Five Rambles from The Roundhouse
Burley-in-Wharfedale Goit and Weir
Distance 1.7 miles/2.7 km - 1hour. Terrain: Flat on lanes and tracks. Short uneven stretch through trees past the mill.
OS Explorer 297 - Lower Wharfedale & Washburn Valley
Starting Point and OS Grid reference: The Roundhouse, Burley-in-Wharfedale (SE166464).
Car Park is at rear of Queen's Hall
Introduction: This easy walk takes you on something of an industrial archaeological exploration of the area which gave Burley-in-Wharfedale its prosperity in the 18th and 19th centuries. Burley became a mill village when cotton mills were built in 1790 and 1811, powered by a head of water created by a weir across the River Wharfe. In 1850, William Fison and William Forster, partners who had started in business in Bradford, bought Burley mills, and converted them to worsted production. The earliest mill was demolished (the site of the new hydro-electric plant) and all new work was concentrated on the Greenholme Mill site. Textile production ceased here in 1966 after a disastrous fire.
The walk takes you past a good view of the mill building and follows the course of the goit (the mill race which used to provide power for the mill) to the weir. There is a very good chance of seeing Herons and sometimes Kingfisher on the river here. Dippers may also occur and look out for Hirundines and Swifts plus wildfowl which may include Mallard and Goosander. Sand Martins nest in the holes in the bank on the north side of the river and can be regularly seen during spring and early summer. You may even be amazingly lucky and see an Otter – but be careful of confusion with mink!