Aysgarth to Kettlewell (via Buckden Pike Memorial)
Macs Adventure Verified partner Explorers Choice
Sunny day at the Fox & Hounds in StarbottonPhoto: Phil Silverman
The day starts slow with a lengthy section of country road walking, but as you reach Walden Head, you're rewarded with an adventurous climb over an old packhorse track that takes you just below the summit of Buckden Pike. Here, if you wish, you can pay your respects at the historic Polish Airman memorial and/or climb to the top of Buckden Pike itself!
Leaving Aysgarth, there is some nice easy-going walking through farm fields to the pretty village green of West Burton. Leaving West Burton, the route starts to climb and there is a section of unavoidable road walking involved to reach Walden Head (Unfortunately, a lot of the connecting trail paths around this area are now privately owned - we've kept it on the road to avoid any unwarranted confrontations from angry farmers or caravan owners).
From Walden Head, the ascent up to and over Buckden Pike is both challenging and rewarding - it's crazy to think that a survivor of a plane crash managed to somehow get off these wild moors in white-out, blizzard conditions. After an optional visit to the memorial (and the summit of Buckden Pike), it's a snappy descent into Starbotton, where a well-earned pint or glass of wine awaits you at the Fox & Hounds pub!
In order to not retrace your steps back along the Dales Way, you can take an alternative route to Kettlewell (it's actually a section of the Lady Anne's Way in reverse) to the end of the Ales and Dales Trail in Kettlewell. Rest your weary legs and enjoy a cold drink in the Racehorses Hotel or Bluebell Inn before your included taxi transfer back to Grassington.
Although it controversially (and ironically) goes against the name of the tour and Yorkshire itself...The Bluebell Inn, in Kettlewell, has a fine selection of malt whiskies and is perfect for those that want to have a celebratory post-tour drink with a dram of liquid gold!
Track typesShow elevation profile
Rest stopsWest Burton Village Shop and Tea Room
The Fox & Hounds
Buckden Pike Memorial Cross to Polish Bomber Crew
The Fox & Hounds Inn
The Blue Bell Inn
There are a few stretches where you must walk on the road as there is no pavement or verge. Walk on the right side facing the oncoming traffic.
There may be sections where you will be walking through fields containing livestock. Be vigilant and respectful of all animals.
For any river crossing - there are always normally stepping stones or an obvious way to cross - be careful when crossing as it can be very slippery.
The paths can sometimes be tricky to follow in open featureless sections, especially in very bad weather (especially fog). Make sure to stay on the correct trail by concentrating carefully on your GPS tracks and maps.
There be some sections today on indistinct paths, make sure to stay on the correct trail by concentrating carefully on your Macs App GPS tracks and maps. The Turn-by-Turn section can also provide you with extra tips if you run into any problems.
If you wish to carry a hardcopy map, we would recommend buying the Yorkshire Dales Outdoor Atlas by Harvey Maps. Alternatively, you may wish to print the daily maps directly from our app.
Tips and hints
Points of Interest
Please see the interactive map for notable points of interest along the walk, including recommended pubs/restaurants and tearoom stops. Simply click the icons on the map for more information as you walk.
1. No regular bus service that runs directly from Aysgarth to Kettlewell
2. No other options are available along the route.
Local Taxi Services
James Peacock Private Hire (Aysgarth Area): +44 (0) 1756 792 233
Dales Cab Company (Kettlewell Area): +44 (0) 7515 868 788
*** To help you follow the route with confidence we have provided a general overview below of the Aysgarth to Kettlewell (Via Buckden Pike Memorial) route to keep you on track. There are sections of this walk where the path becomes indistinct - it is essential you follow the GPS tracks in the Macs Adventure smartphone app to ensure you have a safe, enjoyable and problem-free day. The daily maps can also be printed from the web version of the app should you wish to take paper copies with you. ***
NOTE: if you overnighted in a nearby village with return taxi transfers, instead of staying in Aysgarth itself (likely due to availability issues) then your return taxi transfer will drop you off at West Burton Village Green - you can skip Stage 1 below and move straight onto Stage 2,
Stage 1 (Aysgarth Falls Hotel to West Burton Village Shop) - 0.0 to 2.1km: Leaving the Aysgarth Falls Hotel (with your back to it), turn left and walk down the pavement that skirts the main A684. After around 150 metres you'll see a driveway to a house on the right, just beyond it, turn right over the wall stile signposted for "Eshington Bridge". Follow the faded green track through the open fields all the way down to the bridge itself (you can't go wrong here as it's well signposted the entire way (if any doubt just check the red line on the Macs App). At the bridge, cross over and around 50 metres on your right, turn right through the hole in the drywall and follow the track signed for "West Burton". Again. follow the obvious but faded path through the open fields with Bishopdale Beck on your right. The path eventually swings left and heads past some farm buildings and out onto a paved B road. Cross the road and follow the path on the opposite side into the village of West Burton.
Stage 2 (West Burton Village Shop to Walden Head) - 2.1 to 9.2km: From West Burton's Village Shop, stay on the road known as "Back Nook" that skirts the village green with a memorial in the middle of it. Pass the island of houses and take the road that swings left out the village (signed for "Walden Only"). The road (known as "Dame Lane") begins to head uphill, follow it until you reach a fork on the road at the 2.6 kilometre mark. At this fork Bear right onto Temple Lane, the road signed for "Walden North Only". From here it's a matter of following this paved country road for around 7 kilometers to Walden Head where the ascent to the Buckden Pike memorial begins. (Unfortunately, a lot of the connecting trail paths around this area are now privately owned - we've kept it on the road so our customers don't have to deal with any awkward confrontations from angry farmers or caravan owners). Ensure you stay on the paved road passing multiple farm buildings on your left and right. There is a waymarker on the Macs App at the end of this stage that has important information regarding the next stage. Please ensure you read it.
Stage 3 (Walden Head to Buckden Pike Memorial turn off) - 9.2 to 13.6km: This section follows an old Packhorse track (Known as Walden Road) that takes you over a high pass, via wild open moorland to Starbotton on the other side - the path here can become very indistinct and hard to follow at times - it's extremely important you keep a close eye on the Macs App!
NOTE: Before reading the below section you will probably notice that the map's dotted trail line, has you follow the stream via the left bank - keeping the stream to your right and eventually crossing it a later stage, IGNORE THIS! Follow the Macs App red line and Cross the stream at the farm path so you are on the right bank, with the stream on your left!
At the end of the paved road go through the gate and onto the farm track. This curves to the right, follow it, and cross the stream (Walden Beck) at this point! Turn left at the gap in the wall - ensuring you keep the stream on your left, continue on through another gap in the wall at the end of the wooded section. Here you are now onto the open moorland and around 400 metres ahead of you, there is another stream (known as Deepdale Gill) that intersects with Walden Beck.
Cross Deepdale Gill, just up from this intersection (there is a waymarker on the Macs App) and turn right. Here, is where the climb up through Walden Moor begins. The path underfoot comes and goes at this section and can be hard to follow - as you ascend, find the most suitable path for yourself, there are a few marker posts to aid you but as long as you keep to the general path line of Macs App and the dotted trail (avoiding the obvious gullies (known as Hags) you shouldn't have any problems at all. Around the halfway point of the climb you'll cross a vehicle track - don't be tempted to follow it (this is not the path but you can use it as a rough guide ensuring it's on your left as you walk up the moor). Continue upwards, skirting the hillside until you reach the ridge wall. You can see on the map, the path eventually veers to the left (at around the 12.5 kilometre mark) where you will be able to pick up a more distinct track towards the Memorial turn-off.
At the memorial turn-off, you can take the detour to visit the memorial itself and also summit Buckden Pike if you wish (We only really recommend doing so if the weather has been favorable). Ensure you take care on this path as it can be extremely boggy and there are many gullies along it). Please also ensure you retrace your steps back to the Memorial turn-off when you descend back down to Starbotton - some of the alternative paths down can involve scrambling and add significant mileage.
Stage 4 (Buckden Pike Memorial Pike to Starbotton) - 13.6 to 16.7km: The 3-kilometre descent to Starbotton, is a straightforward one that's hiked regularly by many a keen hill walker in the area. Keep an eye on the Macs App, and follow the path as you head downhill, passing through a couple of walls before eventually heading onto a more substantial dirt track that takes you all the way down into the village of Starbotton, here you can pop into the Fox & Hounds (if its open) for a drink or two before moving on.
Stage 5 (Starbotton to Kettlewell) 16.7 to 20.1km: The final section is a pleasant 4 kilometre stretch along the Lady Anne's Way through some grassy fields all the way to Kettlewell. The route is well signed (for Kettlewell) the entire way, so you can't go wrong - If you run into any problems, just check the Macs App! Arriving in Kettlewell ensure you have a well-earned celebratory drink after completing the Ales and Dales Trail!
Post Ales and Dales Trail Drinks recommendation in Kettlewell: Both The Blue Bell Inn and Racehorses Hotel are worth a visit.
*** This is the end of our Aysgarth to Kettlewell (Buckden Pike Memorial) route and the end of the Ales Dales trail - an included taxi transfer should take you, to your overnight accommodation in Grassington***
Sturdy hiking boots, warm clothes, and a waterproof/wind-break layer are all required. The weather can change quickly in the Dales so be sure to take all equipment even if the weather looks okay. Walking poles will be a big advantage on some of these ascents and descents.
Ensure your phone is fully charged; if you doubt the battery will last throughout the hike, it might be beneficial to bring a power bank.
In a large section of the walk today between West Burton and Starbotton there are no options for food or drink today - it is essential you bring a packed lunch on today's walk-in case the Fox and Hounds in Starbotton is closed or not serving food when you pass. Please always ensure you have plenty of water and emergency food (energy bars/trail mix) with you at all times. Please also ensure you check in advance of Pubs/cafes and shops opening hours on the day you are due to walk, in Yorkshire opening hours are varied and they can be closed on certain days of the week (walking post-Covid19 lockdown restrictions means their opening hours could be even more erratic, so please check to avoid disappointment).
- 19 Waypoints
- 19 Waypoints
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