Arncliffe & Starbotton from Kettlewell

This Yorkshire Dales walk has two ascents as you traverse the hills from Wharefdale to Littondale and back again. In complete contrast the final section is level walking following the Dales Way beside the River Wharfe.

Technical sheet
No. 293032
A Kettlewell with Starbotton walk posted on 04/07/16 by Walking Britain. Update : 22/09/16
Calculated time Calculated time: 4h40[?]
Distance Distance : 6.63mi
Vertical gain Vertical gain : 1831ft
Vertical drop Vertical drop : 1811ft
Highest point Highest point : 1693ft
Lowest point Lowest point : 679ft
Average Difficulty : Average
Back to starting point Back to starting point : No
Walking Walking
Area Area : Yorkshire Dales
Location Location : Kettlewell with Starbotton
Starting point Starting point : N 54.14646° / W 2.04984°
Arrival Arrival : N 54.14581° / W 2.05163°
Download : -


(D)There is a pay and display car park in Kettlewell (Grid ref. SD968723) with alternative parking nearby. Leave the car park and cross the River Wharfe. Ignore the riverside path leading to Starbotton and take the next path. Almost immediately turn left on a rising path that can be seen heading uphill to a limestone outcrop. This path is signed Arncliffe. The climb, although steep, offers excellent views of Kettlewell and Wharfedale.

(1)The path is easily to follow and once through the 'slit' in the limestone outcrop the gradient eases to reach Old Cote Moor. With few navigational problems you can enjoy the views with Littondale appearing ahead with Arncliffe village clustered around its church. The descent is easy until you reach Byre Bank Wood where the going is considerably more difficult. Reaching a tarmac road go straight across to a stile and take the shortcut to the bridge over the River Skirfare.

(2)Go over the bridge and explore the village of Arncliffe with its pleasant village green and pub. To continue return to the bridge over the River Skirfare and continue ahead to a road T-junction. Opposite you will see the signed footpath to Starbotton. The start is quite steep but you soon join a track which you follow uphill. The route is never in doubt with good views behind you. As you reach the crest of the hill the views ahead over Wharfedale suddenly open out. Continue across the open fields, descending steadily towards Starbotton. The final section through woodland is steep in places and care is needed after rain.

(3)Reaching the footbridge over the River Wharfe you have two options. You can of course cross the river and explore the village. To continue the walk do not cross the bridge instead turn right and follow the Dales Way back to Kettlewell.(A)

Waypoints :
D : mi 0 - alt. 686ft - Kettlewell car park
1 : mi 1.59 - alt. 1375ft - Old Cote Moor
2 : mi 2.37 - alt. 741ft - Arncliffe village
3 : mi 4.76 - alt. 705ft - Starbotton village
A : mi 6.63 - alt. 699ft - Kettlewell car park

Useful Information

Kettlewell is a popular starting point for walks in Wharfedale with cafés, pubs and shops. This route involves considerable ascent first crossing the hills as you walk from Wharefdale to Littondale and then repeating the process as you return to Wharfedale. Thankfully the final section of the walk is a level stroll following the Dales Way alongside the River Wharfe. Refreshments are limited along the way with a pub in Arncliffe the only choice.

Visorando and this author cannot be held responsible in the case of accidents or problems occuring on this walk.

Opinions and comments


Global average : 4.22/5
Number of opinions : 3
Description quality : 3.67/5
Routemap quality : 4/5
Walk interest : 5/5

on Sun 20 Sep 2020 22:01:42 CEST

Global average : 4 / 5

Date of walk : 20/09/20
Description quality : Average
Routemap quality : Good
Walk interest : Very good

Really enjoyed this walk. Stunning views of Wharfedale and Littondale. However, a few minor criticisms of the description. First, I think it's longer than the description said. The App on my mobile phone had it at 9.5 miles, rather than 6.5! I know these phone Apps aren't foolproof, but it certainly felt more than 6.5. Second, the walk is described as of "average" difficulty. I think that's an under estimate. The climbs and descents are all a lot harder than "average". Last, the ascent out of Arncliffe suggests that it is an obvious path all the way to the top of the fell. In fact, there are two alternative paths to take close to the top. Fortunately we took the correct one. But none of this should detract from what was a fabulous walk. We really enjoyed it - many thanks.

on Tue 01 Sep 2020 11:24:55 CEST

Global average : 3.67 / 5

Date of walk : 31/08/20
Description quality : Average
Routemap quality : Average
Walk interest : Very good

No doubt about the beauty of this walk and the scenery is breath-taking. However, I have to question some of the descriptions.

  • Difficulty: Average- IMHO that was not verage
  • Byre Bank Wood where the going is considerably more difficult - sheer descent down rocks and boulders, you'll need both hands free and able tosit on your bum at times to get down
  • Descending to Starbotton, the final section through woodland is steep in places - again, an understatement: loose rocks makes it difficult to keep your footing down such a steep decline and path is extremely narrow

Like I said, a stunning walk and thoroughly enjoyed it, but definitely not for the faint hearted, or less agile walker. And probably not the best walk to make on your own as I didn't encounter another person at all!

on Tue 21 Jul 2020 17:06:10 CEST

Global average : 5 / 5

Date of walk : 21/07/20
Description quality : Very good
Routemap quality : Very good
Walk interest : Very good

Excellent walk, full of interest. Well worth doing.

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The GPS track and description are the property of the author.