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Walk up Buckden Pike via Buckden Beck

By Dave Chick   

on October 14, 2019    5/5 (1)

Posted as a walk in – England, Europe, Yorkshire Dales National Park

Walk up Buckden Pike via Buckden Beck

Further Details

Route Summary:

A superb, waterfall-filled ascent of on the of the Buckden Beck

This walk includes the Hewitt of Buckden Pike

This walk includes the Nuttall of Buckden Pike

Route Start Location: Buckden village

12.16 km 669 m 4.5 hours

Calculate the time using Naismith’s Rule and factor in your own pace.

Activivity Type: Hard Walk

Summits and Places on this Route


Public toilets can be found in the National Park car park in Buckden


Care should be taken when traversing the narrow paths above the falls as they can be slippery. The ridge between Buckden Pike and the Polish Memorial can be very boggy

Remember that we cannot outline every single hazard on a walk – it’s up to you to be safe and competent. Read up on Mountain Safety , Navigation and what equipment you’ll need.

Parking : BD23 4DG

Buckden – Wood Lane

£4.50 for the day

Public Transport:

The 72A from Skipton Bus Station stops opposite the Buck Inn in Buckden.

Traveline for UK Public Transport

Recommended Maps


Weather Forecast:

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Walk up Buckden Pike via Buckden Beck Ordnance Survey Map and GPX File Download

Download file for GPS

Walk up Buckden Pike via Buckden Beck

Buckden Pike is one of the highest peaks in the Yorkshire Dales, standing some 702m above sea level. It misses out on being the highest fell in the local area by just 2m with Great Whernside measuring up at 704m but don’t let that deter you, Buckden Pike has a far superior climb and superb views over Wharfedale and Nidderdale.

The most obvious route to the summit is along a bridleway and footpath to the west of the fell, though this route is a little too easy for Mud and Routes standards. Instead, follow the course of Buckden Beck for an exciting climb alongside some superb waterfalls with the option for some modest scrambling if the conditions are right. The remains of Buckden Lead Mine offer an interesting place to pause for exploration while the summit ridge reveals the story of a lone Polish airman and his life-saving encounter with some local wildlife.

Buckden Pike via Buckden Beck Route Description

1 – Parking in Buckden can be found in a car park to the north of the village (SD 94242 77348). Facing the road, bear left out of the car park to a large junction opposite the village green. Take a left up the rough track which passes between the cottages. After the track turns to the right, take a left down a walled path which leads to Buckden Beck.

Walk up Buckden Pike via Buckden Beck
The entrance to Buckden Beck

2 – Ignore the footpath sign directed to Starbotton, instead follow the stream to a small water treatment works at the entrance to the Buckden Beck ravine. A small path follows the stream uphill to the first waterfall. As you approach the cascade the way ahead is not clear as the waterfall blocks the way. Turn away from the waterfall and look for a cleft in the limestone on your right. This short climb leads to a path on a shelf which passes above the waterfall.

Walk up Buckden Pike via Buckden Beck
The first waterfall

3 – Continuing on, another two large waterfalls are bypassed in a similar fashion, the second of them requiring some care on the narrow path above the plunge pool. While the views of each waterfall are superb, the view of the valley opening up behind you is equally impressive

Walk up Buckden Pike via Buckden Beck
The second waterfall

4 – The third waterfall marks the last any notable challenges, from here the route is easy to follow, the remaining few waterfalls being easily bypassed up their grassy banks. After a few moments of steady climbing, the path reaches the remains of Buckden Gavel Lead Mine, perched high up on the hillside.

5 – A path leaves the remains of the mine to the northeast, making the final 100m climb across Buckden Out Moor towards the summit. This is the steeper part of the overall route. The steepness abates as the path reaches the broad ridge of Buckden Pike, the summit lies a short distance to the north after crossing a drystone wall. A white OS pillar sits proudly on top, accompanied by a cairn with a post some metres distant. The summit also benefits from some fairly recently laid stone slabs to avoid any boggy parts.

Walk up Buckden Pike via Buckden Beck
Buckden Pike

6 – Leaving the summit, travelling south this time, the stone-flagged path follows the wind-swept ridge for just under a mile before reaching another junction of drystone walls (SD 96226 77863). On the other side stands a memorial to the Polish aircrew who lost their lives here, the final remnants of a remarkable story. You can read the tale of Sgt Joe Fusniak and the fox here.

7 – From the memorial, bear left and follow the drystone wall as it descends. At the end of the wall (SD 96550 77657), turn right over a stile and follow the path downhill, passing through two more walls. At the head of Gill Beck (SD 96049 77105), bear right where a path follows the west side of the valley, eventually becoming a more substantial track as it descends into the village of Starbotton.

Walk up Buckden Pike via Buckden Beck
Descending from the ridge

8 – At the bottom of the track, bear left and make your way through the village until you reach the B6160 road junction. Opposite the junction (SD 95384 74664 – to the right of the farm driveway) is a gate to a walled path which leads directly to a footbridge over the River Wharfe. Cross the river and turn right onto the Dales Way. Follow the Dales Way for 3.5km back to Buckden.

Dave is our Lake District local expert, often found in the depths of Cumbria he's the author of his own part on the web, All the Gear but no Idea.
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