The Ellingstring and Jervaulx Abbey walk in Nidderdale

West from the car park on the A6108 to the village of Ellingstring, then south-west on the Six Dales Trail to Gollinglith Foot. North-west then north across Agra Moor and along the eastern side of the Witton Fell woodlands to East Witton. Further north to meet the River Ure at Cover Bridge, before following the Six Dales Trail alongside the river to Jervaulx Abbey, and finally south-east back to the starting point. A 14-mile walk in Nidderdale.


The best map to use on this walk is the Ordnance Survey map of Northallerton & Thirsk, reference OS Explorer 302, scale 1:25,000. It clearly displays footpaths, rights of way, open access land and vegetation on the ground, making it ideal for walking, running and hiking. The map can be purchased from Amazon in either a standard, paper version or a weatherproof, laminated version, as shown below.

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The village of Ellingstring.


Caravan in Ellingstring Plantation woodlands.


Children’s play area in Ellingstring Plantation woodlands.


Log cabin in Ellingstring Plantation woodlands.


Witton Moor.


View of East Witton in Wensleydale, with Leyburn in the background (left).


The lovely village of East Witton.

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The Old Chapel, East Witton, now a luxury holiday home.


The River Ure in Wensleydale.


The entrance to Jervaulx Hall.


Jervaulx Abbey

A sign in the grounds of the abbey, which features a sketch by Turner, reads as follows:

JMW Turner visited Wensleydale in the summer of 1816 whilst on his tour sketching for ‘A General History of the County of York’ by Thomas Dunham Whitaker.

His journey brought him to the ruins of this Cistercian Abbey founded in 1156. Jervaulx was once one of the busiest and wealthiest of the North Yorkshire abbeys. Its prosperity grew from sheep rearing and breeding horses. The monks here produced and sold a cheese which evolved over the centuries to become today’s world-famous Wensleydale Cheese.

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The Abbey is sited near to the River Ure in a fertile valley, making it an ideal location for the Cistercian monks to settle. Turner would have been impressed with this fine Abbey built in the sweeping valley.

Turner’s view of the Abbey is from the east in Jervaulx Park. The sketch shows the Abbey in the wide valley with smoke rising from the fields, possibly farmers burning stubble for ploughing. Enjoy a short walk on the public footpath through the parkland to where Turner stood and sketched this magnificent ruin.

Jervaulx Abbey is privately owned and relies on contributions made to the honesty box located at the entrance for its upkeep and for future visitors to enjoy its tranquil surroundings. Take time to trace Turner’s footsteps on the Turner Trails throughout Yorkshire.


Sunset in Wensleydale.


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