Saturday, 6 July 2013

Buckden Pike from Kettlewell.

This time Peter was running a workshop in Kettlewell in Wharefdale.  So once again I took advantage and hitched a lift and an overnight stay in the campervan.

The forecast was sunny and hot, so lathered in factor 30 suncream, (not my legs though, my legs never  burn or go brown. Humph!),   and with a back pack heavy with water, I set off through Kettlewell for what was expected to be a long hot walk.....

Until I got the the little Kettlewell store that is.  Thing is, I wasn't sure which road to take to find my path out of the village, I sort of walked this way a bit, looked at the map, turned round and sort of walked that way a bit, then turned round again. 

"I know," thought I, "I'll use the GPS, it'll tell me which way to go", then I realised that I'd left the GPS batteries in the charger at home.  (Funny isn't it, how you absolutely know that you've forgotten something, but have absolutely forgotten what is is).  As it happens, I was right outside the Kettlewell shop, and, miraculously, I had thought to put a few pounds in my pocket.  So batteries bought, GPS was switched on, and I could immediately see which way to go. This proved to be a useful move later on.

The route was easy, the sun was bright and high, and as I got higher in the hills, the wind blew breezy and cool.  Wonderful. 

Some pictures:
Looking back at Kettlewell
Great Whernside on my right
A lovely long grassy path ahead
Cottongrass everywhere
Buckden Pike ahead

A memorial to a crashed RAF Wellington Bomber and five crew.  The inscription reads: "Thanksgiving to God, the Parker family and local people and in memory of five Polish RAF Airmen who died here on 31/1/42 - buried in Newark. - The Survivor".  You can read his story and the reason for the fox head built into the memorial here:
I was absolutely delighted to see this Golden Plover, as I've never seen one before. 

The summit cairn of Bucken Pike, I sat here a few minutes, enjoying the views, the sun and the breeze
The route back 
Buckden down hill and dead centre. I'm not going there though. 

It was shortly after the last photograph was taken that I lost my route map.  I was cross with myself because of the littering factor more than anything else, but luckily, I had a GPS to keep me on the right path.  Dead useful cos occasionally I forget where I was planning to go and head of in a completely different direction.  Today was no exception, and I nearly ended up on a path down to Buckden when I should've been on a path to Starbotton.

I should also remember to clear the memory card on my camera more often too, since shortly after this point I discovered it was full, which is why there aren't any more photographs.

The last stretch of the walk from Starbotton to Kettlewell seemed to go on forever.  It was so much hotter down in the valley, the brisk breeze I'd enjoyed on the tops was gone, the air was still, and there isn't much shade.  The heat saps the energy, and I began to feel completely exhausted, but finally Kettlewell appeared in view, and I was back at the campervan, removing boots from hot tired feet. 

A happy tired tho'.  This was a really pleasant walk of just over 10 miles, and around 2500ft of up n down.

Oh, and by the way, the factor 30 suncream worked brilliantly and I didn't get burnt......... except for my legs!


  1. Nice write up and photos. Wharfedale holds many happy memories for me and one day, I hope to return there, walk or cycle, one or the other.

  2. Nice report.

    It's a great area for walking, and we did a similar circuit back in March. We took a slightly different route up, and came back via Buckden and the Dale, but in essence very similar. The tops were snowy that day, though, so a very different feel to the sunny, hot walk you have described here! :-)

  3. Beautiful photography Tracey, never seen a Golden Plover or Buckden Pike, very nice.

  4. Hey that s a great place to walk! Last time I went there a gentleman was setting off with me, on his 75th birthday... I too have never seen a golden plover, I wouldnt have known what it was. There is a Plover Hill on Pen Y Ghent not so far away. THese pics brought back happy memories, thanks a lot D :) That s quite a walk in this heat isnt it! Phew!


  5. I'm glad it's not just me who finds the first few steps of a walk the hardest to navigate. Getting out of a strange village or through a collection of farm buildings at the start of a walk is always a nightmare. That made me laugh.
    Cheers, Alen

  6. Great pictures and like you I have a thing about the lovely golden plover. My dad is a wildlife photographer and has filmed them on the nest - so if I can twist his arm I'll post a few on the walkers forum ....

    Stephen (p.s. please join my blog 'A Three Peaks Up and Under' - think you'll enjoy it )