Buckden Pike and the River Wharfe.

Start. Buckden.

Route. Buckden - Rakes Wood - Cow Close - Buckden Pike - Memorial Cross - Walden Road (green lane) - Starbottom - River Wharfe - Buckden.

Notes. I've been ambushed by the Wharfedale Weather Gods today, they rained fire on me in the form of horizontal rain backed by a howling gale, just allowing me to get far enough up the hill not to abandon before unleashing their fury. I don't often wear waterproofs today two sets wouldn't of gone a miss, water from below, water from above and water from the side, at least I was walking with an empty pack.

My day started in Buckden ascending on a stony track through Rakes Wood, after rounding the corner a finger post beckoned me to climb Buckden Pike, I ascended through Cow Close passing some disused quarries before reaching Buckden Out Moor. I'm not sure when the rain started but by this time it was raining cats and dogs with a howling gale just for good measure, the path across the moor was also wet, it took what seemed ages, bog hopping to reach the next wall and a better path, little did I know there was worse to come, the path lead up steep ground to the trig point marking the summit of Buckden Pike. The next hour was spent bog hopping, I passed the Memorial Cross while hunting for Walden Road, this green lane leading down through the remains of lead mining was to be my escape route, I had intended to carry on to Tor Mere Top before descending but at that moment Walden Road seamed a much better option. When I eventually dipped under the cloud base I found myself above the valley of Cam Gill Beck descending to Starbottom where I was able to access the Dales Way for the final two miles back to Buckden.

view route map.


Looking down into upper Wharfedale from the shelter of Rakes Wood.

Old Cote Moor across Wharfedale.

The view up Langstrothdale with Chapel Moor rising to the right.

The view to the head of Wharfedale, Buckden Causeway Moss marks the summit of the pass before the road disappears down Kidstone Bank into Bishopdale.

Heavy rain sweeps down Langstrothdale.

Ascending through Cow Close, the way ahead is still clear....

....not for very long, in the wind and rain on the summit of Buckden Pike.

The Memorial Cross just south of the summit, a poigant monument to five members of the six man Polish air crew who's Wellington Bomber crashed on this spot on January 30th 1942, the memorial was erected by the sole survivor in 1973, read his story.

I'm not the only fool on the hill today, at this point we were all hunting for a safe route down, hopefully into Wharfedale.

View taken down the valley of Cam Gill Beck with the long ridge of Cote Moor across the skyline.

Under cloud Tor Mere Top seen from Walden Road.

Crossing Knuckle Bone Pasture with views across Wharfedale.

Looking down on the tiny hamlet of Starbottom.

Wandering along the banks of the River Wharfe.

Footbridge over Step Gill.

Looking to Buckden hidden by the trees.

Buckden backed by the steep slopes of Buckden Pike.

The village green Buckden.

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