Masham River Ure Marfield Wetlands
Masham is a very attractive small market town situated in Wensleydale, North Yorkshire. The countryside around Masham is stunning and there is plenty of walking and places to visit. Masham is situated on the bank of the River Ure and has a very large market place, which is also a car park. The market place is surrounded by beautiful Georgian houses and was the site for the annual Sheep Fairs with animals coming in from Fountains and Jervaulx Abbeys. The tradition continues on a smaller scale each September and the plaque by the medieval market cross commemorates the first market charter granted in 1250 followed by two more in 1328 and 1393. The town today is still well known are for sheep farming. Market days are held on Wednesdays and Saturdays which are popular with both visitors and locals.
The Black Sheep Brewery and visitors centre is well worth a visit. The brewery delivered its first casks of beer to pubs in an around the dales in October 1992. The centre is ideal for a day or night out as they have a Bistro and a shop. They take bookings for venues too. The visitors centre is open Sunday – Wednesday 10.30am till 4.30pm and Thursday – Saturday 10.30 till 11pm. There is a lift for the disabled but they advise you ring in advance of a visit on 01765 680101 to make arrangements for access on arrival.
Marfield Wetlands is situated just outside Masham on the Layburn Road. This was once a gravel quarry and the working quarry now lies at the north end of the wetland. Marfield wetland is an awesome place absolutely full of wildlife and is suitable for all the family to go and have fun looking for animals and birds. The low paths through the middle are suitable for wheelchair users. Please keep your dogs on a lead so as not to frighten the wildlife especially in the breeding season and if you have a picnic please take your rubbish with you. There is also a car parking area here if you do not wish to walk from Masham.
We park in the car park just on the left over the bridge. There is a large play area here to run off steam or just relax. We walk to the bridge, cross the road and take the path on the left of the River Ure. We now follow the river going over a small green bridge and pass by a fishing hut until we come to where we leave the river, with Clifton Castle in sight ahead, to High Mains Farm on our left. Here we walk on the farm track to High Mains Cottages and keep following the track. Just after the track turns sharpe right we walk into Marfield Wetlands. Inside the entrance there is an information board. From here we walk down to the ponds and walk through the middle to the end and then turn left up into the trees. We soon come to the first hide then carry on along the top going through a few fields then drop down to where we started from. Here we go up the steep short bank on the right and follow the path through a small car parking area and then on to the second hide. We then carry on following the path, which turns left. We look for a gate on the left which takes us to the third hide. We then go back to the path, with the road on the other side of the hedge and carry on walking until we come to a track. We turn left then right at the path sign, over two fields, then through a gate next to the farm with the Llamas in the field. We now follow the track then road bring us out at the White Bear Hotel brewery and pub. We then take a look round Masham before making our way back to the car park.
A flat easy walk.
Approx 5miles using map OS Explorer 302.
Masham in Wensleydale in the North Yorkshire Dales.
From York take the A19 to Thirsk at the second roundabout turn left through the town and take the A61 to Ripon. At the roundabout turn right onto the A6108, Leyburn Road, this takes you into Masham.
Toilets and Refreshments
There are public toilets in Masham near the Market Place.
For refreshments there are three pubs, the Kings Head Hotel, the Bruce Arms and the Bay Horse There is also a tea room fish and chip shop and many shops.
There is also the Black Sheep Brewery and their pub the White Bear Hotel.