logo Walking Britain

Yorkshire Dales Walk
Buckden Pike from Buckden

Nat Park - Yorkshire Dales - Upper Wharfedale

County/Area - North Yorkshire

Author - Lou Johnson

Length - 10.5 miles / 17.1 km

Ascent - 1900 feet / 576 metres

Time - 7 hours 10 minutes

Grade - moderate

Start - OS grid reference SD942773
Lat 54.191431 // Long -2.090386
Postcode BD23 5JA (approx. location only)
what3words start funny.certified.eased

Walk Route Description

Photo from the walk - Buckden Pike from Buckden Photo from the walk - Buckden Pike from Buckden Photo from the walk - Buckden Pike from Buckden Photo from the walk - Buckden Pike from Buckden Photo from the walk - Buckden Pike from Buckden Photo from the walk - Buckden Pike from Buckden
Click thumbnails for larger images.

This is a Yorkshire Dales 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.

Maps Ordnance Survey Logo Anquet Maps Logo

Ordnance Survey Explorer OL30Sheet Map1:25kBUY
Anquet OS Explorer OL30Digital Map1:25kBUY
Ordnance Survey Landranger 98Sheet Map1:50kBUY
Anquet OS Landranger 98Digital Map1:50kBUY

It is recommended you take a map. The preferred scale is 1:25k.

GPS files - right click or option-click the button and choose "Save As..." to download this file.


Recommended Books & eBooks

The Dales Way

The Dales WayAn essential guidebook to walking the Dales Way. This picturesque 78 mile long distance route through the Yorkshire Dales between Ilkley and Bowness on Windermere is one of the gentlest multi-day walks in Britain. The route is described in both directions, visiting Grassington, Kettlewell, Buckden, Dent, Sedbergh and Staveley en route to Bowness.
More information

Trail and Fell Running in the Yorkshire Dales

Trail and Fell Running in the Yorkshire DalesGuidebook to 40 of the best trail and fell runs in the Yorkshire Dales National Park. Ranging from 5 to 24 miles, the graded runs start from bases such as Ribblehead, Dent, Sedbergh, Malham and Grassington and take in the region's diverse delights, from castles and waterfalls to iconic mountains such as Whernside, Ingleborough and Pen Y Ghent.
More information

Outdoor Photography

Outdoor PhotographyThis practical handbook covers digital outdoor photography and the whole range of outdoor activities including walking, running, cycling, water sports (in and on the water), as participant or spectator. Covers basic concepts, equipment and processing and optimising your images back at base.
More information

Social Media

Follow Walking Britain for the latest news.

Facebook Twitter

CBD For Walking & Hiking

Discover the benefits of CBD for walkers and hikers. More info.

Mountain Weather

Stay safe on the mountains with detailed weather forecasts - for iOS devices or for Android devices.

Digital Mapping Guide

Digital Mapping Guide - a simple guide of how to start using digital mapping. Includes advice and useful links.