Kettlewell Circular : North Yorkshire

by | Nov 26, 2019 | Go Outside, North Yorkshire, Walking

Route Information

An out-and-return circular walk Via Buckden

Route Difficulty: Easy

Distance: 13.92 km (8.64 miles)

Route Elevation: 368 m

Route Time: 3-6 hrs

Start and Finish: Yorkshire Dales National Park Centre, Kettlewell, North Yorkshire, BD23 5QX

Depending on the featured walk and especially in mountainous areas, you may need to Calculate the time using Naismith’s Rule and factor in to your own pace.


There are toilets next to the car park, for more information on pubs and eateries visit the TipAdvisor website 


Very few hazards along this route, but there is a steep incline as you head out of Buckden on to open moorland which can be desicribed as moderate rough terrain. 

The Urban Ranger Website cannot outline every single hazard on a walk – it’s up to you to be safe and competent, and to be able to read a map and use a compass. Plan your route properly with the latest advice from the AdventureSmart website

Public Transport

Traveline for UK Public Transport

Weather Forecast

Kettlewell Weather


Starting off from Kettlewell this impressive Dales walk takes in Starbotton & Buckden before crossing over the B6160 for a return walk back to Kettlewell through this beautiful part of North Yorkshire.

Parking for this route is on the main National Park Centre in Kettlewell next to the river Wharfe, and will cost you £4.50 for the day. Turn left out of the car park and follow the bend of the B6160 until you see Far Lane across the road on your right. Walk up the lane until you see a path to the left-hand side of the end terraced house before the lane starts to turn right. Head up the path until you come to a gate on your left.

Head through the gate and you will now follow the path until you reach Starbotton. This will mainly take you through fields and woods around 200 metres above the B6160 given you great views of the valley. Once the path leads you down into Starbotton, follow the lane around to the right taking you past cottages and houses.

Head through the woods at Cam Gill Beck and then follow the road to your right taking you on a steep incline up Walden Road. This will lead you on to open moorland around 400 metres up the valley through areas of shake holes. Once you reach East Side Road take a left and follow the road down into Buckden. You should end up coming out behind the back of the village chapel and car park.

Head back to the B6160 and turn left heading towards Buckden village. Once you reach the village stores with the red telephone box, cross the road and head right down the path towards the bridge on Dubs Lane. Once at the Bridge, pass through the gate on the right-hand side of the river and you will be on the Dales Way.

This part of the walk will lead you back to Kettlewell hugging the river Wharfe for a while before heading through fields which provide for classic Yorkshire Dales views. Eventually you will come to the bridge that crosses the Wharfe into Kettlewell. Get off the Dales Way and up the path back into the village.

There are pubs, shops and cafes in Kettlewell and there is a Shop in Buckden next to the church and village green, you cannot miss it, given it is painted white and looks like a pub.

It is believed that the name Kettlewell is Anglo Saxon and comes from Cetel Wella which means a bubbling spring or stream, and signs of their farming methods can still be seen in terraced fields to the south of the village. Traces of Briganties and Roman occupation have also been found.

Every year three fairs were held in the village, one of which was a hiring fair where men and women came from Westmoorland to be hired. In 1410 King Henry gave license to Ralph Earl of Westmoorland to enclose 300 acres of land for hunting and a deer park. This was called Scale Park and is on the Park Rash Road over to Coverdale.

One of the most marked features of Kettlewell are the dry-stone walls. These were mainly built in the latter part of the seventeenth and early part of the eighteenth century, and were built by the land owners and freeholders of the village.

Cotton and lead mining played an important part in the history of the village. Lead mining bought prosperity to the village in the 17th century but closed in the late 19th century. One of the most profitable was Old Providence which was worked by the Kettlewell Mining Co. In 1838 Kettlewell boasted a cotton mill, three blacksmiths, two joiners, five inns, two shoemakers, a surgeon and a tailor.

Opposite today’s Village Store stood the corn mill and in the early part of the 19th century this was turned into a cotton mill but was demolished in 1876. Remains of the mill dam are still visible today.

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