ITS off again to Langstrothdale for this walk on the recommendation of a friend who suggested I might like something of a 'lung buster'. And, he wasn't wrong. There is a fairly long, ascent to Horse Head that required several stops to take in the wonderful views and which had my Fitbit sending rockets to the moon - which for the uninitiated means, I broke all sorts of daily exercise targets. Once at the top, it is possible to see many peaks, including Penyghent, and with the help of binoculars pick out walkers - and all from a far more peaceful part of the Yorkshire Dales National Park. The tops here are very peaty, with lots of pools, which when I went were brimming with frogspawn and freshly hatched tadpoles. The circular route picks up the Dales Way footpath and follows it along the River Wharfe, and its fascinating limestone, all the way back to the start, taking in a stone circle and an old limestone kiln.

Step by step:

1 From Raisgill Farm, next to cattle grid, take the footpath signed to Halton Gill. The well trodden path climbs fairly sharp uphill and is quite relenting for some distance, but with plenty of emerging views behind you to stop and appreciate. There is a deep valley off to your left, and the path eventually drops down and crosses a small beck before bearing off to the right and climbing again.

2 Eventually, you will meet Horse Head Gate in front of you. Don't go through the gate, but turn right and stick close to the wall on your left, passing the trig point, from where you can see Penyghent. Stay on the path as it goes through a couple of gates and stay on it until you meet a T-junction with the Dales Way footpath.

3 Go right here on the Dales Way heading towards Beckermonds. The path here is far less well defined and it is easy to wander off it, following sheep tracks. There are a few way markers to look out for and a couple of small cairns. It is fairly steep in parts and can be boggy, so watch out as you head for the farm buildings at the bottom at Beckermonds.

4 At the bottom of the hill, go to the farm gate, but turn right here on the Dales Way. You go through a gate and then run alongside the River Wharfe, with the river on your left. The path meanders off a couple of times from the river's edge, but mainly sticks closely to it. Stay on the path until it comes to the bridge at Deepdale Lodge.

5 Cross over the road bridge and then immediately right, still on the Dales Way, along a track for a short way before going through a gate into a field, all signposted Dales Way. The Wharfe is now on your right, and after a while, you will pass a circle of stones and an old Lime Kiln before going through a gate into Yockenthwaite Farm, where you may be able to enjoy a nice cup of tea and a flapjack.

6 From Yockenthwaite Farm, leave the Dales Way and cross over the river bridge, turn left and walk the short distance back to Raisgill Farm.


Location: Langstrothdale, Yorkshire Dales National Park

Start/finish: Raisgill, near Kettlewell

Distance: About five miles, allow a good three hours.

Difficulty level: Moderate - there is a steep and long climb at the start and ground can be boggy.

Terrain: Tracks, moorland, quiet roads.

Livestock: Sheep and cattle, dogs must be kept under close control at all times, even when it looks like there is no livestock about.

Stiles/Gates: Few, and easy

Parking: Off the minor road at Raisgill

Refreshments: At Yockenthwaite Farm during weekends and holidays in summer

OS Map: OL 30 Yorkshire Dales, Northern and Central areas

Fitfacts: 16,500 steps