Ranger Run in Upper Wharfedale

Running trail

This run begins by following the meandering River Wharfe along the glacial valley of Upper Wharfedale. Here you’ll spot evidence of thousands of years of human history, dating back to Norse and Roman times. Climbing to higher ground above the dale, the return trip takes you across limestone terraces and through fields of limestone pavement. Reduced grazing has allowed a rich variety of limestone flowers and insect life, such as the rare Northern Brown Argus butterfly, to thrive.

This route has been created in collaboration with expert trail runners and adventurers Jen and Sim Benson, as part of our Ranger Run Series

Wharfedale footpath at Strans Wood


Ranger Run map


Buckden Village, BD23 5JA, SD 941773


From the car park cross over the road and walk down the village green, turning right towards the river. Go over the bridge, through the gate on you right and go through the fields on the Dalesway.

View of Buckden, Heber Farm campsite


The Dalesway briefly goes on the road for 800 metres up to Hubberholme, take care. Go over the bridge at Hubberholme and around the back of the church where you will pick up the footpath running alongside the River Wharfe to Yockenthwaite.

Hubberholme Church


Once at Yockenthwaite (meaning Eoghans clearing in a wood) follow the footpath up the hill around the back of the farm signposted to Scar House. Turn right off the steep farm track at another footpath sign, going through Strans Wood and emerge on to the open hillside.

Three houses huddled together


You are at Scar House. Continue towards Cray, keeping the woodland boundary on your right.

Read more
Scar House


There is a cairn a little off the footpath (SD930788) where you can get a great view of the glacial formed Wharfe valley. A mix of field systems and wooded hill side, the valley has 14% of all the woodland in the Yorkshire Dales.

Read more
Planting trees high above Upper Wharfedale


Cross Crook Gill and carry on through hay meadows to Cray. Enjoy the wildflowers and lots of birds throughout spring and summer. Hay is a valuable crop to farmers and it can suffer if trampled by too many feet, so please run in single file following waymarker posts.

flower rich dales meadow


At Cray, cross the road and go over the stepping stones. Head up the hill, the last little climb, to the small gate at the top, turn right on the footpath and it's downhill on the track all the way to Buckden.

Spring view in Upper Wharfedale


Buckden Village, BD23 5JA, SD 941773

You made it

Following this trail on mobile or tablet? Share your experience.

Ranger Run in Upper Wharfedale


The terrain under foot is mixed. The route is mostly on grassy footpaths, but there are some rougher, rocky limestone sections, mostly on the climbs and descents. In wet weather the rocks can be slippery and it can be muddy in places, so a trail or fell shoe is recommended.

Although this route doesn't take you to the top of any hills, there are a couple of short sharp climbs. It's always good to carry some extra layers, a map, compass and a whistle in a little bag, there is also limited phone signal, so let someone know where you are going.

Dogs are welcome on leads, under close control. Watch out for local notices as there may be restrictions in woodland or farmland at sensitive times of year, during the lambing season, or between March and the end of July when ground-nesting birds are on eggs or raising their young.

Please be vigilant when running near livestock, especially those with young. Try not to get too close and keep your dog on a lead under close control. If approached by cows, move away as carefully and quietly as possible, and if necessary let go of your dog's lead and let it run free, the dog will outrun the cows.


Ranger Run in Upper Wharfedale

Contact us

Telephone: 01729 830416

Email: upperwharfedale@nationaltrust.org.uk


Ranger Run in Upper Wharfedale

How to get here

Buckden Village, BD23 5JA
By road

Buckden is 18 miles north of Skipton on the B6160.

By bus

72A bus from Skipton to Buckden.

By bicycle

Off-road cycling is permitted on bridleways; 13 miles (20.9km) signed on-road cycle route from Skipton to Kettlewell (around 5 miles (8km) from Buckden).

Ranger Run in Upper Wharfedale

Facilities and access

  • Yorkshire Dales National Park car park (pay and display) with toilets.
  • Dogs welcome but must be kept on a lead.