Buckden Pike is one of the highest fells in the Yorkshire Dales National Park. There are many different walks you can do to reach the summit of Buckden Pike. In this guide, we’ll focus on one of the most popular Buckden Pike walks, which is a circular route, taking in Buckden Pike, Starbotton village and River Wharfe. But, we’ll also cover information about all of the other well-known Buckden Pike routes. Additionally, we’ll talk about the awesome Buck Inn in Buckden, which is a great place to stay in the area or to simply finish your walk for a bite to eat and a pint.
We hope you find this guide helpful. For information about other great walks in the Yorkshire Dales, read our guides about the Three Peaks Challenge, Ingleton Waterfall Trail and Aysgarth Falls (guides coming soon). Otherwise, read our huge Yorkshire Dales National Park hiking guide (also coming soon).
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Buckden Pike, Yorkshire Dales
Buckden Pike is a well-known fell in the Yorkshire Dales National Park. As mentioned, it’s one of the highest fells in the Yorkshire Dales, so many people want to visit to summit the peak. In fact, Buckden Pike is the seventh highest fell in the Yorkshire Dales. It’s actually higher than the famous Pen-y-ghent, which is one of the three Yorkshire Peaks.
You’ll find much of the fell is owned by National Trust. That’s one of the other reasons Buckden Pike is quite popular. Through association with the well-established organisation, the fell is more widely known and recognised.
Of course, a walk to Buckden Pike isn’t just about reaching the summit. Whichever walk you choose to do to get to Buckden Pike, you’ll enjoy stunning views of the surrounding Wharfedale and Upper Wharfedale areas of the Yorkshire Dales. You’ll also have an excellent pub to visit at the end of the walk. Of course, that’s the Buck Inn, in Buckden. The Buck Inn also makes for the perfect place to stay in Buckden, if you want to make a weekend out of it.
So, where exactly is Buckden Pike located in the Yorkshire Dales?
Where Is Buckden Pike in the Yorkshire Dales?
Buckden Pike is located in the Wharfedale area of the Yorkshire Dales National Park in the northwest of England. To help get your bearings, please click on the image below to access an interactive map of the area.
Now you’ve got your bearings, let’s look more specifically at the Buckden Pike Walk that we recommend. As mentioned, there are so many different Buckden walks to choose from. But, we’ll start by describing the walk we did and then tell you about the other popular walking options. Let’s start by looking at some quick stats!
Buckden Pike Walk Route Details
- Type: Loop
- Distance: 13.65km (8.5 miles)
- Time: 3.5–4.5 hours
- Accumulated elevation gain: 480m
- Difficulty: Moderate
- Trailhead: Buckden Pike Car Park or Buckden village
- Map: Wikiloc
For an ordnance survey Buckden Pike map, you can try and find one by clicking Buckden Pike OS map.
Buckden Pike Walk Distance and Difficulty
The distance of this Buckden Pike Walk is around 13.65km. In terms of difficulty, we’ve rated it as moderate. That’s because of the length and the elevation gain. Thankfully, trail navigation for this walk is fairly straightforward. In terms of trail terrain, it’s a bit of a mixed bag. Some trails during the walk are managed and well maintained, whilst other parts of the walk are quite boggy. Beck and I did this walk in the summer and still found it fairly boggy in sections. Indeed, this boggy terrain may make the walk even harder in winter.
Buckden Pike Walk Map (Directions)
Here’s a map of the Buckden Pike Walk we’ll describe below.
Buckden Pike Walk Description
In this trail description, we’re going to tell you about the highlights of the walk that we did to Buckden Pike.
Where to Start
Most people start the walk at the Yorkshire Dales National Park Car Park in Buckden. Indeed, this is considered the official trailhead for this Buckden Pike Walk. But, Beck and I actually started the walk from Buckden village, parking out the front of the Buck Inn – where we’d head for a meal and drink afterwards.
Buckden Pike Car Park to Buckden Pike
From the car park, you’ll initially follow a path heading in a northerly direction. The beginning of the trail gently ascends a bridleway known as Buckden Rake. After passing areas of woodland, known as Rakes Wood, the trail ascends more sharply. Soon enough, you’ll have sweeping views of the three peaks as you wind your way through the moorland towards the top of Buckden Pike. To reach the summit, you’ll follow a trail, which is also known as the Bishopdale Head Occupation Road.
Buckden Pike to the Polish War Memorial
At the summit of Buckden Pike, you’ll find a trig point and a short cairn. Next to the cairn, you’ll find a small seating area. This is a perfect place to have a rest, have a snack and enjoy the views. Once you’ve re-fuelled and re-energised, it’s time to continue the walk. You’ll follow a trail in a southerly direction, which eventually arrives at the Polish War Memorial. It’s also known as the Polish Air Memorial and Buckden Pike Memorial. This memorial is to commemorate the five Polish airmen who died when their plane crashed here during a snowstorm in 1942.
Polish War Memorial to Buckden Pike Car Park
After stopping at the memorial, you’ll then begin descending moorlands and then the old Walden Road towards Starbotton. After briefly passing through this small village, you’ll cross the road and complete the loop by walking by the side of the quaint River Wharfe. The river will eventually lead you to Dubb’s Lane. When you arrive there, you’ll simply turn right and complete the short walk back to Buckden village. To celebrate finishing the Buckden Pike Walk, it’s time to head to the Buck Inn – one of the best pubs in Yorkshire!
The Buck Inn, Buckden
The Buck Inn is hands down one of our favourite pubs in the Yorkshire Dales. After completing the walk to Buckden Pike, we think it should be compulsory to stop here! Whether it’s for a meal, a drink or staying the night, the Buck Inn is a great place to visit after your walk. The Buck Inn serves fantastic hearty pub meals and they have plenty of beers on tap.
In terms of accommodation, we’ve heard the rooms at the Buck Inn in Buckden are very comfortable and nicely decorated. Guests always rave about the breakfast too!
Other Buckden Pike Walks
Let’s look at some of the other most popular walks to reach the peak of Buckden Pike.
- Buckden Beck and Buckden Pike Waterfall Walk: instead of walking up Buckden Rake, you’ll walk along Buckden Beck (AKA Buckden Gill). This route explores some lovely waterfalls along Buckden Beck. There are also scrambling opportunities and a chance to explore Buckden Lead Mine.
- Buckden Pike Short Walk: this is also a circular route, also known as the Express Walk. Basically, this is one of the shortest circular walks you can do to reach the summit of Buckden Pike.
- Buckden Pike Circular Walk: this circular route is very similar to the walk described in this guide. The main difference is you won’t visit Starbotton or walk along River Wharfe.
How to Get to Buckden
The easiest and quickest way to access the trailheads for walks to Buckden Pike is to drive yourself. As mentioned, for the walk described in this guide, you’ll park at the visitor centre car park. The parking fees are usually £3 for two hours or £5 for over two hours. Otherwise, it’s £6 for 24-hour parking which allows for overnight parking.
It’s actually free to park in Buckden village. But, street-side parking is limited. If you arrive early enough, you may be able to find free parking in Buckden, opposite the Buck Inn.
If you don’t have your own set of wheels, we recommend hiring a car using Rentalcars.com. You’ll find a wide variety of cars on Rental Cars, which are very easy to book online.
It’s also possible to use public transport to get to Buckden. Buses alight in Buckden at the Buck Inn and also at the car park. We recommend using Google Maps or Dales Bus to plan your journey. Although, personally, we don’t recommend using public transport to get to Buckden in Yorkshire, as you’ll have a fairly slow and tedious journey to get there. Certainly, it’s best to drive to Buckden yourself.
Other Walks in the Yorkshire Dales National Park
If you’re wanting to explore more of the serene Yorkshire Dales National Park, then you’ll have to do other walks in the area. Below, we’ve listed other excellent walks in the Dales (guides coming soon).
- Three Peaks Challenge: the ultimate walking challenge in the Dales, which takes in the Yorkshire three peaks – Pen-y-ghent, Ingleborough and Whernside.
- Aysgarth Falls Walk: a pleasant walk exploring the Lower, Middle and Upper Falls of Aysgarth Falls.
- Ilkley Moor: taking place just inside the parameters of the national park is the circular walk around Ilkley Moor.
- Malham Cove: one of the star attractions of the Dales, which can be explored along a long loop walk, which also takes in Malham Tarn, Gordale Scar and Janet’s Foss.
- Nine Standards Rigg: explore the summit of Hartley Fell by checking out the Nine Standards Riggs monument.
- Burnsall to Grassington: this classic walk explores two gorgeous towns in the Dales, whilst taking in all of the breathtaking nature in between (including seeing Linton Falls).
- Grassington Moor Leadmining Trail: a fascinating historical trail, located just outside of Grassington.
- Brimham Moor: an outstanding National Trust attraction, that’s best enjoyed on a short circular walk through the moorland.
- Conistone Pie and Dib Circular Walk: a lovely circular walk taking in the rocky landscape surrounding the small town of Conistone.
- Great Whernside Walk: an adventurous trail, which explores the less-known Great Whernside.
- Muker Meadows Circular Walk: you’ll explore many waterfalls on this walk, including the brilliant upper and lower East Gill Force.
- Cautley Spout: England’s highest waterfall above ground, can be seen on a walk around Howgill Fell.
- Ingleton Waterfalls Trail: of course, there are many waterfalls to see along the Ingleton Falls Trail.
Below, you’ll find the most frequently asked questions about Buckden Pike.
Is Buckden Pike a Mountain or Fell?
It’s classified as a fell.
How High Is Buckden Pike?
It’s 702 metres high.
How Hard Is Buckden Pike?
In terms of difficulty, we’ve rated the walk described in this guide as moderate. With that said, most walks to Buckden Pike involve a decent amount of elevation gain. So, most of these walks are usually classified as at least moderate difficulty.
How Long Does it Take to Climb Buckden Pike?
In terms of time, the walk described in this guide takes around 3.5–4.5 hours.
Are There Toilets at the Buckden Pike Car Park?
Is There A Pub in Buckden?
Yes, you know it – the brilliant Buck Inn is the best pub in Buckden, Yorkshire.
Are There Any Waterfalls on the Buckden Pike Walk?
No, not on the walk described in this guide. But, as mentioned, you can explore waterfalls by following along the nearby Buckden Beck.
These are our five hiking gear essentials for this walk.
- Merrell Moab Mid Gore-Tex Hiking Boots: these hiking boots are super comfortable and lightweight.
- The North Face Venture Jacket: a fantastic windproof/waterproof jacket.
- Osprey Skarab 30L Day Backpack: a great backpack for hiking, which has plenty of space to store your gear.
- The North Face TKA Glacier Fleece Jacket: an excellent warmth:weight ratio fleece jacket that’ll help keep you warm.
- Columbia Convertible Trousers: a value for money pair of water-resistant convertible trousers.
For a longer hiking gear list, read our 66 Travel Items You Must Travel With. For a list of everything else you’d need for travelling, read our Packing Checklist.
- The walk is considered family-friendly: the kids should be fine to take on this walk. Of course, you’ll be the best judge to know your child’s ability when it comes to walking!
- Stay local: why not make a weekend out of it? By staying at the Buck Inn in Buckden, you can soak up more of the lovely Dales!
- Explore other nearby national parks: don’t just stop at the Yorkshire Dales. Head to the beautiful Lake District (guides coming soon) or North York Moors National Park.
Please leave us a comment below, we’d love to hear from you.
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