would be an excellent way to attract more tourists without having to encourage more cars in to the area.

Just pass the railway take the footpath on your left leading in to some farmland.

After walking south east for 300m take a left alongside a wall.

Cross through a another field to a small bridge over a stream.

And follow the path back to the main road at the west end of Hawes.

From here the walk through the market town is lovely, plenty to look at and plenty of pubs and cafes to stop in.

Fact File

Distance: Roughly 4.5 miles.

Height to Climb: 45m (150 feet)

Start: SD 870898. Park at the Hawes Countryside Museum, a large car park.

Difficulty: Easy. A straightforward walk with some stiles to cross after Appersett.

Refreshments: Hawes has a large choice of cafes and pubs.

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. 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.