Yorkshire Dales walk - Kettlewell, Arncliffe and Starbotton

PUBLISHED: 00:00 18 March 2020

River Wharfe, Wharfedale, Yorkshire Dales (c) Getty Images/iStockphoto/Andy Roland

River Wharfe, Wharfedale, Yorkshire Dales (c) Getty Images/iStockphoto/Andy Roland


Pull on your walking boots for a trip around Kettlewell, taking in the Dales Way.

View to Kettlewell in the Yorkshire Dales (c) Getty Images/iStockphoto/Tim LamperView to Kettlewell in the Yorkshire Dales (c) Getty Images/iStockphoto/Tim Lamper


Kettlewell is a popular starting point for walks in Wharfedale with cafés, pubs and shops. Make sure you bring plenty of energy as this Yorkshire Dales walk involves a 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.

It's a good idea to park at the pay and display car park in Kettlewell - there is alternative parking nearby too. 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, make sure to linger a while.

The path is easy 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. Go over the bridge and explore the village 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. When you reach the footbridge over the River Wharfe you have two options, you can opt to cross the river and explore the village - it's certainly worth spending the time. To continue the walk do not cross the bridge instead turn right and follow the Dales Way back to Kettlewell.



Start/finish: Pay and display car park: grid reference SD968723

Distance: 7 miles/11.4km

Ascent: 1800 feet / 545 metres

Terrain: Moderate

Time: 5 hours, 20 minutes

Parking: Pay and display car park, referenced above

Refreshment: A trip to The King's Head in Kettlewell will be the perfect reward after this decent walk

Map: OS grid reference SD968723

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