Yorkshire Dales Walks
Cracoe Fell & Rylstone Edge
Date: 16th June 2014
Distance: 6.1 miles
Ascent: 1248 feet
Time: 2 hours 30 mins
With: On my own
Start Grid Ref: SD969587
A beautiful evening walk from Rylstone up to the obelisk on Cracoe Fell before a fabulous walk along Rylstone Edge.
Route Summary: Rylstone - Chapel Lane - Cracoe - Fell Lane - Cracoe Fell - Rylstone Edge - Rylstone Cross - Bark Brow - Rylstone
Photos: Click on the photos below to enlarge.
Walk Detail: After a couple of evening walks on to Halton Height in May and Thorpe Fell earlier in June my thoughts turned to another fell in the area, Cracoe Fell and to revisiting one of my favourite places in the Yorkshire Dales, the gritstone edge featuring the dramatically situated Rylstone Cross. I decided to re-do a route I'd originally done back in 2007 except this time starting from Rylstone rather than Cracoe and walking round clockwise so that I would hopefully arrive at Rylstone Cross as the sun was beginning to go down.
As with the earlier walks on to Halton Height and Thorpe Fell this walk was done after work. When I arrived at Rylstone the cloudy skies from earlier in the day had already disappeared and it was a glorious evening with lovely blue skies and great visibility. The initial walk from Rylstone to Cracoe along Chapel Lane whetted the appetite by featuring some good views looking up to the prominent obelisk on the top of Cracoe Fell and along to the cross at the western end of Rylstone Edge.
From Cracoe I initially began climbing on the enclosed Fell Lane. Upon exiting Fell Lane on to access land the way was initially unclear but I soon picked up a thin trod heading towards the limestone knoll of Sharpber which became clearer as I gained height. Turning south as the ground became steeper the path continued below The Crags to eventually bring me to Watt Crag and the obelisk, a memorial to the dead of the First World War, on the summit of Cracoe Fell.
The views of Wharfedale on the climb, as well as the summit were first rate. Also in view were Pendle Hill and, more distantly, Longridge Fell and the Bowland Fells. After eating my evening meal by the obelisk I crossed the nearby wall to climb on to a nearby outcrop for the view of the Barden reservoirs. Next, rather than follow the broad path alongside the eastern side of the wall to reach the Rylstone Cross, I crossed back over the stile to head south-west on the other side of the wall and a thin path that contours around the top of the various outcrops that make up Rylstone Edge.
My plan had been to arrive at the Rylstone Cross just as the sun was beginning to go down and I timed it to perfection. The location of the cross, perched on the end of a particularly prominent gritstone outcrop, is quite wonderful and it was a beautiful place to enjoy the last rays of the evening sun. From the cross I then continued south to join a bridleway that descends from High Bark to Bark Brow and the B6265 which I followed carefully back to Rylstone. A wonderful walk and highly recommended.