Walk: Wharfedale and Littondale

This is a delightful exposed and dramatic walk with stunning views into Wharfedale and Littondale both at the beginning and end of the day.

Kettlewell Starbotton

The Route

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Walk Description

Starbotton has been a village since the Iron Age times and still has only 75 residents! The village is criss crossed with a web of ancient routes from the times of the great monasteries of Fountains Abbey, Jervaulx and Rievaulx.

The River Wharfe means ‘winding river’ and flows from Beckermonds into the Humber Estuary. As a result Wharfedale is a beautiful valley with steep hills rising on both sides making it one of the most stunning Dales in Yorkshire. The path ascending from Starbotton is an old packhorse track and drovers’ lane with crumbling walls on each side and trees lining the way – it is atmospheric and historic. It climbs steeply to the top of the moor used for grouse shooting in season.

Arncliffe, now a conservation area, was used for filming Emmerdale. The fictional village of Beckindale was Arncliffe and The Falcon Inn, the Woolpack. The pub has no pumps for its beer but pours pints straight from the barrel into pot jugs and to the glass! From behind the pub, Malham Tarn can be reached just 4 miles away on the Monks Road. The scars above the village were once home to eagles hence the Old English name Earn meaning Eagle has evolved into Arn Cliffe.

Hawkswick is a tiny hamlet with 70 residents. It was named after the first settlement, Hauk’s Dairy. The hamlet later had a Ballroom which still exists but is now a house.

The climb over Hawkswick Moor passes Knipe Wood above Knipe Scar and is popular with ornithologists as there are peregrine falcons, redshanks and curlews here as well as dippers, oystercatchers and wagtails.

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