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Buckden Pike from Buckden

Yorkshire Dales Walk

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

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Walk Route Description

Photo from the walk - Buckden Pike
Click image to visit gallery of 6 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.

Other walks nearby

Walk 1926 Pen-y-ghent & Littondalehard16.0 miles
Walk 1250 Great Whernsidemoderate8.0 miles
Walk 1277 Starbotton & Kettlewell circulareasy/mod5.0 miles
Walk 1294 Arncliffe & Kettlewell Circularmoderate7.0 miles
Walk 1632 Arncliffe & Starbotton from Kettlewell moderate7.0 miles
Walk 1278 Cosh & Foxupeasy/mod6.5 miles
Walk 2332 Mastilles Lane & Bordley from Kilnseyeasy/mod6.8 miles
Walk 3392 Darnbrook Fell & Fountains Fellmoderate6.4 miles
Walk 2265 Semer Water, Stalling Busk & Marsetteasy4.0 miles
Walk 3301 Conistone to Grassington via the Dibeasy5.0 miles

Recommended Books & eBooks

Walking in the Yorkshire Dales: North and East

Walking in the Yorkshire Dales: North and EastThis guidebook contains 43 circular day walks in the north and east Yorkshire Dales. It explores the dales, hills and moors between Kirkby Stephen and Pateley Bridge. Walking ranges from gentle 3 mile strolls to more strenuous day-long rambles across the Howgills, Wensleydale, Swaledale, Nidderdale, Mallerstang and Coverdale.
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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.
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