This board helps you to share your walking route experiences in England and Wales... or overseas.
Warning Please note that hillwalking when there is snow lying requires an ice-axe, crampons and the knowledge, experience and skill to use them correctly. Summer routes may not be viable or appropriate in winter. See winter information on our skills and safety pages for more information.

Birks Fell & Yockenthwaite Moor

Birks Fell & Yockenthwaite Moor

Postby poppiesrara » Mon Jun 10, 2013 11:36 pm

Hewitts included on this walk: Birks Fell, Yockenthwaite Moor

Date walked: 09/06/2013

Time taken: 4.25

Distance: 19 km

Ascent: 870m

Register or Login
free to be able to rate and comment on reports (as well as access 1:25000 mapping).

On a hazy day, a long trek around the head of Wharfedale.

birks and yock.gpx Open full screen  NB: Walkhighlands is not responsible for the accuracy of gpx files in users posts

I’d put off this walk for a long time, waiting for at least half a dry spell before tackling reputedly far the boggiest of the Dales hills. Sometimes it perhaps helps to build up the worst thoughts about a route then, because this was a good day out and nothing like as bad as feared… The drive through Wharfedale is lovely of course, its head in Langstrothdale (and the first couple of miles of grassy climb from Hubberholme towards Yockenthwaite Moor – a clear route following gill then wall) wilder but no less so. There’s then half a mile of flat blanket peatbog, but at least the target trig is always in sight as a spur, and with a bit of ingenuity, long-jumping, and plenty of backtracking you can make it there clean-booted. I rather like this sort of challenge in small doses, but then I haven’t fallen in yet!, and in mist, without a clear end in sight and no hope of following a bearing across this terrain, I’m quite sure it would seem horrendous. Heading south from the top to its namesake hamlet, the upper moor is much greener and easier, quickly falling away into lush grass and some fun scrambles down lime outcrops.
Birks and Yock 002.jpg

Birks and Yock 011.jpg
Ascending to Yockenthwaite Moor (left)

Birks and Yock 014.jpg
... and back down, Horse Head in haze behind

Birks and Yock 021.jpg
Yockenthwaite Moor summit, with shades of the 3 Peaks

Birks and Yock 027.jpg
Cliffs around Pasture Gill

Birks and Yock 029.jpg

Birks and Yock 030.jpg
Hagg Beck over Raisgill

Back right down to valley level, it takes a little resolution to set off uphill again, but the bridleway up to Horse Head is a comfortingly good one, well-graded and with good views over the gash of Hagg Beck. A misty haze had closed in by the top of this climb though and, with none of the expected views to the surrounding peaks, the long miles along the flat ridge to Birks Fell – sometimes easy grass, sometimes damp, sometimes through short patches of worse bog than seen on Yockenthwaite Moor – can seem a little bit of a samey trudge. The summit and then Birks Tarn, bleakly grey today but still with an austere beauty, break this up, and then it’s a short walk on an improving path to find the track down.
Birks and Yock 034.jpg
Yockenthwaite bridge

Birks and Yock 036.jpg
Yockenthwaite Moor rising over the hamlet

Birks and Yock 045.jpg
Strans Wood from ascent of Horse Head

Birks and Yock 054.jpg
Sugar Loaf, a rare landmark on the summit ridge

Birks and Yock 058.jpg
Birks Fell cairn

Birks and Yock 061.jpg
Grey view across Birks Tarn

It’s a nice way back towards Buckden, helped by clearing skies giving ever-improving views of the Pike in front and the upper Wharfe below: a relaxing end to a guardedly-good walk, if one to steer far away from in rougher conditions…
Birks and Yock 065.jpg
Glimpse of Buckden Pike

Birks and Yock 082.jpg
Yockenthwaite Moor on horizon

Birks and Yock 083.jpg
Buckden Pike and village

Birks and Yock 084.jpg
Kidstones pass over Wharfedale

Birks and Yock 087.jpg
Buttercups near Hubberholme
User avatar
Posts: 1549
Munros:4   Corbetts:2
Joined: Aug 11, 2010
Location: Leicestershire

Re: Birks Fell & Yockenthwaite Moor

Postby mrssanta » Tue Jun 11, 2013 10:02 pm

Always good to see pictures of Upper Wharfedale - lots of happy childhood memories!
User avatar
Mountain Walker
Posts: 3132
Munros:281   Corbetts:12
Sub 2000:12   Hewitts:43
Wainwrights:41   Islands:13
Joined: Jul 18, 2011
Location: north yorkshire moors

Re: Birks Fell & Yockenthwaite Moor

Postby colgregg » Wed Jun 12, 2013 7:18 pm

Thats been a good walk.I did the same route as you for Birks, Starting and finishing in Hubberholme. ( in reverse). Must take some psyching up re-ascend from valley level!! I attacked Yock Moor from Stalling Busk to the North. You definitely had the best of weather, I never saw much on either of the days I did mine. Despite it not reaching the 2000ft mark the trig on Horsehead is a great resting spot.
Munro compleatist
Posts: 2182
Munros:15   Corbetts:5
Sub 2000:1   Hewitts:181
Joined: Aug 25, 2009
Location: Richmond North Yorkshire

Re: Birks Fell & Yockenthwaite Moor

Postby L-Hiking » Wed Jun 12, 2013 8:46 pm

Good effort Poppy, I have not ventured here to date and have heard some horror stories regards the bogs and peat hags.

Thanks for sharing
User avatar
Posts: 545
Munros:78   Corbetts:8
Sub 2000:2   Hewitts:141
Joined: Aug 30, 2010
Location: York, North Yorkshire

Register or Login
free to be able to rate and comment on reports (as well as access 1:25000 mapping).

Can you help support Walkhighlands?

Our forum is free from adverts - your generosity keeps it running.
Can you help support Walkhighlands and this community by donating by direct debit?

Return to Walk reports - Outside Scotland

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 18 guests