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Middleham Gallops

There are currently 1 comments and 1 photos online for this walk.

Middleham Gallops
Author: DogWalksYorkshire, Published: 27 May 2017 Walk Rating:star1 Middleham Gallops Walking Guide star1 Middleham Gallops Walking Guide star1 Middleham Gallops Walking Guide star1 Middleham Gallops Walking Guide star0 Middleham Gallops Walking Guide
North Yorkshire, Yorkshire Dales
Walk Type: Footpaths and byways
Middleham Gallops
Length: 3 miles,  Difficulty: boot Middleham Gallops Walking Guide boot Middleham Gallops Walking Guide
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8 °C, Partly cloudy, Wind: 11 mph S
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A 3 mile ‘there and back’ walk onto the gallops in Middleham in the Yorkshire Dales, North Yorkshire. This is a breathtakingly beautiful part of Yorkshire and gives you chance to relax, enjoy and take in the views of Middleham Castle, Leyburn Shawl and the surrounding dales. This is not a very structured walk; it’s an opportunity for a little bit of freedom and lots of exercise and fresh air for you and your dog. Once on the moor part of this walk, well-behaved dogs will have the opportunity for some off-the-lead time and you can take as long or as little time as you like here.

The walk is relatively flat and easy-going with only gentle slopes. The route takes in popular footpaths around the castle, green tracks through fields and the gallops area itself is lush and green. You will cross several fields on the way out to (and back from) the gallops and these are likely to be holding a mixture of sheep and horses. You may also see racehorses training on the gallops. There are no standard kissing gates or fence stiles on this walk, but you will need to negotiate several gates and squeeze gaps or squeeze stiles through stone walls – these are narrow (see Gallery for photo) and so may prove challenging for broader people and broader dogs. Public toilets can be found by taking the passageway to the side of the Richard III pub in Market Square. Allow 1.5 hours, or longer if you want to explore further.

From Richmond, take the A6108 through Leyburn and on to Middleham. Alternatively, from the A1, take the A684 Northallerton to Kendal road through Wensleydale to Leyburn, and turn left just after the railway station onto the A6108 to Middleham. The No.159 bus from Richmond to Ripon operated by Dales & District passes through Middleham. The walk starts from the Market Square where there is free parking available. Approximate post code DL8 4PE.

Walk Sections

Start to Castle
Start to Castle

Start point: 54.2852 lat, -1.8057 long
End point: 54.2839 lat, -1.8063 long

The walk begins in Middleham Market Square. You may want to explore the town before or after your walk. Situated in Wensleydale, nestling on the hillside between the River Cover and the River Ure and just two miles from the busy little market town of Leyburn, Middleham has its magnificent castle ruins towering over clusters of old grey stone cottages, fine old Georgian and Victorian houses and its two cobbled market squares. Middleham is noted for three outstanding features – its connection with King Richard the Third, its magnificent castle (King Richard’s childhood home) with the largest keep in the north of England and, in more modern times, its horse-racing industry.

Starting in Market Square, head slightly uphill towards The Dante pub on the left with the Black Bull behind. After passing The Dante, turn left along a cobbled path which runs to the left side of the Castle Keep tearoom. Continue ahead across a quiet road and follow the public footpath sign (next to a stone house on the left) onto a track alongside Middleham Castle – managed by English Heritage and where dogs on leads are welcome.

Castle to Gate Under Tree
Castle to Gate Under Tree

Start point: 54.2839 lat, -1.8063 long
End point: 54.2829 lat, -1.8085 long

Head towards a large metal gate but just before it, look out for a gap in the dry-stone wall on the right. Cross the waymarked stile here with a wooden gate – watching out for the metal bar set within the gap, which dogs will be able slip under or jump over – depending on their size. Beware, horses may be grazing in this field so be ready to put your dog on the lead. Walk diagonally to the right, heading towards the end of a light-coloured building. When we walked this section, there was a white temporary fence marking the way. Pass through a small waymarked metal gate between two posts and head diagonally left and slightly uphill towards some trees. Look for a metal gate in the overhang of the tree on the left.

Gate Under Tree to Wall Squeeze Gap
Gate Under Tree to Wall Squeeze Gap

Start point: 54.2829 lat, -1.8085 long
End point: 54.2821 lat, -1.8135 long

Pass through the metal gate and, keeping the stone wall to the right, continue along the edge of the field towards a small wooden gate in the gap of a dry-stone wall straight ahead. Pass through this gate into the next field and continue uphill, with the wall still to the right. Look for a gap in the dry-stone wall next to a public footpath sign pointing back towards Middleham. Making sure your dog is on the lead; pass through the gap and its wood-and-wire gate to a road.

Wall Squeeze Gap to Turning Point
Wall Squeeze Gap to Turning Point

Start point: 54.2821 lat, -1.8135 long
End point: 54.2812 lat, -1.8325 long

Carefully cross the road and walk a short distance to the left along the other side, towards a wooden gate in the fence. There is a wooden public bridleway sign pointing towards the Middleham Gallops, next to a metal sign detailing the footpaths and bridleways available for use on Middleham Low Moor – and the times of days that racehorses are in training. Pass through the gate and follow the green path diagonally ahead.

Head between the brown ‘gallops’ on the left and a dusty track to the right, and cross the ‘loop’ of the ‘gallop’ – looking for a white plastic marker with a blue top (marking the bridleway). Follow the green path as it gradually rises with the ‘gallop’ to the left. As the white racing fencing ‘rails’ come into view ahead, bear left, cross the ‘gallop’ and head towards more white racing ‘rails’ – now keeping the ‘gallop’ to the right. Pass another blue-topped, white plastic bridleway marker keeping ahead towards the prominent Penhill Scar in the distance. Continue straight ahead, slightly uphill, towards another marker, keeping the ‘gallop’ parallel to the right.

Turning Point to End
Turning Point to End

Start point: 54.2812 lat, -1.8325 long
End point: 54.2854 lat, -1.8057 long

The rest is up to you and your dog! There is plenty of green space for romping around in and having a good time. Stay off the ‘gallop’ itself and keep a look out for horses but stay and wander as much as you wish. When you are finished, return to Middleham by the same route as the outward leg.

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Text and images for this walk are Copyright © 2017 by iFootpath and the author DWY and may not be reproduced without permission.

1 Comments for: "Middleham Gallops"

We’ve just done this walk but you need to amend your directions as the Black Swan has within the last 6 months been renamed The Dante in honour of the horse of that name which was locally owned and trained in Middleham and won the Epsom Derby in 1945.

ADMIN RESPONSE: Many thanks for letting us know, we have updated the guide.

By petermyn on 17 Aug 2018

The information in this guide has been provided in good faith and is intended only as a guide, not a statement of fact. You are advised to check the accuracy of the information provided and should not use this guide for navigational directions nor should you rely on the accuracy of the weather forecast. You are advised to take appropriate clothing, footwear, equipment and navigational materials with you according to the current and possible weather and nature of the terrain. Always follow the country code and follow any additional warnings or instructions that may be available. Some walks may be very strenuous and you are advised to seek medical advice if you have any doubts as to your capability to complete the walk.

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8353_0DWY1495723970 Middleham Gallops Walking Guide Image by: DogWalksYorkshire
Uploaded: 25 May 2017
Squeeze Gap in Stone Wall



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