Post image for The Dales Way: Day 2 – Burnsall to Buckden (13.8 miles)

The Dales Way: Day 2 – Burnsall to Buckden (13.8 miles)

July 15, 2013 · 10 comments



Route of The Dales Way from Burnsall to Buckden


Walked 12th June 2013

Distance walked (including our detour) 16 miles

I used Colin Speakman’s book “Dales Way” to crib the occasional note for the blog.

Those interested in The Dales Way might like to look up the Dales Way Association website.

All the photographs were taken on an iphone 5, the images subsequently cropped and adjusted for exposure, highlights and shadows and contrast in Photoshop.

The rooms at the Red Lion were small (some might say cramped) but comfortable. They were also very expensive to have to oneself but this is a deservedly popular area and there is little other accommodation nearby. The breakfast was pretty good though and the Two Johns caught a bus back to meet us so we were on the path again by around 9.30pm.

The path keeps to the east side of the Wharfe past Loup Scar where there are some rapids.

River Wharfe in Wharfedale just above Loup Scar, photographed by Charles Hawes

The Wharfe near Loup Scar: our companion river for the second day.

After a brief ascent and descent of the path, the river becomes wide and quiet until it reaches the  attractive and quite bouncy Hebden Swing Bridge.

Hedbden Swing Bridge on the Dales Way in North Yorkshire, photographed by Charles Hawes

Bob (with the map) leading from behind.

A mile and a half further along we paused to admire (but not be overwhelmed by) Linton Falls.

Linton Falls on The Dales Way in North Yorkshire, photographed by Charles Haswes

John 2 thinking deeply about whether to take a picture.

A short stretch on a lane brought us to the very pretty and busy village of Grassington where there was much debate about provisions for lunch. And a certain amount of friendly banter from John 1 in my direction who thought I needed to be kitted out more smartly from a Gentleman’s Outfitters that had caught his eye.

Grassington Methodist Church, Grassington, North Yorkshire on The Dales Way, photographed by Charles Hawes

We were, of course, walking with God.

We walked through the village, climbing gently until we were open fields.

The Dales Way as it leaves Grassington photographed by Charles Hawes

Nature is just one big outdoor classroom when you walk with me (tongue in cheek)

One of the group had earlier opined (apropos of what I can’t remember) that you either see dandelions in full flower or when they at the seed head stage. Always up for a challenge I amused myself by collecting dandelions at the various stages of their development thus proving them wrong and enriching all our botanical knowledge.

We were in unmistakably limestone country now as evidenced by the stone walls and outcrops that we passed by and by a profusion of wild flowers.

The Dales Way near Grassington, North Yorkshire, photographed by Charles Hawes

Highly original snap of John 2 photographing John 1 and Bob

The orchids and large patches of yellow violas were particularly impressive.

Viola tricolor by The Dales Way, North Yorkshire, photographed by Charles Hawes.

Wonderful clumps of Wild Pansy- Viola tricolor (see what an education it is to walk with me)

Early Purple orchids on The Dales Way, North Yorkshire, photographed by Charles Hawes

Probably the early purple orchid but do correct me if I’m wrong

Bob was the map holder and around Lea Green we (I mean Bob, of course) managed to lose our correct path. A temporary paralysis affected three of our party and there was much map studying.

The Dales Way near Lea Green, North Yorkshire, photographed by Charles Hawes

Summit meeting to discuss the way forward

I felt confident that the path I was on (from where I took this picture) was the correct one and in the face of no great confidence in my view but no better opinion we headed due East through the very pretty Bastow Wood (predominantly birch) which eventually came to a minor road that ran in the bottom of the valley whereas we should have been walking along the top.

Entrance to the Grass Wood Nature Reserve, North Yorkshire, photographed by Charles Hawes

The rather over-signed entrance (or exit in our case) to the Grass Wood Nature Reserve and wood.

The debate as to whose fault it was that we had added an extra couple of miles to the days walk continued until we reached the little hamlet of Conistone where lunch was taken by a flag pole. After lunch I sought to continue in the opposite direction to the one we required to get us back on the Dales Way but Bob, his fingers already burnt, was having none of it. We climbed the steep track known as Scott Gate Lane with good humour (well Bob and I were in good humour, the Johns may have been cursing but they were lagging behind).

The Dales Way near Conistone Dib, North Yorkshire, photographed by Charles Hawes

“We, like sheep……” This one will run and run.

It wasn’t a day for spectacular views as the clouds were quite low but the landscape was still impressive as we headed for Kettlewell and we began to pass through some very fine buttercup meadows.

Wildflower meadow near Kettlewell, on The Dales Way, North Yorkshire, photographed by Charles Hawes

The first of many meadows filled with buttercups(and other stuff)

Kettlewell was very sleepy and I feared that we might not find the tea and cake that we all needed but John 1 went exploring and came back with reports of a tea room on the far side of the village. Zarina’s Tea Room and Bed and Breakfast was an excellent place (apart from lack of wifi) with lots of cakes to choose from and some unusual local thing which John tried and which I thought was very bland. (so did he, but neither of us can remember what’s it called, so that’s not much help to you).

View of theThe  Wharf taken from The Dales way, North Yorkshire, photographed by Charles Hawes

I think this is actually just before Kettlewell, looking down onto the Wharf and back towards High Wind Bank.

After Kettlewell we more or less kept to the banks of the Wharfe for another 4 miles or so.

Crossing the Wharfe at Kettlewell looking north east on The Dales Way, photographed by Charles Hawes

Crossing the Wharfe at Kettlewell looking north east.

It was easy and very pleasant walking though meadow after meadow of yellow buttercup (there were other plant species but I was surprised at how few).

Near Buckden the path passes through an estate where I began to notice a wide range of quite mature exotic trees.  According to my guidebook many of the trees date for the 1850s when the then owner, John Ramsden, planted them to create a gentleman’s country retreat. It is now part of the National Trust Upper Wharfedale Estate.

The bridge at Buckden on The Dales Way, North Yorkshire, photographed by Charles Hawes

The very welcome sight of the bridge at Buckden. Line them up!

At Buckden Bridge we turned right to head for the village where our bags were awaiting us at the Buck Inn.  I had half expected to see Dave on the path who was joining us from there but there was no sign of him at the pub so Bob and I unpacked and showered – the two Johns were a little behind (again!).

By the time I had showered and changed Dave was in the bar resplendent in his cycling gear and hot and sweaty. The Johns had kindly bought him a pint though. Dave had left his car at Sedburgh had a very long cycle ride before driving here taking in some optional hills. Mad bugger!

There followed one of the best of evenings that I have had for a long time. Beer had a lot to do with it. Which led to some quite odd conversations and lots of giggling. It seemed to finish off as I remember with a round of malt whiskies being supplied on the house. After which we had another that we paid for. I had a pudding.

Me, John 2, Bob and John 1 in front of the Wibbly Wobbly Bridge.


{ 10 comments… read them below or add one }

John July 15, 2013 at 3:38 pm

Detours can be good (especially long ones). When you get to north Wales on the coast path, you can detour to Ruthin and see the Aubracs! Will make a change from sheep. And have you counted the notices on the gate at Veddw lately? 🙂


Charles July 15, 2013 at 4:50 pm

They have Aubracs in Ruthin?!I’ll add it into my itinerary. OK Mr Picky, we have lots of notices at Veddw but they are nice informative notices. They don’t tell you what not to do.


robert pinder July 15, 2013 at 7:03 pm

great photos of the Wharfe.your blog always feels more authentic when written contemporaneously ;without your inbuilt. filter to underplay your own culpability for events. keep them coming though as they are great to read. b x


Charles July 16, 2013 at 8:44 am

Thanks about the pics. Not so sure about the implication of lack of authenticity! I am deeply offended. I have be merciless with you on the next one.


Anne Wareham July 15, 2013 at 11:41 pm

Colin Speakman, of the book ‘The Dales Way’ taught me English at Bingley Grammar School. I bet his memories of me are anything but fond. Gave him such a bad time. He took us school children walking in the Dales to – some of my more innocent memories….
Excellent as usual – but it should be Wharfe with e, shouldn’t it?
See you’ve punctuated the sheep now..XXXXX


Charles July 16, 2013 at 8:45 am

I’d forgotten that you had known Speakman. I shall make my Wharfe corrections herewith.


Paul Steer July 16, 2013 at 8:02 am

This makes me wish I had walked the whole way. Getting lost with confidence seems to be a skill that you’ve mastered. The Dales are uniquely beautiful and I will definitely return another day.


Charles July 16, 2013 at 8:49 am

I like the idea of having mastered the skill of getting lost with confidence! You would have thought that I’d be safe on the Coast but then again, I can apply this skill in almost any situation. One more day to write up before you join us at Ribblehead and become the butt of more of my personal observations.


Paul Steer July 16, 2013 at 8:38 pm

Oh joy !


Anne Wareham July 16, 2013 at 9:35 am

I hate it especially when he gets lostwithconfidence on the motorway. We have been known to drive up and down the same stretch more than once. It’s good when he won’t have sat nav on because he knows the way, then misses the turn off…


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