Birks Fell, Upper Wharfedale

  • Rarely visited Marilyn near Kettlewell
  • Good views across central Dales
  • Part of a new 3 Peaks?

In 2006 the Ordnance Survey succeeded in raising the profile of Birks Fell to Marilyn status by discovering a lump of peat (with an equally unimpressive small pile of stones) that just broaches the 2,010 contour and thereby making it the highest point of a long near 12 mile broad, trackless ridge of high ground that stretches from Kettlewell in the south and east, past Littondale before finishing near Horton in Ribblesdale.

I headed up on a sunny winter’s day from Starbotton in an effort to locate the summit (nowhere near the O/S Pillar, see the map) and only think I succeeded. However the walking along the unmarked path along the ridge is enjoyable in good weather and there is interest in the outstanding views, peace and quiet, wildlife and final riverside walk from Buckden (which could be used as a start point if so desired).

Birks is one of the Dales 30 Mountains

Recommend: Birks Fell is an option for an alternative 3 Peaks that would also include Buckden Pike and Great Whernside and I intend to try the whole circuit soon. It would certainly be more peaceful than the real 3 Peaks on a summer Saturday!.

Download GPX file

Birks Fell map

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OS Map: O/S 1.25,000. OL30 Yorkshire Dales North Buy Map
Start Point: SD 954748. From Starbotton at the south end of the village take the marked bridleway, cross the river, ignore the Dales Way and carry on the bridleway straight up the fellside.
Height to Climb: 416 ms (1,370 feet)
Terrain: There are good bridleways to and from the summit ridge but the path over the summit may well become wet and muddy after rain, there is no obvious path to the highest point (I am sure there will be soon) so in mist difficult to find.
Eating & Drinking: I do not know the Fox and Hounds at Starbotton, it was outside opening hours when I finished the walk. An alternative is the Buck Inn at Buckden or many in Kettlewell.
Similar Walks Nearby: Buckden Pike in Upper Wharfedale
A riverside walk in Upper Wharfedale
Great Whernside from Kettlewell
Places to Stay: Cottages in the Dales