Cracoe Skyline Walk

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Every weekend dozens of walkers will drive on the B6265 Skipton to Grassington road to walk in nearby Wharfdale. On their journey some may look at the impressive skyline above Cracoe Village, but few will stop to have a closer look. This walk remedies that and introduces the delights of Barden and Embsay Moors, before striding out along the Cracoe Skyline, visiting two monuments on the way.

The walk starts in Cracoe with a short walk of less than two kilometres along a minor road. This isn't as bad as it sounds; the route has constantly changing views and is so quiet that it is rare to see a car. The route then follows an easy footpath through fields towards Thorpe, but just before entering the village we turn towards the hills.

The walk then follows an old fell lane to head up towards Burnsall and Thorpe Fell. Taking advantage of 'right to roam' access land, we strike off from paths for 500 metres' easy wandering over the fell, before reaching an excellent track that takes us towards the Cracoe skyline.

Easy walking alongside a stone wall brings us to the first monument, an obelisk that is the Cracoe War Memorial. A metal plate commemorates the local dead of both world wars, but the initials of those killed in the 1914-18 war are also carved into the stones of the monument. A nearby gritstone outcrop marks a pleasant place to stop awhile.

The wall and path soon start to descend easily towards the second monument, Rhylstone Cross, which can also be visited. The walk then continues to descend easily to a bridleway which takes us down to Rhylstone Church before turning back towards Cracoe.

The route has something for all. You could spend a whole day dawdling along in summer, taking time out to explore the small gritstone tors that are a feature of the skyline. At the other end of the scale, the route would make a satisfying training route for runners, easy to follow and full of interest.

Run it, walk it, bask in the summer sun or crunch along in the frozen snow. This is a route to return to and enjoy in all seasons.

England - North England - Yorkshire - Yorkshire Dales


Cafe, Church, Food Shop, Gift Shop, Good for Kids, Great Views, Moor, Pub, Public Transport, Tea Shop
11/17/2016 - David and Chris Stewart

The moors here may be closed for walking on certain days during the shooting season (Grouse shooting season is 12 August to 10 December ). However, closures are not in effect every day during the season, and shooting is not permitted at all on Sundays. The best option during the season is to take the Sunday option or to check with Bolton Abbey Estate, either via their website or by phoning the estate office on 01756 718000 for the latest information.

10/16/2016 - Christine Laver

We set out on this walk on 14th October but were disappointed, on reaching Thorpe, to find that Barden Moor and Access Area were closed for grouse shooting - a National park poster on the access track advised that it was unsafe to proceed further. We managed to find a pleasant alternative by going through Thorpe then across the fields to Linton and back to Cracoe via the Moor Lane Track. (about 8miles in total). There were a number of specific dates listed on the poster when the moor would be closed so check with the NP office before planning this walk in the grouse season.

10/5/2013 - mark archer

I asked in the Devonshire Arms in Cracoe if I could use their car park and they were happy for me to do that if I came back for a drink at the end of my walk - which I did. The ladder stile mentioned at WP3 does not appear to exist any more - there are several new gates in this area so it may have been removed. Apart from that the instructions were easy to follow, but it was rewarding to look back on the ridge I had walked when I dropped down to Rylstone. Good weather and clear throughout with super views consistently. Try it!

4/17/2012 - Gillian Asquith-Burgoyne

We did this walk on the 15th April 2012 on a beautiful day. The walk is superb and the directions were easy to follow. I would not recommend that you park on the main road in the village as it is very busy and not that wide. If you turn left towards Hetton as you approach Cracoe (from Skipton) parking is safer on this road by the village hall.

1/19/2009 - Walkingworld Administrator

NOTE to dog owners. Parts of this walk is on 'open access' land which in this case actually means NO ACCESS to people with dogs. Thanks to Penny Pitty for letting us know.

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20.5 Miles