Yorkshire Dales Walks
Horse Head & Langstrothdale
Date: 31st July 2005
Distance: 8.5 miles
Ascent: 2206 feet
Time: 4 hours 25 mins
With: On my own
Start Grid Ref: SD881764
A splendid walk featuring a double crossing of the Horse Head ridge between Littondale and Langstrothdale.
Route Summary: Halton Gill - Horse Head - Hagg Beck - Yockenthwaite - Langstrothdale - Beckermonds - Eller Carr Moss - Halton Gill
1. Littondale from the path climbing Horse Head
2. Fountains Fell from Horse Head
3. Looking along Foxup Beck towards Ingleborough
4. On Horse Head with Fountains Fell and Pen-y-Ghent behinf
5. The Horse Head trig point
6. Looking along Langstrothdale towards Buckden Pike
7. Looking down to Yockenthwaite
8. Yockenthwaite Stone Circle
9. The River Wharfe in Langstrothdale
10. Another picture of the infant Wharfe
11. Yockenthwaite Moor from Langstrothdale
12. Cosh Outside from Eller Carr Moss
Walk Detail: The weather didn't look particularly promising when I parked up at Halton Gill but by the time I had got to the top of Horse Head (one of my favourite climbs) the sun had broken through.
I had great visibility, some cloud cover and a nice cool breeze - perfect summer walking conditions, in fact I could easily have stayed on Horse Head all day. It was with some reluctance then that I left Horse Head to descend to Yockenthwaite in Langstrothdale.
The rest of the walk was new territory for me. I was impressed with the descent into Langstrothdale and made a nice little diversion through the bracken to the head of Hagg Gill. There were also some good views of Yockenthwaite as well as of Buckden Pike further down the valley.
From Yockenthwaite I headed upstream alongside the infant Wharfe to Beckermonds. I had been particularly looking forward to this stretch and it certainly didn't disappoint. It got a bit frustrating though trying to take photos of the river due to the regular traffic on the nearby road.
Halfway on the path to Beckermonds I came across a place labelled New Barn on the map that was in the process of being renovated with new occupants offering refreshments to walkers for donations only. Intrigued I popped in and ordered myself a cup of tea and a cinnamon bun, which I enjoyed, sat at a table by the river. The barn’s new name of ‘Still Waters’ was certainly apt and the American woman was nice and friendly too as we discussed the local lapwings, dippers and curlews.
At Beckermonds I said goodbye to the Wharfe and struck back up the fell heading for the saddle between Horse Head and Cosh Outside. This was much harder than the first climb. This was partially down to the heat and the lack of a consistent path but mainly due to the cloud of flies that attended my every step up the hill. This major irritation made it harder to stop which in turn made the climb harder.
Eventually I reached the top and was rewarded with some more great views especially of the environs of Cosh. The path down from the ridge was, with the exception of a few moist parts, absolutely delightful. In fact I would go so far to say this was one of my very best days out in the Dales.