THERE are some glorious views of Wensleydale if you get above the valley floor and this short walk from Hawes ensures the views are ‘got’ with the least effort.

From Hawes walk to the west end of the town and turn south along a road which passes the Wensleydale Creamery centre. Carry on past Gayle Mill and into Gayle itself.

The mill, which is not presently open to the public, generated electricity for a small corner of Hawes 100 years ago and is a working saw mill, driven by the powerful water descending from the slopes of Wether Fell.

Where the road meets a T-junction, turn left over the bridge and then immediately right, over a stile and on to a sloping field.

Aim for the far corner of the field where there is another stile leading in to a further field, climbing gradually.

There is some excellent fly fishing available at Blackburn Farm to your left.

The path continues south east, crossing two more stiles before turning more in an easterly direction and contouring the hillside… any climbing is now done.

Walking through the fields on the good paths is an excellent place to enjoy the views down Wensleydale.

The winter light accentuates the soft valley sides, isolated farm buildings, barns and intermittent copses of woodland.

They combine to give Wensleydale the gentler image than that of its neighbours (Swaledale and Wharfedale) but it is none the worse for it. Just different.

Soon the paths turn in to a lane, Shaws Lane, on the approach to the lovely village of Burtersett.

The village has a long and distinguished history (fully detailed on Wikipedia!) going back to the Norman Conquest but I was most intrigued to find that Everest’s conquerer, St Edmund Hillary, descendants came from nearby Hillary Hall.

More disappointing is the closure of the pub (Shoulder of Mutton) although the sign still survives. Still it is an attractive village and well worth pottering around for a while.

Return via the fields directly west of Burtersett. You will find the first stile signposted in the centre of the village and from there the path goes initially down hill before joining a path from the right and heading due west.

A number of fields are crossed but the views ahead over Hawes and in to Upper Wensleydale are once again excellent.

After crossing through a small campsite (and country park) at Bainbridge Ings the path meets a quiet road which leads back in to Gayle.

After the bridge turn right past the mill and back to the Wensleydale Creamery.

Here there is a shop and café as well as an excellent tour of the cheese making process.

Cheese making here actually dates back to 1150 when Cistercian Monks first settled the area. It makes an interesting end to a fine, but short, walk.

Fact file

Distance: Roughly 4.5 miles.

Height to Climb: 100 metres (320 feet).

Start: SD 875899. There is a public car park at the Countryside Museum in Hawes.

Difficulty: Easy. Mainly paths in fields with stiles.

Refreshments: I suggest the Wensleydale Creamery but there is plenty of other choices in Hawes.

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. While every effort is made to provide accurate information, walkers head out at their own risk.

Please observe the Countryside Code and park sensibly.

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

•Jonathan has written a book, the “Dales 30” which describes the highest mountains in the Dales

•1 or 2 Day Navigation Courses for Beginners and Intermediates. 2019 dates now available.

•Offers a Guiding serve for those less confident in the outdoors

To find out more details on any of the above and details of the 100s of walks in the Yorkshire Dales & Moors visit his popular website, https://where2walk.