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Starting the climb following Buckden Beck up to Buckden Pike
Starting the climb following Buckden Beck up to Buckden Pike


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Route No 53 - 6 Aug 2002
Buckden Pike via Buckden Beck
Starbotton circuit - 10 km

Route map from Ordnance Survey Open Space service.

Map: OS Explorer OL30 Yorkshire Dales Northern and Central areas. 1:25000

Buckden beck  just above the village This morning Jim and I set off just after 9.00 for the one and a half hour drive up Wharfedale to Buckden (on the way we stopped in Pately Bridge to get some of those fantastic pork pies from Kendal's for the packed lunch) where we parked in the large public car park on the edge of the village. At the bottom of the car park next to the 'Pay & Display' machine is a little gate on to a path that leads round to some sheep pens at the edge of the village on Buckden Beck (map ref. SD 944773). The path goes through the sheep pen to the beck. There is a wooden sign on the other side of the beck to Starbotton (this is a newish low level path).View down Buckden beck We did not cross the beck but continued along the left hand side of the beck up to a small Yorkshire Water treatment plant for the village water supply. The path goes between the treatment works fence and the beck and continues up the valley alongside the beck to a waterfall about 6m high. As we approached the waterfall it seemed that we had reached a dead end, but after admiring the falls for a few minutes we turned round and retraced our steps for a few yards to a path leading up a cleft in the the small limestone cliff. Another waterfall on Buckden beckAt the top of the cliff the path turns up the valley again for a few hundred metres and again doubles back to climb up a cleft in the next small limestone cliff. Again at the top the path turns to head up the valley to the top of the next waterfall. The whole of this part of the walk needs great care. The path is narrow and slippy and perched on a steep slope with a significant drop to the beck below. It was a hot humid day and we stopped for a drink above the waterfall and to enjoy the view down the valley. We continued up the valley alongside the beck and its many waterfalls, to the disused Buckden lead mine. From here the path up to Buckden Pike is marked by yellow topped posts. It was an exhausting climb in the heat of the day. The path emerged on to the ridge over a gated stile in the high dry stone wall and we walked the final hundred metres along the ridge to the trig point to sit and look at the view and eat our lunch - the pork pies were just as good as I remembered.Polish airmans' memorial After lunch we headed south along the ride to the memorial cross for the Polish airmen whose plane crashed there in the 2nd world war. One of the organisers of the annual BCF Yorkshire 3 peaks cyclo-cross raceA few hundred metres further on we turned right through a gate in the wall on to a bridleway leading to Starbotton. As we reached the gate there was a cyclist approaching on the bridleway from Walden Dale so we held the gate open for him, but instead of riding through he got off his bike and walked with us for a few minutes. It turned out that he was envolved in organising the annual BCF - Yorkshire 3 Peaks Cyclo-cross race on 29 September. He had been envolved with the race since its inception in the 1960's and had ridden it every year. We continued down the bridleway in to Starbotton - it's a long descent and my knees were very happy to find some flat ground at the village. We took the path at the southern end of the village to the river and crossed the bridge to the Dales Way path on the other side. As we left the bridge we met a walker doing the Dales way and heading for Buckden and we walked together for the last couple of miles. He was a geordie and had booked some accomodation for the night at Hubberholme. We stopped in the tea shop in Buckden before starting the drive home. The whole route was about 10km and took us about 4 hours including our stops.

Bridge over the River Wharfe at Starbotton

Wharfedale looking from Starbotton towards Kettlewell

Above:- Wharfedale looking from Starbotton towards Kettlewell

Left:- Bridge over the River Wharfe at Starbotton