Wild flower hay meadows in Walden

On yet another beautiful day we set off to scale the heights of Buckden Pike. This was to be a linear walk from West Burton to Buckden and Geoff, my husband, kindly said he would collect us from the other end as there weren’t any buses coming back over to West Burton that we could use.

The walk was to be about ten miles so we packed our lunch, took plenty of water and sun cream, donned our best boots, planned our route, downloaded the map for GPS purposes, and embarked! I’ve walked up Buckden Pike from Buckden a couple of times and found it okay but this way from the head of Walden was relentless! Be warned!

So….. park in West Burton, having left a vehicle in the Buckden Yorkshire Dales National Park car park, and head for Walden. If you wish you can go via the Cauldron Falls over the pack horse bridge coming out at Cote Bridge, or you can walk up the road to the intended footpath. On the map find Cote Bridge and just to the left on the map there is footpath. This is the one to take and head more or less south through meadows and rough pasture. Keep going past Cowstone Gill House, Hargill Farm to Bridge End Farm. In between Hargill Farm and Bridge End Farm what a glorious site though, hay meadows stretching out around and about us, it seemed a different world, so very beautiful. Just felt so lucky that we were walking this way at the perfect time.

At Bridge End Farm you have a choice of walking out to the road and continuing on to Walden Head that way or you can take the path heading east. Follow the footpath sign downhill, through into the next field then take the bridge over the stream and start to climb up a steep, sharp hill to Ashes. Once here head south west. The route is vaguely signposted so keep on eye on the map. This path will eventually come out on the road at Temple Lane. Continue to Walden Head on the road. Through Walden Head farmyard and then follow the path with stream on your left. You will eventually come to a little wood on your right, be warned it is quite wet here so pick your way carefully, there are low bridges to use but even then it can be a bit tricky. Over the next stile and you’re into open moor land with Buckden Pike in view and waiting you.

We stopped here for our lunch by the stream and eventually set off, ready for anything! The path is quite well walked on the first stretch and there are a few posts to follow, it was more or less straight up. You will come to a track, shown on the map, but perhaps pause here a while to catch your breath. Again straight up, following the posts, we left the path to head straight to the cairn, there were more posts to follow and at the summit a ladder stile to take you over the wall to the highest point. Or you can continue on the path which leads to the Memorial Cross and then come north to the cairn that way. If you haven’t been to the Memorial Cross it is well worth a look and to read the story of an aircrash on 30 January 1942.

From the cairn head on the path north west and follow down to Buckden Rake then south to take you back Buckden and the car park. A lovely descent looking into Wharfedale, one of my favourite views!

We have cottages in West Burton and nearby, do have a look on our website for availability and to book or call me, Nadine or my daughter Joanne on 01969 663559 for friendly help and advice and to book over the telephone.

Country Hideaways

Written By Nadine Bell

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