USE the bus to start this walk then return on a Dales classic. The walk from Buckden to Grassington starts with a lovely stroll alongside the River Wharfe for the first half, lunch at Kettlewell and then complete the day on an excellent path amidst beautiful limestone scenery.

Prepare by checking the bus times (Google bus Grassington to Buckden) which leaves from outside the visitor centre in Grassington. During the week and Saturday it is the 82, on Sunday and bank holidays look for the Dalesbus, support it if you can. From Buckden car park start the walk by crossing the main road and down towards the river. Cross the bridge and turn immediately left on to a riverside path. This is part of the Dales Way and is your companion for the next 11 miles. The traditional route on the Dalesway is south to north so anyone you meet and is labouring under a heavy pack is probably trying to walk the Way’s full 84 miles. However, be smug, as you are walking the best 11 miles.

For the next four miles a good footpath runs either alongside or close to the River Wharfe. The dale floor here is remarkably flat (a legacy of glacial deposits) and provides a good nesting ground for waders and other wetland birds. I regularly see heron. After two miles a footbridge crosses the river. This leads in to Starbotton, a village like Buckden extremely attractive and worth the quick detour. However return to the western side of the River Wharfe and continue to walk south towards Kettlewell. Kettlewell is lovely, stop for a coffee, pint, meal or just to enjoy your picnic lunch.

Opposite the toilets in Kettlewell, follow the quiet tarmac road which initially passes a campsite on your left and after a mile arrives at the religious retreat called Scargill House (a beautiful building in the trees). Two hundred metres beyond Scargill House a farm track leaves the road on the left and climbs steadily through some trees to the open hillside at 1,400 feet. For the next five miles the walk is an absolute delight, enhanced by the easy flat walking on splendid short grass turf with little undulations. On a fine day there is nothing better in the Dales.

The walk passes typical limestone scenery with small scars, screes and pavements throughout. Further afield the views across the valley reflect the glaciated nature of the land. Wharfedale itself is a near perfect U-shaped valley, as is Littondale opposite, while the climbers you can spot on Kilnsey Crag are clinging on to an excellent example of a truncated spur. Just off the path and visible for nearly a mile is the Conistone Pie, a prominent limestone outcrop capped by hard gritstone. A few hundred metres further on is the dry valley of the Conistone Dib to the right and an excellent limestone pavement to the left. From the dib the path ambles on pleasantly for a further mile to a great example of a limestone kiln on the side of the path. From here the path crosses a final lip and drops (somewhat untidily) in to the town of Grassington. Look for the signs and stiles as it winds through some fields before entering a lane and Upper Grassington.

Fact box:

Distance: Roughly 11 miles

Height to Climb: 220m (720 feet)

Start: SD 942774. The bus stop is at Buckden National Car Park for the start of the walk

Difficulty: Medium. Easy walking and you can easily eat away the miles

Refreshments: Grassington has a wide range of cafes and pubs, as does Kettlewell four miles in to the walk.

Be prepared: The route description and sketch map only provide a guide to the walk. You must take out and be able to read a map (O/S Explorer OL30) and in cloudy/misty conditions a compass. You must also wear the correct clothing and footwear for the outdoors. Whilst every effort is made to provide accurate information, walkers head out at their own risk. Please observe the Countryside Code and park sensibly.

Jonathan Smith runs Where2walk, a walking company based in the Yorkshire Dales:

• He has published 2 books on walks in the Dales, ‘The Yorkshire 3 Peaks’ and ‘The Dales 30’ mountains. Available direct from the Where2walk website.

• Book a Navigation Training day (Beginners or Intermediates). All dates and information on the website. Next available date June 5th.

• Leisurely guided walks up Pen-y-Ghent, Ingleborough and Whernside. Next dates are in July

Jonathan’s popular website, also features 100’s of walks across Yorkshire and beyond, from easy strolls to harder climbs.