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Buckden Pike Walk In The Yorkshire Dales: The Ultimate Guide

Buckden Pike Walk In The Yorkshire Dales: The Ultimate Guide

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.

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?

Read our guide about the Buckden Pike Waterfall Walk

Views during the Buckden Pike Walk, near the Buck Inn in the Yorkshire Dales.
Views of Upper Wharfedale

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.

A map

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.

Map of the Buckden Pike Walk in the Yorkshire Dales.

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.

Dan on the Buckden Pike Walk, before heading to the Buck Inn in the Yorkshire Dales.

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.

Dan and Beck at the summit of Buckden Pike
Buckden Pike summit and trig point

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!

The Buck Inn, Buckden, Yorkshire
The Buck Inn, Buckden, Yorkshire

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. Of course, 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 vehicle, we recommend hiring a car.

Car Hire

If you don’t have your own car, you should hire one using Discover Cars. Personally, we use Discover Cars and highly recommend them for finding your ideal car hire at an affordable price. Booking online is super easy and the free cancellation policy is great.

To find out more about renting a car with Discover Cars, read our Discover Cars review and Discover Cars Insurance review.

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 Trainline, Google Maps or Dales Bus to plan your journey.

Booking Trains


Trainline is one of the best online platforms for booking trains. By using Trainline, you can easily find the best available prices and times for your journey. We always use Trainline to book our train journeys in the UK and in Europe.

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 want 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.

Pen-y-ghent aerial shot


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.

Hiking Essentials

These are our hiking gear essentials for this walk.

Osprey Skarab 30
Osprey Skarab 30

The Osprey Skarab 30 is our go-to hiking backpack for day hikes. This well-designed unisex backpack is comfortable and spacious, so you’ll have plenty of space to pack everything without feeling the strain on your upper back.

Osprey Ultralight Raincover
Osprey Ultralight Raincover

A waterproof backpack cover is an absolute must when you’re adventuring outdoors. The Osprey Ultralight Raincover Medium is a high-quality waterproof cover that’ll keep your backpack bone dry.

GRAYL Reusable Water Bottle
GRAYL Reusable Water Bottle

The GRAYL GeoPress is the best water filter bottle that allows you to purify 710mL (12 ounces) of water. This bottle will make water safe to drink wherever you’re hiking.

BUFF Original Ecostretch
BUFF Original Ecostretch

The BUFF Original Ecostretch is a great option when it comes to multifunctional headwear. We use the Ecostretch as a neck gaiter to keep the sun off our necks and it helps us keep warm in cooler climates.

Sony Cybershot RX100 VII
Sony Cybershot RX100 VII

Capture epic photos and videos with the Sony Cybershot RX100 VII. This is hands-down the best compact camera. We love using this simple point-and-shoot camera when we’re hiking as it’s lightweight and durable.

To find out more about all of the gear that we use and recommend, read our guides about our favourite hiking gear, travel gear and camera gear. Otherwise, read our comprehensive travel packing checklist.

Other Yorkshire Dales Guides

Hardraw Force

For more information about the best things to do in the Yorkshire Dales, click the button below. Otherwise, to help you get started, read our 42 Best Yorkshire Dales Walks or 48 Best Yorkshire Dales Waterfalls guides.

Best Villages to See in the Yorkshire Dales

Bonus Tips

  • 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.

Daniel Piggott

Dan is a travel blogger, physiotherapist, hiker, natural wonder seeker and world traveller. He loves writing travel guides to help his readers explore the most beautiful destinations in the world.

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