This Yorkshire Dales walk has two ascents as you traverse the hills from Wharefdale to Littondale and back again. In complete contrast the final section is level walking following the Dales Way beside the River Wharfe.
Calculated time is computed with the distance, the height difference, and an average speed of 2.2 mph. For an intermediate walker, this time includes small breaks.
(D)There is a pay and display car park in Kettlewell (Grid ref. SD968723) with alternative parking nearby. Leave the car park and cross the River Wharfe. Ignore the riverside path leading to Starbotton and take the next path. Almost immediately turn left on a rising path that can be seen heading uphill to a limestone outcrop. This path is signed Arncliffe. The climb, although steep, offers excellent views of Kettlewell and Wharfedale.
(1)The path is easily to follow and once through the 'slit' in the limestone outcrop the gradient eases to reach Old Cote Moor. With few navigational problems you can enjoy the views with Littondale appearing ahead with Arncliffe village clustered around its church. The descent is easy until you reach Byre Bank Wood where the going is considerably more difficult. Reaching a tarmac road go straight across to a stile and take the shortcut to the bridge over the River Skirfare.
(2)Go over the bridge and explore the village of Arncliffe with its pleasant village green and pub. To continue return to the bridge over the River Skirfare and continue ahead to a road T-junction. Opposite you will see the signed footpath to Starbotton. The start is quite steep but you soon join a track which you follow uphill. The route is never in doubt with good views behind you. As you reach the crest of the hill the views ahead over Wharfedale suddenly open out. Continue across the open fields, descending steadily towards Starbotton. The final section through woodland is steep in places and care is needed after rain.
(3)Reaching the footbridge over the River Wharfe you have two options. You can of course cross the river and explore the village. To continue the walk do not cross the bridge instead turn right and follow the Dales Way back to Kettlewell.(A)
D : km 0 - alt. km 0 - Kettlewell car park
1 : km 2.56 - alt. km 2.56 - Old Cote Moor
2 : km 3.82 - alt. km 3.82 - Arncliffe village
3 : km 7.66 - alt. km 7.66 - Starbotton village
A : km 10.66 - alt. km 10.66 - Kettlewell car park
Kettlewell is a popular starting point for walks in Wharfedale with cafés, pubs and shops. This route involves considerable ascent first crossing the hills as you walk from Wharefdale to Littondale and then repeating the process as you return to Wharfedale. Thankfully the final section of the walk is a level stroll following the Dales Way alongside the River Wharfe. Refreshments are limited along the way with a pub in Arncliffe the only choice.
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