Above Semer Water (approx 5 miles)

Maps: Sheet OL30 Yorkshire Dales - Northern and Central areas.
View Semer Water in a larger map
Start: SD921875. Pay and display car park on shingle beach at north of lake (pay at Low Blean Farm).
Route: Click here to view the route superimposed on GoogleEarth (GoogleEarth must be installed on your computer in order to view - click here to download GoogleEarth).

Semer Water is one of only two natural lakes in the Yorkshire Dales. This walk takes you around the lake, starting quite gently, following clear paths and tracks up to Stalling Busk, then down a lane to Marsett. From Marsett there is a steep climb up a grassy path to the ridge above the lake. It's then downhill to Countersett and along the road back to the car park. If the climb is too much, you can follow the road from Marsett to Countersett, but the views from the ridge do reward the effort of the climb.
More info: Lake Semerwater website;
Wikipedia entry for Semerwater.
Refreshments: pub and tearooms in Bainbridge, or wider choice in Hawes.
Route profile: route profile
The lane continues to run alongside the stream and through a couple of gates until, …
Semer Water Leave the car park and turn right onto the narrow road.

Low Blean Farm After about 400 yards you reach Low Blean Farm (where you should have paid the car park charge and obtained the pay and display ticket).
opposite Low Blean Farm Climb the ladder stile opposite the farm and walk along the clear footpath. A gated stile leads into …
footpath between Low Blean Farm and Stalling Busk … the next field. A stone stile takes you into the next field. The path runs to the right of the field barn (pictured) and over a stone stile. Following this there is a gated stile …
footpath between Low Blean Farm and Stalling Busk … then the wooden stile in this photograph. The path continues …
footpath between Low Blean Farm and Stalling Busk … through this gateway (the large gate looked as though it hadn't been closed for a long time).
Stalling Busk Old Church To the right of the path we explored the ruins of Stalling Busk Old Church.
footpath between Old Church and Stalling Busk After leaving the ruined church, head towards the gate pictured. Once through the gate, we took the left fork (though the right hand path cuts both a corner and a brief climb). Pass through a wooden gate …
footpath between Old Church and Stalling Busk … and follow path by a stone wall on the right. At the top the path is stepped and then leads over a gated stile …
footpath between Old Church and Stalling Busk … to cross a farm track and emerges on a surfaced road by a finger post. Turn right along the road.
Stalling Busk The new church is on your left. Turn right down the track (Busk Lane) that leaves the road at the far corner of the churchyard.
Busk Lane, towards Marsett Follow the track downhill. In places it is quite steep and the stones are slippery when wet. Continue along the lane as it levels out and crosses …
Busk Lane, towards Marsett … a concrete bridge. Continue along the lane …
Busk Lane, towards Marsett At this point the river seems to have burst its bank - route to the left appears to be well used. Follow this narrow path round the back of the tree …
Busk Lane, towards Marsett … until the water runs back into the stream and you can re-join the stony track.
Busk Lane, towards Marsett The track leads to a ford, but follow the path to the left to cross the beck by means of a footbridge.
Busk Lane, towards Marsett
Marsett … you reach the green at Marsett. Walk across the grass, re-joining the road to the right of the telephone box. Turn right along the road and cross Marsett Beck.
leaving Marsett If you wish to avoid the steep climb and shorten the route by over a mile, continue along the road. But to enjoy the magnificent views from the ridge, turn left to follow a stony track signposted for Burterestt and Hawes.
the path leading from Marsett After a little over 200 yards, look out for this metal gate on the right. Climb the stile to the left of it.
the path leading from Marsett The path leads quite steeply up the hillside, over a stile, through this gateway and over another stile by a metal gate.
The last stile! Nearly at the top. When you reach this ladder stile you're nearly at the top!
the path to Countersett Before reaching the highest point, we turned right to follow a grassy path north east. Although it wasn't very clear to start with …
the path to Countersett … it became clearer and lead to …
the path to Countersett … this gateway. The path passed through an area of shakeholes and provided superb views…
the path to Countersett … before starting to descend to the gateway and stile pictured.
the path to Countersett The path winds fairly gently downhill.
the path to Countersett Continue to follow the path through this gate and then a wooden gate…
the path to Countersett … and finally the wooden gate pictured. Then turn right onto a narrow road. Continue to walk along the road, passing a sign saying that you are in Countersett.
Countersett At the road junction pictured turn right and then immediately left, in the direction of Stalling Busk. The road descends steeply to return you to the car park at Semer Water.

Other walks near here:

All text and images ©Graham Dean, October 2013.

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