Yockenthwaite Moor lies towards the eastern end of a wide peat hagged moor. The walk on the ridge is rarely pleasant but the climb from Raydale improve the walk a lot.
I first headed for Yockenthwaite Moor on what I thought was a cold frosty day. As a result I expected the land would be frozen and I would therefore not be troubled by the infamous peat hags of the area. Sadly I misjudged the weather (or the Met Office did), the cloud was down and moist enough to allow breaks on the largely frozen ground. The peat hags were so bad that at one stage I lost a boot in a bog (I thought it was frozen). I then spent ten minutes digging around the squelch until I was able to extract it from the peat. I do believe that these are the worst peat hags I have come across in England (with the exception of Mickle Fell) and even worse than anything I have encountered in Scotland.
Please do not tell me there are worse, there is no point and I will not visit them.
Enough moaning, in the right conditions this is a thoroughly enjoyable walk. The route from the north (my chosen one) has the virtue of an excellent fence throughout. This removes most of the route finding difficulties. In addition it starts and finishing on good stretches of easy byways. Raydale with lovely Semer Water as a backdrop also succeeds in top and tailing the walk nicely.
The summit cairn does feel it is floating away on a sea of peat hags, whether it really is the highest point is anyone’s guess!
Yockenthwaite Moor is one of the Dales 30 Mountains
Definitely the northern route is best for the reasons mentioned above. A direct assault from Yockenthwaite hamlet is quicker but lacking in any sort of pleasure.
Fences can be extremely useful for navigation. Even the broken rusted fence posts on the summit ridge of Yockenthwaite Moor are useful. Alternatively the walk would be a real compass challenge.
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