Upper Wharfedale is the largest and most majestic of the Yorkshire Dales.  Running from Bolton Abbey in the south to Cray in the north Upper Wharfedale has everything for the visitor. It has ancient monuments, pubs, villages and the small town of Grassington. Upper Wharfedale is also home to some of the most challenging and notorious caves in the United Kingdom.

Bolton Abbey

Situated at the foot of Upper Wharfedale to the east of Skipton is the village of Bolton Abbey. Not far away is the eastern end of the Embsay Steam Railway where it is possible to catch a train to the outskirts of Skipton. The Village takes it's name from the ruins of the 12th century monastery now known as Bolton Priory, a victim of Henry VIII's Disolution of the Monasteries in the 16th century.

Bolton Priory

A delightful village with a large green situated on the River Wharfe where it is crossed by a five-arched bridge. Although it has a small population Burnsall has a parish church, St. Wilfreds, and chapel, a primary school and two hotels plus the Red Lion pub. Restaurant facilities are available at both the pub and hotels.  Not far away is the village of Appletreewick.

After Burnsall is the small town of Grassington with it's pubs, hotels and shops. There is a Yorkshire Dales National Park Visitor's Centre here.  Next door to Grassington is Threshfield.  From Threshfield a branch of Upper Wharfedale leads directly south to Skipton via Rhylstone and Cracoe.

Dominated by Kilnsey Crag is this small collection of houses and pub, The Tennant Arms by the river Wharfe, north of Grassington. Kilnsey hosts the largest annual show in the Yorkshire Dales which takes place on the Tuesday following the last Monday in August (the August Bank Holiday). Kilnsey Crag with it's overhang offers the best rock climbing in the area.
There is a trout farm here and Kilnsey Old Hall, a medieval administration centre for the local wool trade. The well restored present building dates from 1658. Over the bridge on the opposite side of the river is Conistone.

Left: Kilnsey Crag     Below: Scenes from Kilnsey Show
Horse at Kilnsey ShowCattle at Kilnsey ShowDry stone walling at Kilnsey Show
After Kilnsey is Kettlewell, an ideal central point from where to explore Upper Wharfedale. This delightful Yorkshire Dales village has three pubs, a store, bed and breakfast accommodation and a campsite. Continuing northwards is Starbotton which shares the parish with Kettlewell.

Situated near the head of Upper Wharfedale where Langstrothdale branches off is Buckden, a small but delightful settlement with it's village stores and pub. Above Buckden is one of the highest peaks in the Yorkshire Dales, Buckden Pike where a Wellington Bomber crashed in 1942 killing all but one of it's crew. The 2303 feet (702m) summit is marked by a trig point and to the south is the memorial marking the crash site.
The Buck Inn is one of the Yorkshire Dales finer pubs offering meals and accommodation. Camping is available behind the village.
A mile above Buckden is Cray, with it's impressive pub, the White Lion and several houses. After Cray the road passes over the tops before dropping down into Bishopdale. A small valley leads off from the campsite and contains a number of delightful waterfalls.

Buckden, Christmas Day 2004

Above: Buckden, Christmas Day, 2004
Below: Delightful small valley near Buckden
Waterfall near BuckdenWaterfall near BuckdenSmall valley above Buckden