Date - 10th February 2008 Distance - 10.5 miles
Map - OL30 Start point - Buckden car park (SD 942773)


Summits Achieved

Name Height (ft) Height (m) Grid Ref
Yockenthwaite Moor 2110 643 SD 9090 8109


The Walk

With the forecast of another sunny and calm winters’ day, Dad had arranged to meet Uncle Bob at the village of Buckden in Wharfedale for this walk. We had been here before as the start point for climbing Buckden Pike almost exactly one year ago. Another early start in the dark saw us driving along the familiar road to Hawes. Just before Ribblehead, Dad took this shot of the rising sun shining on Whernside.

After Aysgarth we turned down Bishopdale and then climbed up out of this dale, to drop down to the hamlet of Cray in Wharfedale. The next village was Buckden. As we turned into the car park we spotted this magnificent highland cow standing in the frost covered field.

Uncle Bob arrived minutes later and they were both soon ready for the off, so we hopped into Dad’s rucksack. As we passed through the gate we saw that the Highland Cow had a calf…

Ah! We called him Hamish, as he looks just like our hug member who was rescued by Alasdair and Rory when they were out for the day with Dad in Peebles in Scotland.

The path now climbed up through Rakes Wood where we had to stand aside while a farmer passed by on his quad bike taking hay for his sheep. His trusty dog was with him too.

The path continued along Buckden Rake, where the views over the dale opened up and we were able to see the village of Hubberholme at the entrance of Langstrothdale. This name means the long valley.

The hill in the centre is Horse Head that we had climbed last year. When we had descended off this, the view in front had been of Yockenthwaite Moor, so today we were glad that finally this summit was going to be bagged. Our eventual route today would take us along above the woods on the right.

Dad and Uncle Bob were chatting away and did not notice a gate in the wall. We called out that this was the way but they did not hear and consequently wandered on. After nearly half a mile they realised their mistake and so had to walk back. Well it was their legs not ours!

Can’t see how they missed it! The path now descended quite steeply to the hamlet of Cray with its pretty bridge and stepping-stones over Cray Gill.

Here too is the White Lion Inn.

No, we did not stop here, but mention it in relation to the Memorial Cross on Buckden Pike. When the plane crashed on that night in 1942 the eventual sole survivor of the Polish crew had to battle down the fell. He was brought to this inn to recover.

Taking the path behind the inn we then crossed Crook Gill and walked along above Hubberholme Wood passing a cairn marking a superb viewpoint down the length of Wharfedale. The direction of the sun precluded any photographs though. Finally reaching Strans Gill we left the path and turned up the fell, passing this ruin. Uncle Bob poses at the front door!

The path went through a gate in the wall behind. Then over trackless ground there was a steady climb to the ridge. The top like many fells in the Dales was a large relatively flat expanse of peat hags and bogs. Suddenly the trig point marking the summit came into view. A beeline to it was impossible due to the bogs and we had to pick our way carefully winding left and right to finally reach it.

The photograph clearly shows the hags and bogs behind. A quite god forsaken place and no wonder the walk we were following made reference to the fact that the summit was for "Peak Baggers" only! We all decided we would not be coming up here again ever. On the way to the summit we had passed the remains of a small shelter perhaps once long ago used by shepherds. It had one room with a fireplace and another room to the side probably for the storage of firewood etc. Uncle Bob’s camera has a time delay setting and so we were all able to be in this photograph. Fantastic sky don’t you think?

Photo courtesy Bob Woolley (Uncle Bob)

Taking a bearing due south from here we made the long descent, negotiating our way though some crags, finally picking up a path leading to a barn by a wall, that we then followed down to the hamlet of Yockenthwaite. The name is Norse-Irish from "Eogans’ Thwaite" meaning clearing of Eogan. Here we joined another section of the long distance path the Dales Way. Turning left we walked along Langstrothdale by the River Wharfe to the village of Hubberholme with its nice church.

Hubberholme was a favourite place of the playwright J B Priestley and when he died his ashes were scattered in the churchyard.

The furniture in the church is oak and was made and carved by the famous Robert Thompson of Kilburn. He was known as the "Mouseman" from his trade mark carving of a mouse on each piece. Although the origin of this has an uncertain history, the story told by Robert Thompson himself is that one of his craftsmen remarked "We are all as poor as church mice." Whereupon Robert carved a mouse on the church screen he was working on. That particular mouse has never been found but it has continued as a trade mark of quality and dedication to craftsman ever since. Dad once visited the church and found six mice carvings. However his pride was somewhat dented when a local man told him there was no less than 200 in the church! Much more is on the website www.robertthompsons.co.uk.

Taking the road through Hubberholme the path eventually rejoined the river for the final stroll to Buckden seen here over the fields.

Note the prominent white building. This is the shop and tearoom, where yes you’ve guessed it Uncle Bob and Dad went for a refreshing pot of tea and scone. We of course had our picnic in the car and chatted about all we had seen today. We really are so lucky having a Dad to take us to so many interesting places on our adventures.


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