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Here you can read a personal account of the route for this stage, together with route maps centred around the start and end points, and information on transport connections, pubs, accommodation and camp sites. You can see a photo gallery, browse through the walk stages, and you can use Google search to look up the start and end points of your day's walking. GPX files for your sat nav are available for download, but please don't blame me if you get lost following them!

From: Fox and Hounds, West BurtonTo: Middleham (alternative via Middleham Gallops)8.6 miles13.8 km229m ascent265m descent
ThumbnailOn arriving at West Burton, you've tackled most of the Yorkshire Dales since Malham, with steep climbs in the Three Peaks and wild pathless terrain on Mallerstang Edge. When you look at the route from here to Healey on your map and on Google Earth, you may prefer a lower level alternative, especially in bad weather. Make no mistake, the 25 mile 2 day walk through bogs and groughs on the main route from West Burton will challenge the fittest walker, and it involves a wild camp or a significant loss of height at the end of the first day. So here's your pretty alternative, which rejoins the main route at Masham. From the village green, leave the village to the north-east on the road, then turn right past Flanders Hall to join Morpeth Gate, a good bridle track climbing steeply up under Morpeth Scar and (further up) Dove Scar. It's only a short climb, and the path eventually swings round to the east and contours the hill. It's easy walking although the ground is rather stony underfoot. There are magnificent views of Lower Wensleydale and across to Castle Bolton and the high moors separating Wensleydale and Swaledale, which we traversed yesterday. If you're thirsty after about 3 miles, you can descend to West Witton where there are several pubs and shops, but you'll have to regain the height later. Our track continues on until we meet a minor road, which we follow east past Penhill Farm on Middleham High Moor. Eventually we leave the Dales and enter Middleham Gallops, where some of the finest racehorses in England are put through their paces. You're almost certain to see these magnificent animals, but keep to the public paths so you don't get trampled underfoot. Keep on endlessly through the gallops, slightly downhill, until we eventually emerge at a road just outside Middleham. Cross the road and follow the path to the south of the village, so you can have a look at the impressive Middleham Castle. There's plenty of accommodation and refreshment options in Middleham, but my favourite is the Richard III Hotel where the helpful landlady Sharon and her lovely staff will look after you for the night. You will be woken in the morning by racehorses clip-clopping through the village, so get an early night. After a few beers, of course.
Bus LogoWest Burton: West Witton: MiddlehamBeer LogoFox and Hounds, West Witton (off route): Richard III, White Swan, Black Bull, Dante Arms, Middleham
Train LogoNoneBed LogoRichard III, White Swan, Middleham
Car LogoWest Burton: West Witton: Spigot Lodge: MiddlehamTent Logo
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