Yorkshire Dales Walks
Date: 9th March 2008
Distance: 8.8 miles
Ascent: 1542 feet
Time:3 hours 15 minutes
With: On my own
Start Grid Ref: SE017866
An often soggy walk up to Naughtberry Hill a Dewey between Bishopdale and the Walsden valley.
Route Summary: West Burton - Newbiggin - Wasset Fell Road - Wasset Fell - Naughtberry Hill - White Scar - How Hill - Forelands - West Burton
1. Waterfall on Mill Beck
2. Looking across Bishopdale to High Scar
3. Floutgate Scar
4. Brown Haw
5. The large cairn on Wasset Fell
6. Naughtberry Hill from Wasset Fell
7. Harland Hill and Pen Hill from White Scar
8. Naughtberry Hill from White Scar
9. Looking down to Thoralby
Walk Detail: Although wintry showers were forecast in the end the only rain I had on the walk was the briefest of showers in the small but attractive hamlet of Newbiggin. The latter also featured one of those unlooked for features which makes walking such a brilliant pastime. Halfway down the village I looked up a small beck to see a delightful waterfall which was not even marked on the map.
The slight tedium of the climb up Wasset Fell Road was relieved by some nice views over the middle section of Bishopdale to High Scar on Stake Fell. The next feature of interest was the limestone outcrops of Floutgate Scar which I found very attractive as only limestone scars can be.
From Floutgate Scar there was a good path all the way over the minor top of Wasset Fell (which had an impressive cairn) but it soon petered out and the final section, following the top of the ridge, is one of the wettest sections of walking I’ve yet done. Basically the path was a metre wide length of luminous green bog.
The top of Naughtberry Hill was too broad to get any really good views with the exception of Buckden Pike which looked quite impressive from this angle. In fact this was one of the more disappointing summits I’ve been to, there was no cairn, trig point, shelter, wall, fence or anything of note at all.
I retread the soggy path all the way back to the wall (and recently created shooting track) above Cowstone Gill before continuing to follow the wall for a while before heading on to White Scar. This was the best bit of the walk with great views over lower Waldendale towards Pen Hill and Harland Hill, both of which looked very impressive from here.
A notable feature of this stage of the walk was the volume of rabbits – they were everywhere. Apart from rabbits I also saw a curlew, lapwings and briefly a very close view of a snipe which burst out of the heather only feet away from me while on Wasset Fell. After a brief and fairly pointless detour on to the minor top of How Hill I followed one of the muddiest paths I’ve been on alongside and then through Forelands plantations, emerging finally with some relief at Forelands itself. Eventually I got back on to the path alongside Little Beck that I’d initially walked in the morning out of West Burton.
While the upper slopes of the fell were somewhat disappointing the environs of both Floutgate Scar and White Scar were very interesting with some fine views of lesser known areas of the Dales.