A first peak - bag yours in the Yorkshire Dales
The Yorkshire Dales is a great place to bag your first peak. The terrain tends not to be as steep and extreme as the Lake District but you can still climb to a splendid top with fantastic views. Here are five suggestions for a first climb.
This is a slightly tougher undertaking with a greater climb involved. The route up Buckden Pike starts appropriately in Buckden. Take the obvious stone track out of the back of the car park.
This is followed until you reach a signed path on the left which climbs slowly to the summit and trig point. There are some alternative routes down if you are a good navigator, otherwise retrace your steps back to the village. Cafes and a pub are available for post walk refreshment.
A superb and popular first peak which starts from the Cavendish Pavillion at Bolton Abbey. The walk takes you up the Valley of Desolation, which is actually very pretty, and up onto heather moorlands.
The peak itself is a collection of gritstone outcrops - pick an easy route and admire the view over Wharfedale. The route is well signed and the paths good, with parking available at Cavendish Pavillion which is also a great spot for tea and cake.
The classic climb of Pen-y-ghent from Horton-in-Ribblesdale is a great circuit over a striking peak and is full of interest. The route is all on good paths, the views dramatic and there are the striking features of Hunt and Hull Pots on the way down. Horton is easy to get to by car or train and there are cafes and pubs in the village to celebrate at the end of your walk.
Sharp Haw lies close to Skipton and is a distinctive pointy peak with a trig point. It is a popular first climb with most people going up and down the same way. You can start from Skipton itself, or a shorter version begins from the Craven Heifer pub on the road to Grassington.
The shortest approach is from the limited parking on Bog Lane. The walk starts on a good stone track, takes the bridleway signed off to the right, and then heads direct towards the summit. Great views over Skipton and the southern Dales.
Addleborough is one of those peaks that look much bigger than it is, being a commanding flat top hill that can be seen from many places in Wensleydale. Parking is available in Thornton Rust near Aysgarth, so this walk can be easily combined with a visit to the nearby waterfalls.
The route is reasonably waymarked but you will need to do some route finding. The path surfaces are mainly natural vegetation so will be wet after rain. The climb takes you from Thornton Rust along a bridleway before striking up to the summit, with the route down dropping close to Cubeck before returning along a quiet road.
Remember to make sure you are prepared for the weather conditions and know where you are going, and have a great time. For more information about the Yorkshire Dales see www.yorkshiredales.org.uk