Where is this walk?

Birks Fell, Upper Wharfedale

December 24, 2019

In 2006 the Ordnance Survey succeeded in raising the profile of Birks Fell to Marilyn status. They discovering a lump of peat (with an equally unimpressive small pile of stones) that just broaches the 2,010 ft contour. As a result this cairn is the highest point of a broad, near 12 mile long, trackless ridge of high ground.

The Walk

The ridge stretches from Kettlewell in the south and east, past Littondale before finishing near Horton in Ribblesdale.

On my first visit to Birks Fell I climbed its steep slopes on a sunny winter’s day from Starbotton,  Finding the high point is a challenge, it is a mile from the Birks trig point and is found by keeping to the dry stone wall heading north. You will know you are nearly there when you pass a tarn on the right. The tracks are fairly intermittent along the ridge suggesting not everyone has bothered with the high point. Birks is one of the Dales 30 Mountains.

I have always enjoyed my walks on Birks Fell, it is a pleasure to stride out along the ridge and enjoy the views. However I also enjoy crossing over the summit ridge on one of the bridleways that link Wharfedale and Littondale. In fact this one is my favourite Dales walk.


Birks Fell is one of the 3 Peaks that makes up the Wharfedale 3 Peaks Challenge. It is an increasingly popular option to the traditional Yorkshire 3 Peaks, quieter, rougher but not quite as long.

Navigation Tips:

The summit wall is key to navigating this walk. Stick to it and you will never go far wrong in the cloud. The paths on the mountain slopes are patchy in places but both keep to a direct/compass line.

  • Lance James says:

    Looks good. I fancy
    Kettlewell, great whernside,buckden pike, yockenthwaite moor,yockenthwaite and back via the Dales way. What do you think

    • Jonathan says:

      Perfectly good but if you do that you may as well come back over Birks.
      The Wharfedale 3 is growing in popularity but does miss Yockenthwaite (never had good weather up there)

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