Yorkshire’s three most important lanes are Kirkstall Lane at Headingley, Bramall Lane at Sheffield and Mastiles Lane in t’dales. Sporting links to cricket, football, rugby and rambling bring the three together in this short tribute focused on Mastiles Lane.
If you are feeling the need to stretch your legs there is a great walk down one of our ‘green lanes’. From Raikes Road heading north east from Malham (birth place of the water babies) go for 3 miles to Streetgate which then leads you on to the fine walk along the lane. Mastiles Lane runs from the field gate here for 5 miles to Kilnsey (of Crag Fame) on the B6160 in Wharfedale.
Do not let the walls on either side of the lane put you off, the views are still stunning and you may appreciate the shelter of the dry stone walls if a squall blows up.
Roman marching camp sign
What did the Romans ever do for Yorkshire? Well they knew a good thing when they saw it and Mastiles Lane was obviously a good thing. On a still clear day you can still hear the echo of the Roman soldiers boots as they march along the limestone clints and cobbles which form the harder road surface. At night you may even see the ghost of an old soldier
The remains of two Medieval monastic crosses that once marked the way to Fountains Abbey survive along the lane. Much of the surrounding land was owned by the monks who had a monastic grange at Kilnsey and sheep pastures on Malham Moor.
Monks, pack horses and animals have given way to mountain bikers and even more damaging vehicles. Mastiles Lane is not a ‘Boat’ (Byway open to all traffic) and traffic is banned. Long may it remain so.
Read more about Yorkshire byways open to all traffic on the ‘Green Lanes of Yorkshire with Boats.’
‘Starting from the Yorkshire Dales national car park at Grassington BD23 5LQ.
23 miles starts by climbing up onto the moors and Mastiles Lane, over towards Malham Tarn before looping back around to Kilnsey. Climb back up to finish on the first climb. Route total 2600ft of climbing.’
Malham is a tourist hot spot and offers all that is good about the dales.
Limestone scenery abounds with Gordale Scar a centre piece.
Malham tarn has many water fowl and is a bird watching paradice.
At the top of Malham Cove is a limestone pavement used in the filming of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows
Many people drive past Kilnsey without giving it a thought.
The Crag is a significant climbing challenge with a massive overhang.
As cars can’t park near the crag many people miss taking in the surrounding scenery.
Kilnsey show is demonstrates typical Yorkshire traits with dry stone walling, equestrian events, fell races and harness racing.
Credits – ‘2000 years old and still going strong – the old Mastiles Lane’
Mastiles Lane to Kilnsey. and Roman marching camp sign by nksheridan CC BY-NC-ND 2.0
Grassington and elevation data by aliweb_gt CC BY-NC 2.0