Trollers Gill is a lesser-known, yet exceptional limestone gorge in the Yorkshire Dales National Park. There are a few different Trollers Gill walk routes to choose from to explore the underrated ravine. In this guide, we’re going to talk about the quickest, shortest and easiest walk to access Trollers Gill, which starts near Parcevall Hall Gardens in Skyreholme.
We hope you find this guide helpful. For information about other great nearby walking routes, read our guides about Simon’s Seat and Bolton Abbey Waterfall, Grimwith Reservoir Walk and Embsay Crag (coming soon). Otherwise, read our big Yorkshire Dales walks guide (also coming soon).
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What Is Trollers Gill?
Trollers Gill is another fabulous limestone landform found in the limestone-rich area of Yorkshire in the UK. Sure, it may not be as large and spectacular as Gordale Scar or Attermire Scar (guides coming soon), but the little limestone gorge at Trollers Gill is just as special and wondrous to visit. That’s because of the magical disappearance of the gill’s water stream underground. Let me explain.
Trollers Gill is usually a dry river bed, with the river, at the top of the gill, going underground and appearing again at the foot of the ravine. Witnessing this phenomenon is quite amazing. Although, in times of heavy rain, the stream bed and passage can quickly fill and overflow, which causes the gill to be flooded with streaming water, just like a usual river stream. Admittedly, this happens fairly infrequently.
But, when it does occur, it can make the gill impassable and dangerous to navigate. This would particularly impact you if you were planning a circular walk, that requires passing through the gorge. So, keep this in mind if you visit after heavy rain! Thankfully, the Trollers Gill Walk that we’ll describe in this guide, is an out and back, which means your visit will be minimally affected, even in times of heavy rainfall. Yes, you won’t get to explore the gorge as much, such as accessing Trollers Gill Cave. But, you’ll still get to see the gorge and enjoy an impressive view, by standing at the foot of it.
Trollers Gill Meaning, Myths and Legends
The name derives from old Norse and loosely translates to ‘the Troll’s Arse Ravine’. How classy!
There are also many myths and legends associated with Trollers Gill. It’s meant to be the home of a barguest, which is a black spectral hound, with large and scary eyes. The old story goes, that the barguest can turn people to stone! Thankfully, Beck and I survived the trip without seeing this beast!
Of interest, it’s said that Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, the author of Sherlock Holmes, used the gill as inspiration when writing The Hound of the Baskervilles.
Despite the gorge’s fascinating history, it surprisingly remains fairly unknown. At least, this should mean a quiet visit when you choose to explore the limestone ravine!
Where Is Trollers Gill?
Trollers Gill is located near Parcevall Gardens, in Skyreholme, in the Yorkshire Dales National Park. Specifically, it’s located at the head of Skyreholme Beck near Appletreewick in Wharfedale. For your reference, please click on the Trollers Gill map below to access an interactive map on Google Maps.
As mentioned, there are various walking routes to access the ravine. Below, we’re going to talk about the shortest and easiest walk to get to Trollers Gill. Let’s start with some trail specs and a link to a Trollers Gill Walk map.
Trollers Gill Walk Details Summary
- Type: Out & Back
- Distance: 3km
- Time: 1–1.5 hours
- Accumulated elevation gain: 70m
- Difficulty: Easy
- Trailhead: Parcevall Gardens Car Park, Skyreholme
- Map: Wikiloc
Trollers Gill Walk Report, Description and Photos
In this trail description, we’ll briefly talk about the highlights of the Trollers Gill Walk, which starts at the Parcevall Hall Gardens Car Park in Skyreholme.
From the Parcevall Hall Gardens in Skyreholme, you’ll briefly follow the road that you just drove in on. After crossing a small bridge, you’ll soon turn right onto a trail with Skyreholme Beck to your right. It’s a quaint and peaceful stream, surrounded by farmland and woodland.
The trail gently undulates and meanders through the small valley, passing Skyereholme Dam. At around 1.5km, you’ll reach the southern end of Trollers Gill. When we visited, we experienced a dry riverbed. This meant we were free to explore the narrow and picturesque gorge.
Trollers Gill Cave
By walking through the gorge, you can truly appreciate this small geological wonder. Take care as you navigate over slippery and uneven rocks. Near the northern end of the gorge, you’ll find a small cave. We had forgotten to pack our head torches, so we couldn’t venture too deep into the cave. This could also be home to the mythical barguest, so we thought better of it!
You’ll actually find plenty of caves under and in the walls of Trollers Gill. In particular, there’s a well-known pothole, called Hell Hole, which is just north of Trollers Gill. Some other Trollers Gill Walk options also visit Hell Hole. Let’s look at these walking options below.
Other Trollers Gill Walks
If you’re interested in the shortest, most convenient and most straightforward walking option to access Trollers Gill, then follow the walk that we’ve described above. Otherwise, if you want to also see Hell Hole and want to explore more of the surrounding area, have a geez at these other walking options.
- Trollers Gill via Hell Hole from B6265 road: this is another out and back option to access Trollers Gill. Instead, you’ll start north of the gill, walking south, to reach the gill. On the way, you’ll pass Hell Hole, which is 55 metres deep and has 210 metres of passages! Although, there have been a few rescue missions here from people falling in or injuring themselves when trying to explore it. So, be cautious if you’re exploring Hell Hole. Parking for this option can be found at a large lay-by here near Stump Cross Caverns (guide coming soon).
- Trollers Gill via Hell Hole from New Road: this is another out and back option and is the second quickest walking option for getting to Trollers Gill. Basically, you’ll park at a small lay-by, that’s even closer to Hell Hole and Trollers Gill, compared with the lay-by on B6265. You’ll find parking for this walk option here.
- Trollers Gill Circular Walk: starting at the large lay-by, next to Stump Cross Caverns, you can do a circular walk, which also includes visiting High Crag.
- Trollers Gill Walk from Appletreewick: this is an extended version of the main walk discussed in this guide. Basically, you’ll start in Appletreewick, making your way to Skyreholme. From there, you can follow the instructions laid out in the Trollers Gill Walk description above.
How to Get to Trollers Gill
The easiest and quickest way to get to Skyreholme drive there yourself. As mentioned, you can simply park at Parcevall Hall Gardens for free.
If you don’t have your own set of wheels, we recommend hiring a car using Rentalcars.com. You’ll find a wide variety of cars on Rental Cars, which are very easy to book online.
It’s also possible to use public transport to get to Skyreholme. Buses alight at this bus stop. From there, it’s an approx. 2km walk to reach Parcevall Hall Gardens to commence the walk. We recommend using Google Maps to plan your journey. Although, personally, we don’t recommend using public transport to get to Skyreholme as you’ll have a long-winded journey to get there. Certainly, it’s best to drive to Parcevall Hall Gardens yourself.
Is Trollers Gill Family Friendly?
Yes, as long as you visit outside of a time when the gorge floods, it’s safe for kids to visit. Of course, care must be taken when exploring the gorge, as the rocks can be wet and slippery. We don’t think visiting the nearby Hell Hole is kid-friendly, given the history of accidents there.
Other Places to Visit in the Yorkshire Dales
If you want to see other amazing natural attractions in Yorkshire, then you’ll have to see more of the sensational Yorkshire Dales National Park. Below, we’ve listed some of the other best places to visit and walks to do in the Dales (guides coming soon).
- Stump Cross Caverns: one of the most popular caves to explore in the Dales.
- Aysgarth Falls: explore the truly sublime Lower, Middle and Upper Aysgarth Falls.
- Cauldron Falls (West Burton Falls): a lesser-known waterfall that’s nearby Aysgarth Falls.
- Hardraw Force: one of the most famous waterfalls in Yorkshire after featuring in Robin Hood Prince of Thieves.
- Ilkley Moor: a famous moorland in west Yorkshire.
- Ingleton Waterfalls Trail: of course, there are many waterfalls to see along the Ingleton Falls Trail.
- Cautley Spout: England’s highest waterfall above ground, can be seen on a walk via some trig points around Howgill Fell.
- Brimham Moor: an outstanding National Trust attraction, that’s best enjoyed on a short circular walk through the moorland.
- Burnsall to Grassington Walk: this classic walk explores two gorgeous towns in the Dales, whilst taking in all of the breathtaking nature in between (including seeing Linton Falls).
- Conistone Pie and Dib Circular: a lovely circular walk taking in the limestone landscape surrounding the small town of Conistone.
- Muker Meadows Circular Walk: you’ll explore many waterfalls on this walk, including the brilliant upper and lower East Gill Force.
- Settle Circular Walk: from nearby Settle, you’ll visit Catrigg Force, Attermire Scar and Scalebar Force.
These are our five hiking gear essentials for the Trollers Gill Walk.
- Merrell Moab Mid Gore-Tex Hiking Boots: these hiking boots are super comfortable and lightweight.
- The North Face Venture Jacket: a fantastic windproof/waterproof jacket.
- Osprey Skarab 30L Day Backpack: a great backpack for hiking, which has plenty of space to store your gear.
- The North Face TKA Glacier Fleece Jacket: an excellent warmth:weight ratio fleece jacket that’ll help keep you warm.
- Columbia Convertible Trousers: a value for money pair of water-resistant convertible trousers.
For a longer hiking gear list, read our 66 Travel Items You Must Travel With. For a list of everything else you’d need for travelling, read our Packing Checklist.
Bonus Tips and Helpful Information
- Head to the Parcevall Hall Gardens: this place has lovely tea rooms and also an interesting history. Unfortunately, it was closed when Beck and I did the Trollers Gill Walk. But, hopefully, it’s open when you visit Trollers Gill.
- Use our GPS-guided map: when we went to explore Trollers Gill, there was limited information online. Use our map to help you discover this underrated natural treasure.
- Explore other nearby national parks: don’t just stop at the Yorkshire Dales. Head to the beautiful Lake District (guides coming soon) or North York Moors National Park.
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