By Vicky · Published Dec. 30th, 2023
Trollers Gill Walk is a great 10 km circular loop in the Yorkshire Dales that can be enjoyed by the entire family. On the route you’ll see Trollers Gill gorge, several caves, old mineworks and Hell Hole pothole.
There’s no dedicated parking for Trollers Gill, but there are several laybys along Skyreholme Lane where you can park. On sunny, summer weekends get there early to grab a parking spot. If you want to visit Parcevall Hall Gardens (£9 per person), they have free parking.
Trollers Gill Walking Map
- Limestone can be very slippery when wet, and hide potholes, so keep children under close supervision.
- There’s a great tea room at Parcevall Hall Gardens, open 10am-4pm from April-October. In nice weather, you can sit outside on a lovely terrace.
- The map to take for this hike is the Ordnance Survey Map 2 of the Southern & Western Yorkshire Dales*.
- For other hikes nearby, try the short hikes up Beamsley Beacon, Almscliffe Crag, Sharp Haw and Flasby Fell, or Embsay Crag.
- You can find other Yorkshire ideas in our Yorkshire Guide.
Trollers Gill Walking Route
From a layby along Skyreholme Lane, walk northeast up the road. At the first junction, turn right and almost immediately left along the footpath through the fields. You’ll soon reach the lane to Parcevall Hall Gardens. This is a historic house with large formal gardens. You can visit daily from April to October. The gardens are open 10am until 6pm, and the tea rooms close at 4pm. Tickets cost £9 per person, children under 12 are free.
If you don’t want to visit the gardens, turn left and then take the footpath to the right just past the stream. This path leads you through fields by the stream and then out into the wilder open land.
About 750 metres along the trail there’s a junction. Head right to keep by the main river and enter Trollers Gill.
Just around the corner, you’ll enter the narrow, gorge-like section of Trollers Gill. There’s a rocky, dry (occasionally wet) river bed that you walk along between two tall limestone cliffs. Look out for a little cave in the rocks – it’s not very big and you can see all the way in with the torch on your phone.
The narrow part of the gorge ends and you continue climbing upwards. Before a wall on your left, the path turns left, heading backwards and up the side of a hill. This path soon comes to a track.
Turn left here for a short out-and-back to some mineworks. You’ll see some old, ruined mining equipment. Miners mined the rock here for lead and fluoride. You might be able to find some clear, blocky crystals, minerals similar to fluorspar (continuing calcium and fluoride).
Retrace your steps to where the path joined the track and continue a little further along the track. In a short distance take the track to the left. On your right you’ll see a fenced area covered in small trees. In the middle is a large depression. There’s a hole at the bottom of this, which is an entrance to a large pothole called Hell Hole. Make sure not to get too close as it’s a long drop down!
Once you’ve seen Hell Hole, continue walking along the path until you reach a small road. Turn left and left again before taking the first track on your right. This trail leads across moorland and open fields. Keep on heading straight and then down by a lane of trees. You’ll come out by the Craven Arms pub on the edge of Appletreewick.
From here turn right along the road and take the path on the left just before the campsite. You’ll soon reach the River Wharfe. Turn left to walk along the river banks and through a small section of woodland. The path bends away from the edge of the river here to a small lane. Turn left on the road and take the first path on the right.
This path leads gently upwards and back to Skyreholme Lane. Turn right to reach your car and the end of the Trollers Gill Walk.
Guidebooks to explore more of Yorkshire
The Rough Guide to Yorkshire* is a great little guidebook and has a section on Ilkley and things to do nearby. The Yorkshire Dales Pathfinder Guide* has a good collection of short hikes suitable for the entire family and the Guide to North Yorkshire Pub Walks* has some fun walks in the Dales for those who are hungry and thirsty.