Wednesday, 14 September 2016

373 October Walks from Kettlewell

Our next walks will be from


some of the best walking in the Dales

Saturday 8th October 2016

0800hrs prompt from the short stay car park
Kettlewell is a village in Upper Wharfedale, North Yorkshire, England. Historically part of the West Riding of Yorkshire, it lies 6 miles (10 km) north of Grassington, at the point where Wharfedale is joined by a minor road which leads north-east from the village over Park Rash Pass to Coverdale. Great Whernside rises to the east......more details
There will be three walks:
  • A Walk led by: Steve Edwards
  • B Walk led by: John Adamson
  • C Walk led by: John Smith
Walk details will be added as they become available.but by Saturday 1st October

Tuesday, 13 September 2016

A Walk from Kettlewell 2016

Walk Leader: Steve Edwards
Total Distance: 11 Miles
Total ascent: 2591 ft

This walk takes in the hills around Great Whernside and continues on across challenging moorland to Buckden Pike. Buckden Pike has a tragic past, but it is also a mountain that collects water and retains it most efficiently thus turning much of the high ground to bog. So my suggestion is to wear gaiters if possible and be prepared for a small amount of ‘bog hopping’.

The views from Great Whernside and on the walk back to Kettlewell are well worth the effort. They are some of the best in the Yorkshire Dales.

On the outward leg we climb past Hag Dyke, a Scout Hostel administered by the Ben Rhydding Scout and Guide Group in Ben Rhydding, Ilkley. The Hostel was bequeathed to the group in 1947 and has been run by a group of volunteer wardens for the benefit of Scouts and other Youth Groups ever since. 

The building was originally a farmhouse and its occupants traced back to 1730, but it is probably older and could have housed miners working in Dowber Ghyll lead mines opened in 1680, the area of the kitchen is the oldest. At 1525 feet it was believed to be the highest house in the former West Riding.

A “Dyke” in Dales dialect means a mountain dividing wall and “Hag” means enclosed land or an intake (from the moor in this case). The name therefore means the wall bounding the intake from the moor. The house is reputed to be haunted!!

We continue on up to the exposed summit of Great Whernside which at 2,310ft is the highest point of our walk. On a fine autumn day great views are to be had, but not a place to loiter if the weather is harsh.

We descend Great Whernside and climb through the peat bogs up towards Buckden Pike and pay our respects at the Polish War memorial.

An RAF bomber crashed on the moor during a snowstorm in November 1942. The story is inspiring as a sole survivor of the crash, Sergeant Joseph Fusniak, found his way off the moor to safety with the unlikely assistance of a fox.

“I struggled for several hours trying to make my way down treacherous slopes and over stone walls partially submerged in deep snow drifts. I remember a vertical cliff and nearly slid over the edge".

"I prayed for help. Then something compelled me to look up. The clouds briefly broke and a dazzling shaft of light appeared out of the sky outlining the valley and habitation. It was as if it were a sign from heaven; a mystical experience. It uplifted and gave me the tremendous strength and courage I needed to continue over the wall in my quest for help"
A truly inspirational story of bravery and faith….

In May 1942, in recognition for his bravery, Sergeant Joseph Fusniak was awarded the British Empire Medal by King George VI and decorated by Chief Air Marshall 'Bomber' Harris

If we maintain a good pace we should be back in the beautiful village of Kettlewell in time for tea and cake.

B Walk from Kettlewell 2016

Walk Leader: John Adamson
Total Distance: 6+ Miles
Total ascent/descent: 1550 Ft

B Route

The walk from Kettlewell heads west from the village, and climbs up and over Hawkswick Moor, where there are some beautiful views of Wharfedale and the surrounding hills. The path continues over the top and proceeds down towards the River Skirfare and into the lovely village of Arncliffe for lunch. 

We then head south east down Littondale and alongside the River Skirfare, until we reach Hawkswick village. Here we start the diagonal climb up and round the end of Hawkswick Fell and back to Kettlewell. This is a B+ Walk with two fairly steep sections during the climb. There are also one or two sections which will become slippy if it is wet. 

C Walk from Kettlewell 2016

Walk Leader: John Smith
Total Distance: 5 Miles
Total Ascent/descent: 400 ft 

This walk is about 5 miles in length. We will be walking up to Starbotton on the east side of the river Wharfe and returning on the Dalesway on the west side. The path to Starbotton is on the side of the hill with a couple of very short uphill sections while the path out of the village is uphill and a bit longer - but nothing to be concerned about as this is a C walk after all !! There are some 15 stiles of all varieties to test us as we cross the stone wall boundaries of the fields. From Starbotton the trail follows a lane to the bridge across the Wharfe. You'll be pleased to know that the path is quite flat from that point to the second bridge in Kettlewell.

If it has been raining, the paths will be wet and pooled (small and short in length) in places so boots appropriate and walking sticks too. Gaiters are optional or overtrousers if you prefer.

The C party will start as tradition deman
ds by taking victuals (coffee etc) in the Cottage Cafe where the hot chocolate is special and the toasted teacake enormous !!

Starbotton and the River Wharfe