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Approaching Beckermonds along the road above Green Field Beck
Approaching Beckermonds along the road above Green Field Beck

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Route No. 554 - Thursday 12 June 2014
Deepdale Bridge, Oughtershaw, Green Field Beck, Beckermonds, Dales Way circuit - 11km
Langstrothdale, Upper Wharfedale . . .

Route map from Ordnance Survey Open Space service.

Map: OS Explorer OL30 Yorkshire Dales Northern & Central areas


The River Wharfe next to our parking spot just upstream of Deep Dale Bridge
The River Wharfe next to our parking spot just upstream of Deep Dale Bridge

The River Wharfe by the roadside in Langstrothdale
The River Wharfe by the roadside in Langstrothdale

Footbridge over the R. Wharfe next to New House
Footbridge over the R. Wharfe next to New House

The River Wharfe by the roadside in Langstrothdale
The River Wharfe by the roadside in Langstrothdale

Just beyond the bridge there is a small informal lay-by on the left where we parked at map ref. SD891798. From our parking spot we walked along the road following the river upstream (westwards). It's a very pretty stretch of river where the water flows over numerous steps in the limestone river bed.

This morning my mate, Jim, and I drove up Wharfedale to Buckden and followed the narrow road across the river and along Langstrothdale past Hubberholme and Yockenthwaite to Deep Dale Bridge where the road crosses the River Wharfe.

The River Wharfe by the roadside in Langstrothdale
The River Wharfe by the roadside in Langstrothdale

The River Wharfe by the roadside in Langstrothdale
The River Wharfe by the roadside in Langstrothdale

Rock roses by the roadside
Rock roses by the roadside

Looking back over Beckermonds from the road to Oughtershaw
Looking back over Beckermonds from the road to Oughtershaw

Looking down Langstrothdale from the road to Oughtershaw
Looking down Langstrothdale from the road to Oughtershaw

The road to Oughtershaw at the turning to Beckermonds
The road to Oughtershaw at the turning to Beckermonds

The road to Oughtershaw
The road to Oughtershaw

John Rusking's school house & chapel in Oughtershaw
John Rusking's school house & chapel in Oughtershaw

There's what appears to be a Celtic cross in the village, but in fact it's the Queen Victoria Golden Jubilee cross. We continued into Oughtershaw village and here there was an unusual building on the right hand side of the road with a large patch of pink Common Bistort flowers in the grounds. The building was built in the mid 1800's for the Woodd family. It was designed by John Ruskin, the renowned Victorian thinker, and is a grade 2 listed building. It was a school and chapel built in memory of Lydia Woodd who died at the age of 32 in the mid 1800's.

After about 1.7km along the road we came to a road junction where a lane from Beckermonds joins to road at a bend. We followed the road round the bend to climb up the hillside above Oughtershaw Beck. As we got higher there were some very nice views over Beckermonds and the valley of Green Field Beck and down Langstrothdale towards Buckden. Along the road we passed Oughtershaw Hall which was built in the mid 1800's for the Woodd family who had many residences through England. The hall was sold a couple of years ago and is being renovated.

The road to Oughtershaw
The road to Oughtershaw

Peacock basking in the sunshine by the road
Peacock basking in the sunshine by the road

John Rusking's school house & chapel in Oughtershaw
John Rusking's school house & chapel in Oughtershaw

Footbridge over Oughtershaw Beck opposite John Rusking's school house & chapel
Footbridge over Oughtershaw Beck opposite John Rusking's school house & chapel

Sheep shearing in progress - ewes waiting to be sheared on the right - those already done on the left
Sheep shearing in progress - ewes waiting to be sheared on the right - those already done on the left

Climbing up the hillside from Oughtershaw guided by our GPS
Climbing up the hillside from Oughtershaw guided by our GPS

The whole hillside was quite damp under foot and dotted all over there was a whole range of wild flowers that like such damp conditions. After about 800m from the bridge over the beck we came to a tumble down stone wall running about 70m from the edge of a large forestry plantation. We sat on a bank near the wall for our lunch with a very nice view into Langstrothdale.

Just opposite this building is a public footpath over a bridge across Oughtershaw Beck at map ref. SD870814. We crossed the footbridge opposite the old school/chapel and made our way up the hillside following the line of a public footpath. There was no discernable path on the ground and we used our gps gadget to follow the route as best we could. Looking back to Oughtershaw from the hillside the was a large agricultural building where a flock of sheep were being sheared.

Looking south east from our lunch stop at the plantation edge
Looking south east from our lunch stop at the plantation edge

Gate through the wall to the plantation after our lunch break
Gate through the wall to the plantation after our lunch break

Grassy track through the plantation
Grassy track through the plantation

One of a cluster of orchids by the track
One of a cluster of orchids by the track

Nearing the road at the edge of the plantation
Nearing the road at the edge of the plantation

We continued along the forest access road for about 1km to the road at map ref. SD851802. Here the iron gate across the forestry road was locked and we turned right to follow a path next to the boundary fence for about 30m to a pedestrian gate onto the road.

There was a gate in the wall at map ref. SD867807 where the footpath continued into the plantation. The path followed a wide grassy gap between the trees. We followed this path for about 500m to map ref. SD860805 where we joined a stony forest access road.

The grassy track joined a stony forest access road
The grassy track joined a stony forest access road

Birds foot trefoil by the track
Birds foot trefoil by the track

Gate to the road 30m from the locked gate across the track
Gate to the road 30m from the locked gate across the track

Following the road downstream above Green Field Beck
Following the road downstream above Green Field Beck

Magnificent finely muscelled black bull in a field on the roadside
Magnificent finely muscled black bull in a field on the roadside

Following the road downstream above Green Field Beck
Following the road downstream above Green Field Beck

Following the road downstream above Green Field Beck
Following the road downstream above Green Field Beck

Just through the buildings at Beckermonds we turned right off the road and followed the track down to a footbridge over Green Field Beck. There were some people picnicking in this very pleasant spot and two fly fishermen just downstream of the foot bridge at the confluence of the River Wharfe and Green Field Beck. The valley is called Langstrothdale, Wharfedale doesn't start until the river gets to Buckden.

At the road we turned left and walk along the road above Green Field Beck heading downstream towards Beckermonds. Along the way we passed a magnificent finely muscled black bull in a field on the roadside. There were limestone out crops stepping up on the roadside all along the road. As we approached Beckermonds there were carved stones marking the edge of the road that seemed to be from a church building.

Limestone outcrop stepping up the hillside
Limestone outcrop stepping up the hillside by the road

Approaching Becermonds
Approaching Beckermonds

Footbridge over Green Field Beck at Beckermonds
Footbridge over Green Field Beck at Beckermonds

The confluence of the River Wharfe (on the right) & Green Field Beck (on the left)
The confluence of the River Wharfe (on the right) & Green Field Beck (on the left)

Track down to Green Field Beck from Beckermonds
Track down to Green Field Beck from Beckermonds

R. Wharfe from the Dales Way downstream of Beckermonds
R. Wharfe from the Dales Way downstream of Beckermonds

Paved track by New House approaching the footbridge
Paved track by New House approaching the footbridge

We crossed the footbridge and walked along the road for about 300m back to our parking spot and the end of our walk. The whole route had been 11km and it had taken us about four hours to walk including our lunch stop.

The riverside path here is part of the Dales Way. We followed the Dales Way for a little over a kilometer to New House where there is a footbridge over the river. All the way from Beckermonds the river is very pretty, tumbling over limestone steps.

R. Wharfe seen from the Dales Way near Beckermonds
R. Wharfe seen from the Dales Way near Beckermonds

Large tortoiseshell butterfly on wild thyme by the path
Large tortoiseshell butterfly on wild thyme by the path

Footbridge just downstream of New House
Footbridge just downstream of New House

The road from the New House footbridge back to our parking spot on the roadside
The road from the New House footbridge back to our parking spot on the roadside


On the way home, about halfway between Deep Dale Bridge and Yockenthwaite we stopped on the roadside to see this Bronze Age stone circle. It is believed to be the kerb stone ring that was the base of a large ceremonial cairn

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