THIS week's walk is mainly on the flat, apart from one steep and long climb to the top of Buckden Pike where the views are well worth the effort.

It starts and finishes in Kettlewell and most of it sticks close to the River Wharfe, where birdlife is interesting and plentiful.

When I was there, I saw grey wagtails, and lovely oyster catchers, which flashed silver as they took off.

Kettlewell is always busy and full of walkers settling off on the Dalesway path. There were also a number of paragliders taking off from Moor End Fell, enjoying the spring sunshine.

Once out of Buckden, there is a very steep climb to the top of Buckden Pike, and where walkers thin out. You then drop down into lovely Starbotton before re-joining the Dales Way path and winding you way back into Kettlewell.

Step by step

1. From Kettlewell, go over the road bridge and take the Dales Way Footpath marked to Starbotton and Buckden (4 miles). Continue along the pleasant path with the River Wharfe on left and along wall lined lane.

2. Ignore wooden footbridge to right, marked Starbotton (you will return this way later) and continue along to Buckden.

3. The path eventually comes out on a road, turn right and walk into Buckden village to Buck Inn. Take the narrow lane immediately behind the pub and go through a metal gate, immediately after you will see footpath signed to Buckden Lead Mine and Starbotton. Take the path as it climbs steeply uphill for quite a way, it can get quite a scramble. After a while, the path, which is well walked and easy to follow, goes off to the left and straight up.

4. Almost at the top, you will come to a fork in the footpath, to the left Buckden and to the right, Starbotton. Head right to Starbotton and over a wall stile into moorland, which can get quite boggy, slowly downhill, following yellow way markers. Drop down to a gate and join a stony track which brings you to the back of Starbotton.

5. Into village, passing the Fox and Hounds pub on left. Continue for a short way along the road, and take the signed path off to the right, bridleway, Arncliffe; and footpath Buckden, two miles. Wall lined path eventually comes to wooden footbridge over River Wharfe at (2). After bridge, turn left and retrace steps back into Kettlewell.