This is a walk of many contrasts. The route begins and ends in Wharfedale with green fields dotted with barns. The middle section is in total contrast, crossing wild moorland with big skies and extensive views. Despite climbing to 702 metres above sea level, the gradients are never severe and the walking is relatively easy. There are some sections of path that are boggy after rain but all are avoidable.
The start is the large carpark in Buckden (Grid ref. 942773). After parking take the northern exit and follow the track rising through Rakes Wood to join Buckden Rake. This is followed to the first path junction. Signed to 'Buckden Pike', turn right to continue the steady climb towards Buckden Pike. There are a couple of false alarms that the summit is in sight, but generally the ascent is easy and well graded. The path makes steady progress across Cow Close before swinging southeast to reach the summit.
Adorned with a pile of stones and a concrete trig point, the summit is rather boring. However it does provide a grandstand view of the surrounding peaks. Leave the summit by following the watershed wall south to reach the memorial cross to the Polish aircrew that lost their lives in 1942. After a short distance the path from Walden Head comes in from the left which continues as Walden Road down to Starbotton. This route can be used if you are short of time. However having gained high ground it is more rewarding to stay on the ridge and follow the wall southwards.
Reaching Tor Mere Top the path does a dog leg to descend to the Starbotton Road at Cam Head. Turn left and follow this track as it descends through Sandy Gate to become Starbotton Cam Road. The descent into the village of Starbotton is quick and easy.
Locate the main valley road and turn left towards Kettlewell. Just on the edge of the village there is a footpath on your right. Take this to reach a footbridge over the River Wharfe. Turn right and follow the Dales Way towards Buckden. Reaching Dub's Lane, turn right into Buckden and the end of the route.
OS Map showing start
Ordnance Survey Map showing starting point of walk - Click Here
It is recommended you take a map with you when following a walk route. The preferred scale is 1:25000 used by the Explorer series.
Note : If two maps are listed at the same scale then either (a) both are required for full coverage of the route or (b) the route is covered on both maps.
The Palmer Flatt Hotel, Aysgarth Falls, Aysgarth
Bridge End Farm, Grassington
Beck Hall B&B, Malham`
River House, Malham, near Skipton
Stayin the Yorkshire Dales, Skipton
Wharfe View B&B, Burnsall
Wood View Guest House, Austwick
The Old Station Inn, Giggleswick, Settle
Brookhouse, Clapham near Settle
The Old Dairy, Low Row, Nr Reeth
Self Catering Directory
NOTE - all distances are "as the crow flies"
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