Conistone Dib

13 03 2012

A quick post about a pleasant short walk of around 4 miles in Wharfedale, North Yorkshire.

This walk in the Dales is so pleasant and easy, even my brother will do it – and my brother is no lover of walking since he’s had any choice in the matter! The ‘Dib’ is a dry limestone gorge near Grassington in Wharfedale which, in its initial stages, is sometimes only a couple of feet wide.

To reach Conistone you need to drive from Threshfield towards Kettlewell. When you reach the famous overhanging Kilnsey Crag, a favourite of climbers, take the right turn for Conistone Village. If you feel minded to call at Grassington, there is also a back road from there to Conistone which passes the lovely ‘Grass Woods’.

There’s a very good horse-riding place in Conistone village if you’re like me and like horse-riding as well as walking. The horses don’t go up the Dib though as it is too stony and narrow. The walk I describe here is very short and could easily be combined with a pony trek the same day.


Conistone Village

If you go straight on from the road which brings you into the village from Kilnsey, you will find a footpath sign for the Dib pointing through a gate towards a green valley. Very soon you come to the dry falls in the picture below…

Clamber up the dry falls and continue up the valley which soon narrows dramatically.


Looking back out of The Dib…

The Dib twists and turns and you gain height gradually on a surface of loose stones. The narrowest section is seen below and the ramp rising round the next corner has a completely rounded bottom.

Not long after this section, the Dib starts to widen and eventually you come out into the open.


Looking back from the top of the narrow section

At this point you are still enclosed in a mid-height valley with another climb half a mile or so further on to finally exit the gorge. Several paths leave up the valley sides but continue on for the rocky slope ahead.

Soon, after a green plastic water supply tank over a wall, you ascend a path up scree towards the head of the valley. The final section is a bit of a clamber but not difficult, even in the wet. To make things more exciting at this point, I generally climb out via the crag on the right-hand side of the gorge – seen in the centre of the picture below. This is an easy, steppy climb and probably only about 15 feet high.

Conistone Dib Exit

After you’ve exited the valley, you will find a path crossing a bridge across your path. Turn right onto this and follow it for just over a mile along a wide, flat, grassy shelf.

Looking back to the two tree guardians at the top of The Dib…

Tree Gateway Top of Conistone Dib

Not long after passing a superb lime kiln on your right, and crossing several walls in succession over stiles, you will see another grassy track leading off to your right towards Grass and Bastow Woods. To the right of the track, just before the entrance to the woods, you will see the crowned hillock below (predictably called by me a ‘crowned pillock’ of course 😉 ).

Climb the stile over the wall towards the woods but immediately turn right to follow a track along the wallside towards to the head of another gorge.

This track goes around the head of the gorge and follows along the far side of it with good views into the gill.

The track eventually curves round away from the gorge and heads diagonally downhill back to the village.

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5 responses

12 05 2016
Lead Mining – a Black & White Issue? | The Adventures of a Mountain Coward

[…] Some black and white Conistone Dib shots in this post […]

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13 03 2012
Paul Shorrock

Great post, Carol! One of my favourite Dales walks – the gorge is simply gorgeous ;-D

I did a post on the Dib on my blog, ‘cept there was more bletherin’ and less photos! It’s #9 if you fancy a look.

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14 03 2012
mountaincoward

I’ll go take a look 🙂
Carol.

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13 03 2012
fedupofuserids

Looks like a good walk to bear in mind for my kids – who also dislike walking !

Is it usually that quiet?

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13 03 2012
mountaincoward

LOL probably not – it would have been mid-week when I went as I hate driving up t’Dales on a weekend!

It’s a really great walk for anyone of any age – we used to love it as little tots and we still love it now. Grass Woods, at the turning point to come back from the walk, is well worth a look around before you head back to Conistone too. You can also descend through the woods to the little back road from Grassington to Conistone and walk back along that – it’s a pleasant lane.

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