Parking: Roadside parking in Buckden
Start Point: Buckden village
Region: Yorkshire Dales
Route length: 5.2miles (8.3km)
Time taken: 02:05
Average speed: 2.5mph
2000s on this walk:
Buckden Pike (702m)
Additional summits: None
Other points of interest: Buckden Lead Mine, War Memorial
Route: Buckden, Buckden Beck, Buckden Lead Mine, Buckden Out Moor, Buckden Gavel, Buckden Pike, Memorial Cross, Starbotton Fell, Walden Road, East Side, Buckden
Buckden Pike is one of the higher fells in the Yorkshire Dales National Park and has views to match. It is, however, one of the less frequented of the higher peaks, often overlooked by the famous Three Peaks and the marginally higher Great Whernside a short distance away. This does not mean that it is not an interesting hill though, and this route is by far the most exciting and quickest way to the top.
I'd taken a day off work for a long weekend in the Lake District but the weather, as it is this time of year, had other ideas, focussing some intense rainfall over the Lake for much or Friday. Altering our plans slightly we decided we'd travel up on Saturday instead, leaving me with an entirely free day and nothing to do, so to speak.
In order not to waste a valuable non work day, I set my sights a little closer to home and picked up the trail of the Yorkshire 2000s that has gone a little cold of late. My most recent foray into the hills of the Dales was that of Great Shunner Fell some months earlier so it was nice to be back.
Not wanting a too demanding day out, I decided on Buckden Pike, the fell sat on the eastern edge of the park that offered a nice morning walk without too much effort. I've seen routes up the hill from Buckden that follow Buckden Beck and, scouring the map, it looked by far the most interesting way up the hillside.
I left the car on the road outside the Buck Inn, there's plenty of space for a few cars. The beginnings of the route pass by the left hand side of the pub, along a lane towards the obvious valley of Buckden Beck, and ignoring the signpost marking the route to Buckden Lead Mine.
|The first sighting of Buckden Beck|
|The treatment building|
|The first waterfall - a miniature Malham cove|
|A look path along the path - the gap can be seen on the right on the rocks|
|The route up the cleft|
|Buckden Beck from the top of the waterfall|
|Above the fall now|
|Rounding an outcrop above the first waterfall|
|Above the second waterfall|
|The third fall|
|Close up of the third fall|
|The crack in the wall I climbed up|
|Buckden Beck above the third fall|
|The fourth waterfall|
|The path continues alongside Buckden Beck|
|The remains of Buckden Lead Mine|
|The entrance to the old mine|
|Track leading to the mine entrance|
|Bit of monochrome|
|More abandoned structures|
|A look back down into Wharfedale|
|Clouds on the ridge|
|Flagstones lead to the summit|
|A pillar marks the top|
|Along with a cairn and wooden viewing post|
|The trig pillar from the cairn|
|A windy day on the summit|
|The route continues on|
|Boundary marker on the ridge|
Sergeant Jozef Fusniak, the tail gunner, survived the crash when the rear section of the aircraft broke away upon impact. With a broken ankle, Jozef followed the tracks of a fox down to the village where he was rescued. Sadly, the other crash survivor, Jan Sadowski, did not survive the night.
Jozef was instrumental in getting the memorial erected in the 1970s, the current cross is perched on a substantial base in which parts of the wrecked aircraft are embedded. A bronze foxes head pays homage to the animal that undoubtedly saved Jozef's life.
|The memorial to the crashed bomber|
|The fox's head is beneath the plaque|
Cutting a corner, I followed the wall around the hillside instead of dropping onto the track, and continued cross-country in a northerly direction until I reached the bridleway that leads down from the lead mine (the same path I recommended avoiding earlier).
|Wharfedale backed by Old Cote Moor|
|The view along the bridleway to Buckden|