Explore Langstrothdale by Bike
This ride takes you along roads and tracks into the wilder reaches of Greenfield Forest. Along the way you'll pass hay meadows and woodland, field barns and drystone walls. You follow the River Wharfe all the way and there are plenty of spots for a relaxing sandwich stop. Feel free to go all the way to Greenfield or turn around when you feel you've cycled enough. The road climbs gently from an altitude of 230 meters at Buckden to 400 meters. It follows a tarmac road to High Greenfield, then a surfaced forest track.
Buckden Car Park SD 942773
Turn left out of the car park and head into the center of Buckden with the village green on your right. Watch out for cars on the road
Buckden used to be the center of the medieval hunting Forest of Langstrothdale Chase.
Take the sharp right hand turn, signposted towards Hawes. The road doubles back here and the village green will remain on your right
At Hubberholme continue straight along the road. It's worth a stop here for a look at the church.
Hubberholme Church dates from the 12th century. It's famous for its rood loft, which is thought to have come from Coverham Priory in 1558. Robert Thompson of Kilburn made the pews in 1934 and there are several carved mice you can search for. The church is the last resting place of J B Priestley, the playwright, and there is a memorial at the back of the church.
Continue along the road with the ancient settlement of Yockenthwaite on your right
Yockenthwaite dates back at least to the time of the Vikings. Its name means Eoghan's clearing in a wood, with thwaite being the Norse term for clearing. If visiting at the end of June it's worth a walk down the Dales Way footpath across the bridge to see the amazing flowers that grow in the meadows. Or you could walk up the river for half a mile to see Yockenthwaite stone circle
The road continues close by the river here. There are lots of rock pools and places to sit with your feet in the water while having a bite to eat or something to drink, maybe on your return.
Walls and barns in Langstrothdale
As the road crosses the river you'll see some great views of Dales hay meadows on your left. Most barns are no longer used and becoming derelict. In the past cows spent winter in the barns and were fed with hay that was stored in the barn, having been cut from the surrounding meadow.
At Beckermonds turn left down the road signposted Greenfield
From here the road over to Hawes climbs up and over Fleet Moss, the highest public road in Yorkshire, which reaches 570 metres
The road here begins to travel into Greenfield Forest and between outcrops of limestone pavement
Limestone Pavement is a fascinating rocky landscape. It's divided up into Clints (water-worn limestone blocks) and Grykes (water-worn cracks in the rock). Stop off and have a look at the pavement and peer into the grykes. This sheltered environment can support lots of flowers and ferns. Take care on the pavement (especially if you're in cleated cycling shoes) as the grykes can be quite deep and the rock loose and slippery.
High Greenfield is a lonely farm at the entrance to Greenfield Forest. The tarmacked road ends here but if your bike is suitable head through the gate and into the forest.
Flowers around High Greenfield
The roadsides at High Greenfield are covered with wildlflowers in early summer. You may see frog orchid, twayblade, globeflower, yellow rattle, eyebright and wood cranesbill
The track through the forest is a bridleway and reasonably well surfaced, with occasional puddles. Our suggested route ends as the bridleway leaves the forest and you will turn around and return the same way. Views on the return leg are surprisingly different.
In late spring masses of bird's eye primrose grow on the track edge. If you're lucky you may see a deer, or even a red squirrel. Keep your eyes peeled for the ancient pack horse bridge that you cross on this route.
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