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River Wharfe east of Beckermonds
River Wharfe east of Beckermonds

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Route No. 599 - Friday 2 October 2015
Raisgill, Horse Head, Beckermonds,
Deepdale, Yockenthwaite circuit - 10km
Langstrothdale, Yorkshire Dales . . .

Route map from Ordnance Survey Open Space service.

Map: OS Explorer OL30 Yorkshire Dales Northern & Central areas

This route is another fine contribution by Ray Brown, a friend of mine who lives in Northallerton - Thanks Ray, keep 'em coming!



Yockenthwaite from above Raisgill

Walk starts at Raisegill Farm
Walk starts at Raisgill Farm

Ford in ascent to Horse Head<img src=
Ford in ascent to Horse Head

The path bends right and then left to avoid a depression before settling on a south-west direction. The route uphill is clear with a comfortable gradient although the surface is rather rutted by motorcycle tracks. In a while the path levels somewhat as it follows the valley of Hagg Beck lying to the left. After a brief descent to cross a small stream we began the main steady climb to Horse Head Gate, reached after about 40 minutes walking.

Another fine route by Ray Brown:
On what was accurately forecast to be the last day of a week-long Indian Summer we parked off-road on grass, west of the cattle grid at Raisgill farm (SD906786) in Langstrothdale. The walk began from the east side of the farm with the bridleway sign posted to Halton Gill. The path swings sharply around behind the farm to head west for 0.1km before veering south for a similar distance.

Path above Hagg Beck
Path above Hagg Beck

Ascending Horse Head
Ascending Horse Head

Horse Head Gate
Horse Head Gate

 Leaving Horse Head Gate
Leaving Horse Head Gate

Horse Head Trig Point, Plover Hill & Pen-y-Ghent
Horse Head Trig Point, Plover Hill & Pen-y-Ghent

This ridge wall marks the parish boundary between Arncliffe and Buckden. The Horse Head triangulation pillar lies 0.3 km further on, about 10 metres south of the wall.

Here, instead of using the Horse Head gate, we turned right off the Halton Gill bridleway to follow a permissive path on open access land, running along the right (north) side of a stone wall along the ridge.

The first of several sink holes
The first of several sink holes


Fountains Fell from Horse Head Gate


Inglebrough from Horse Head Gate
Inglebrough from Horse Head Gate

 Gate at SD887781
Gate at SD887781

The boundary wall meanders and in places has collapsed and has been replaced by a fence but cannot be legitimately crossed before the gate (SD873786) associated with the footpath which runs from Halton Gill to Beckermonds. We reached that footpath only after having passed through a gate at SD887781 and crossed a stile at SD877783.

Beyond the wall were views of Fountains Fell to the south and distant Ingleborough to the west. Between them to the south-west lay Plover Hill with Pen-y-ghent peeping from behind. Walkers on Pen-y-ghent summit could just be discerned.

Stile at SD877783
Stile at SD877783

Halton Gill path & Plover Hill from SD873786
Halton Gill path & Plover Hill from SD873786

Cairn at SD 8737 7873
Large cairn at SD 8737 7873 . . .

 Waymark post at SD 8741 7973
Waymark post at SD 8741 7973

However progress was assisted by a cairn at SD8732 7873, mini-cairns at SD8737 7887 and SD8730 7894 and a waymark post at SD8741 7973. The general direction was directly downhill towards Beckermonds with the exception of the short section between the two mini-cairns. This descent is not recommended if visibility is bad.

The descent to Beckermonds was the least enjoyable section of the entire walk; even following more than a week of dry weather the terrain was rather boggy and in shadow. Narrow gullies running parallel with the contours lurked as a hazard and the route became less obvious than hitherto.


. . . small cairn at SD 8730 7894

Beckermonds
Beckermonds

River Wharfe east of Beckermonds
River Wharfe east of Beckermonds

River Wharfe has gone underground
River Wharfe has gone underground

This next stretch of the walk along the south bank of the infant Wharfe was idyllic. The limestone presented fascinating fissures and pavements. As so often happens in limestone country the Wharfe, except in times of flood, briefly disappears underground, only to re-emerge further downstream.

Instead of entering Beckermonds through the gate at the foot of the fell, we were directed right by a signpost for the Dales Way towards Deepdale. At the nearby steel farm gate, walkers are directed down a slightly precarious drop towards the River Wharfe rather than being tempted by a more attractive track running uphill.

River Wharfe reappears
River Wharfe reappears

 Foorbridge by New House
Footbridge by New House

Now on the North side of the river, the Dales Way for a while moves away from the Wharfe, climbing slightly to reach a house where a signpost directs the walker towards a footbridge where the path rises briefly left and then turns right before dropping back towards the river bank via a stile.

Instead of using the footbridge by New House we followed the Dales Way along what was now a gravel road to Deepdale where we crossed the Wharfe using the road bridge.

Road bridge, Deepdale.
Road bridge, Deepdale.

An ex-tree, Deepdale
An ex-tree, Deepdale - standing dead timber is a valuable part of the habitat, often missing these days

Stone circle between Deepdale & Yockenthwaite
Stone circle between Deepdale & Yockenthwaite

The second is a derelict lime kiln once used to drive off carbon dioxide from limestone to produce quicklime for agricultural purposes. From Yockenthwaite it was just a short stroll across the bridge and up the road back to the car.
Ray Brown

As we approached Yockenthwaite two items of interest were seen on the immediate left of the path. The first is a ring cairn (SD8997 7938), the base of a Bronze Age burial mound but often referred to as a “stone circle”.

Derelict lime kiln near Yockenthwaite
Derelict lime kiln near Yockenthwaite


Yockenthwaite - bridge over the River Wharfe near the end of the walk

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