Five of the best walks in the Yorkshire Dales

Take a look at these circular trails in the northern and central area of the Yorkshire Dales National Park. They are all between 7 and 9 miles long and will take 3½ to 4½ hours to complete. The walks include visits to some of the region’s most beautiful places such as Reeth, Langthwaite, Muker, Buckden, Yockenthwaite, Hubberholme, Aysgarth Falls, Crackpot Hall and the Swinner Gill Lead Mines.

The northern and central area of the Yorkshire Dales National Park

One Ordnance Survey map covers these superb Yorkshire Dales routes

The best map to use is the Ordnance Survey map of the Yorkshire Dales Northern & Central Area, reference OS Explorer OL30, scale 1:25,000. It clearly displays footpaths, rights of way, open access land and vegetation on the ground, making it ideal for walking, running and hiking. The map can be purchased from Amazon in either a standard, paper version or a weatherproof, laminated version, as shown below.

RECOMMENDED MAP
Standard Ordnance Survey map of the Yorkshire Dales Northern & Central Area, reference OS Explorer OL30, scale 1:25,000.
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RECOMMENDED MAP
Weatherproof Active Ordnance Survey map of the Yorkshire Dales Northern & Central Area, reference OS Explorer OL30, scale 1:25,000.
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Walk 1 – Reeth and Fremington Edge

East out of Reeth to High Fremington, then north and a steep climb to Fremington Edge Top. North-west along the ridge for a couple of miles to reach an area of disused lead mines, before descending into a small valley near Storthwaite Hall. West via Booze to Langthwaite then a U-turn to follow a path alongside Arkle Beck. The rest of the walk is generally in a south-easterly direction through the valley of Arkengarthdale and tracks the course of the beck all the way back to Reeth. A 9-mile walk in the Yorkshire Dales.

The route along Fremington Edge
The Arkengarthdale valley floor and the hillside below Fremington Edge
A ruined farmhouse near Castle

Walk 2 – Muker and Crackpot Hall

North-west from the village of Muker, climbing sharply to join the Pennine Way near Kisdon. North above North Gang Scar and Kisdon Side to Rukin Wood and north-west to a footbridge which crosses the River Swale just before Keld. East via Crackpot Hall to the disused Swinner Gill Lead Mines, then south along Arn Gill Scar to Ivelet Side. East to Ivelet to meet A Pennine Journey and finally west back to the starting point along the banks of the River Swale. A 9-mile walk in the Yorkshire Dales.

The footpath above Rukin Wood just north of Kisdon Side
Waterfall on the north side of the River Swale near Keld
The ruins of Crackpot Hall

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Aquapac Kaituna waterproof map case, reference 808. Ideal for keeping Ordnance Survey maps clean, dry and always at hand.
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Walk 3 – Buckden and Hubberholme

North out of Buckden along Buckden Rake to the hamlet of Cray, then west via Scar House to Yockenthwaite. East alongside the River Wharfe to Hubberholme and finally south-east to Buckden via the Dales Way / A Pennine Journey. A 7-mile walk in the Yorkshire Dales.

Grade 2 listed 18th-century bridge over the River Wharfe at Yockenthwaite
The River Wharfe between Yockenthwaite and Hubberholme
The Dales Way footpath by the side of the River Wharfe between Yockenthwaite and Hubberholme

Walk 4 – Aysgarth Falls and Castle Bolton

North from Aysgarth Falls (High Force) to Carperby then north-west to join a footpath beneath Ponderledge Scar. Further north across moorland following a stone path which then turns east to Castle Bolton. South-west across farmland along paths and tracks which lead back to Aysgarth Falls, passing High Thoresby and Hollins House on the way. An 8-mile walk in the Yorkshire Dales.

Bolton Castle in the village of Castle Bolton
St Oswald’s Church in Castle Bolton
Aysgarth Falls (Middle Force)

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Walk 5 – Bainbridge and Semer Water

South-west from Bainbridge to Semer Water, following A Pennine Journey on the east side of the River Bain. Around the lake and further south-west to Stalling Busk before heading down to Marsett. After a steep northerly ascent it’s north-east back to the starting point on Cam High Road (Roman Road) across Bainbridge High Pasture. A 9-mile walk in the Yorkshire Dales.

Bainbridge village green
The River Bain waterfalls in Bainbridge
Semer Water

Look at these walking guides

Three very good paperbacks from the Amazon Cicerone store. There are many others to choose from. Although I make up my own walking routes, I regularly look at these guides for inspiration.

RECOMMENDED WALKING GUIDEBOOK
Walking in the Yorkshire Dales. North and East Walks. Howgills, Mallerstang, Swaledale, Wensleydale, Coverdale and Nidderdale.
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RECOMMENDED WALKING GUIDEBOOK
Walking in the Yorkshire Dales. South and West Walks. Wharfedale, Littondale, Malhamdale, Dentdale and Ribblesdale.
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RECOMMENDED WALKING GUIDEBOOK
The North York Moors. 50 walks in the North York Moors National Park. Includes the Lyke Wake Walk.
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