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

Jonathan has written his own book, the Dales 30 which details the highest mountains in the Dales.

He also runs one-day navigation courses for beginners and intermediates. Join his Learn a Skill, Climb a Hill weekends in the Dales.

To find out more details on any of the above visit his website,

MANY will have passes Beamsley Beacon (and Round Hill) on the road between Skipton and Harrogate but very few will have climbed the slopes and enjoyed the views. Extending the walk the extra two-and-a-half miles adds to an excellent half day.

Beamsley is a shy little hamlet situated just off the A59 accessed by a local road less than half a mile from the Bolton Abbey roundabout. There is limited parking in the small hamlet of attractive houses (more is available up the hill) but it’s the best place to start, otherwise there is a steep climb to finish with. Take the road heading east from the village and it soon climbs through some open farmland. When I was there the foxgloves and other wild flowers made for an attractive climb. After 1 mile the climb steepens past Gibbeter Farm for another 200 metres to a left hand turn, initially on a farm track but soon a well worn footpath heading directly for the imposing shape of Howber Hill (or Beamsley Beacon as it is more often called).

It is a near 500 foot climb to the trig point on Beamsley Beacon but very well worth it. The beacon itself has largely collapsed in to a very large cairn but the trig point has a plaque attached to it explaining the history of the beacon. Visit yourself to find the detail but it is thought the history of the Beacon stretches all the way to the Bronze Age (4,000 years ago) with the discovery of a lookout fort. Walk the further flat 300 metres to the smaller collapsed cairn of the ‘Old Pike’ regardless if you want to extend the walk. On a clear summers day the views are excellent, looking west in particular over the western dales.

At this stage it is easy to extend the walk by continuing north east towards the prominent lump of Round Hill. The return is by the same route but I found it one of those occasions where I wanted to stay high and easy for longer and the path to Round Hill achieved this. On a clear day the views take in the golf balls at Menwith Hill to the east. Actually finding the summit of Round Hill on arrival though may prove impossible. The highest point is just beyond a barbed wire fence but even though I did explore the area there was no sign of a cairn, somewhere I read it had been destroyed and the stones put in to a nearby shallow river bed. However a milestone stands clearly on the track near Round Hill, as does a sign warning cyclists off the path. Return via the same path to the beacon and continue down its steep slopes to the road near Beacon Hill house.

Rather than turn down the hill turn left and follow the road for nearly 1 kilometre in to the lovely hamlet of Langbar. Exit the village at its southern end and take the footpath dropping west towards some woodland. The views over the River Wharfe and towards Skipton Moor (the walk of a month ago) very impressive. The path follows the line of woods, turning north until it meets the road heading in to Beamsley.

Fact File:

Distance: Roughly five miles (8km). Extra 2.5 miles return to Round Hill)

Height to Climb: 320m (1,050 feet)

Start: SE 078525. There is limited parking in Beamsley, but more at the top of the hill .

Difficulty: Easy/Medium. A fair amount of climbing moves this towards a Medium walk. .

Refreshments: There are none nearby, the nearest is the Devonshire Arms at Bolton Abbey.

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 297) and in cloudy/misty conditions a compass (essential on this walk). 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.