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Walking along the footpaths of Upper Wharfedale, Yorkshire Dales
Exploring footpaths in Upper Wharfedale | © National Trust Images / Ben Selway

Old Cote Moor from Kettlewell trail

Explore the exposed ridge between Wharfdale and Littondale on this challenging hilly trail. This circular walk starts by climbing up over rocky terraces to the Old Cote Moor summit, where views across the Yorkshire Dales open up on either side. Heading back down into the valley, the route then follows the winding River Wharfe. Keep your eyes out for otters, kingfishers, and other water wildlife on the riverside.

Total steps: 11

Total steps: 11

Start point

Yorkshire Dales National Park car park, Kettlewell, Skipton, BD23 5QZ. Grid ref: SD968723.

Step 1

Turn right out of the car park and cross the bridge leading away from the village.

Step 2

Immediately after the bridge, turn right and follow the stony track heading upwards and through a gate. Soon after, leave the track via the footpath on the left, signposted to Arncliffe. Follow the path as it heads steeply uphill and through a nick in the crags. Take care here as it can be slippery when wet. Then continue in the same direction, level at first, then uphill again.

Views of Wharfdale with Buckden in distance in Yorkshire Dales
Views of the valley towards Buckden | © National Trust

Step 3

You will reach a ladder stile in a wall. Climb over the stile and continue in the same direction uphill through a low rocky terrace until you reach another ladder stile. Ignore this and instead turn right, keeping the wall on your left. You're now on the Old Cote Moor summit ridge. The path gradually climbs, levelling off as you reach the ridge plateau.

Step 4

Cross the ladder stile in the wall and continue in the same north-west direction along the ridge with the wall on your left.

Step 5

Follow the footpath as it takes an abrupt left turn following another wall on your left, which eventually turns right. Keep walking in a north-west direction until you find the summit trig point. Continue past the trig point for about 300m to reach a stone-flagged bridleway on the right.

Step 6

Turn right and follow this bridleway down the hill towards Buckden, which soon comes into view in the valley below. After reaching some sheep pens, follow the winding track downhill past some woodland until you reach a stony track.

Step 7

Follow the winding stony track to the road, Dubb's Lane. Turn right here and walk along the road until you reach Buckden Bridge. Just before the bridge turn right through a gate and onto the riverside footpath, the Dales Way. Follow the path with the River Wharfe on your left. Continue through the fields up to a wooden gate.

An otter raising its head out of the water among the grass on a riverbank at Croome, Worcestershire.
Otters on the riverside | © National Trust Images/John Hubble

Step 8

Go through the wooden gate and follow the path up to a farm track. Continue left along the farm track, passing an old barn on your right, until you come to a fork in the track. Turn left at the fork and continue to follow the Dales Way path through the fields heading south-east towards Kettlewell.

Step 9

Continue along the path as it joins the riverside, with Starbotton on the other side of the river.

Step 10

Pass the bridge to Starbotton on your left (don't cross it) and continue towards Kettlewell as the path makes its way through hay meadows with the river on the left.

Step 11

Head uphill towards Kettlewell, through the gate and out onto the main road by Kettlewell Bridge again. Turn left to cross the bridge, and return to the car park and the end of the trail.

End point

Yorkshire Dales National Park car park, Kettlewell, Skipton, BD23 5QZ. Grid ref: SD968723.

Trail map

Map route for Old Cote Moor from Kettlewell
Old Cote Moor from Kettlewell trail map | © Crown copyright and database rights 2013 Ordnance Survey

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We’ve partnered with Cotswold Outdoor to help everyone make the most of their time outdoors in the places we care for.

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