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Looking upstream along the River Skirfare towards the village of Arncliffe in Littondale
Looking upstream along the River Skirfare towards the village of Arncliffe in Littondale

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Route No. 795 - Thursday 21 November 2019
Arncliffe church, River Skirfare field path,
Hawkswick footbridge, return via road - 5km circuit
Littondale, Yorkshire Dales . . .

Route map from Ordnance Survey Open Space service.

Map: OS Explorer OL30 Yorkshire Dales Northern & Central Areas


Looking from the old village stocks to our parking spot by the lychgate to the churchyard in Arncliffe, Littondale
Looking from the old village stocks to our parking spot by the lychgate to the churchyard in Arncliffe, Littondale

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St. Oswald‘s Church as we started our walk
St. Oswald‘s Church as we started our walk

Path between the properties to the fields
Path between the properties to the fields

From our parking spot we turned right in front of the church and followed an access road for a few metres to some residential properties. We continued along a footpath between these properties out to the fields by the River Skirfare.

The weather forecast for today promised us another gloomy overcast cold day. Not to be deterred, Jim & I drove out to the village of Arncliffe in Littondale and parked near the entrance to the village church by the old village stocks at map ref. SD 933 719.

Access track to some residential properties by the church
Access track to some residential properties by the church

Gate to the field path above the River Skirfare
Gate to the field path above the River Skirfare

Looking down to the River Skirfare from the field path
Looking down to the River Skirfare from the field path

Footpath by the River Skirfare
Footpath by the River Skirfare

Stile where the river bends to our left away from the path
Stile where the river bends to our left away from the path

Here the path crossed the end of a walled track
Here the path crossed the end of a walled track . . .

Through the gate we turned left to pass the barn on our right
Through the gate we turned left to pass the barn on our right

We continued across the fields for about 770m to a farm track bridge over a tributary of the river where the river had meandered back to be next to the footpath.

We followed a clear footpath across the fields above the river to a sharp left hand bend in the river. Here the path kept straight on whilst the river turned away.

Footpath by the River Skirfare
Footpath by the River Skirfare

Path continued with the wall on our right at the field edge
Path continued with the wall on our right at the field edge

Stile back to the fields from the far side of the track
. . . Stile back to the fields from the far side of the track

Impressive limestone crags on the side of Littondale
Impressive limestone crags on the side of Littondale

Bridge over a tributary of the R. Skirfare where the river was next to the path again
Bridge over a tributary of the R. Skirfare where the river was next to the path again

Field path with the river to our left
Field path with the river to our left

River channel deeply eroded into the glacial deposits
River channel deeply eroded into the glacial deposits

There was a clear path across the fields
There was a clear path across the fields

We continued along the clear path across the fields for another 750m where and here the river had meandered back to flow alongside the path. Once again we were walking along the river bank.

After another 200m the river meandering away again north of the path. Despite the overcast sky the steep sides of Littondale were still impressive. We reminisced about the exhilarating walks we used to do from Kettlewell over those hill tops about 20 years ago.

Field path with the river to our left
Field path with the river to our left

The river had meandered away to our left again
The river had meandered away to our left again

Beyond this stile the river and the path came together again
Beyond this stile the river and the path came together again

We continued along the path next to the River Skirfare
We continued along the path next to the River Skirfare

Stile leading to a footbridge
Stile leading to a footbridge . . .

We continued along the riverside path
We continued along the riverside path

Another gate on the riverside path
Another gate on the riverside path

Nearing the footbridge over the river
Nearing the footbridge over the river

From the riverside path we climbed down a ladder stile onto a track coming from Out Gang Lane and then climbed up onto the footbridge. We cross the River Skirfare on the footbridge to a minor road along the valley on the other side.

There were some fine views from the riverside path looking back up the river towards Arncliffe and down river towards Hawkswick. After about 400m along the river bank we came to a footbridge across the river near the village of Hawkswick.

Footbridge over Cote Gill a tributary of the R Skirfare
Footbridge over Cote Gill a tributary of the R Skirfare

Looking back upriver towards Arncliffe
Looking back upriver towards Arncliffe

Yet another gate on the riverside path
Yet another gate on the riverside path

Climbing down the ladder stile to cross Out Gang Lane
Ladder stile at the track from Out Gang Lane

Footbridge across the River Skirfare on the edge of Hawkswick village
Footbridge across the River Skirfare on the edge of Hawkswick village

From the footbridge we turned left back to Arncliffe
From the footbridge we turned left back to Arncliffe

Following the road back towards Arncliffe
Following the road back towards Arncliffe

Continuing our way along the road towards Arncliffe
Continuing our way along the road towards Arncliffe

Stone barn about 350m before our left turn off the road
Stone barn about 350m before our left turn off the road

At this point there was a bend in the river below the left hand side of road with Arncliffe church on the opposite bank of the river. Off the road to our left there was a spring loaded gate and a stile from the road down the steep bank to the riverside.

At the road we turned left and began to follow the road back up Littondale towards Arncliffe. We walked along the road for about 2.3km.

Following the road back towards Arncliffe
Following the road back towards Arncliffe

An old stone barn on the way back to Arncliffe
An old stone barn on the way back to Arncliffe

Bend in the river about 500m before our turning off the road
Bend in the river about 500m before our turning off the road

Continuing our way along the road towards Arncliffe
Continuing our way along the road towards Arncliffe

Turning left off the road on to a footpath along the riverside
Turning left off the road on to a footpath along the riverside

Riverside path back to Arncliffe
Riverside path back to Arncliffe

St Oswald‘s Church across the river
St Oswald‘s Church across the river

Road bridge over the River Skirfare
Road bridge over the River Skirfare

We followed the road round to the entrance track to the church and returned to our parking spot and the end of our walk. The whole walk had be a little over 5km and it had taken us a just over two hours to complete it. There had been no rain and we had an enjoyable walk in spite of the gloomy weather.

We followed a public footpath round the edge of the field alongside the river with Arncliffe church on the opposite side of the river. After about 150m we came to a gated stile up to the road by the road bridge over the River Skirfare into Arncliffe. We walked along the road across the river.

St Oswald‘s Church across the river
St Oswald‘s Church across the river

Stile to the road bridge over the river
Stile to the road bridge over the river

Crossing the road bridge over the river in Arncliffe
Crossing the road bridge over the river in Arncliffe

Returning to our parking spot at the end of our walk
Returning to our parking spot at the end of our walk

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