Walk from Kettlewell to Starbotton

A circular walk from Kettlewell to Starbotton along the Wharfe Valley side, then back along the river.

A lovely and easy circular walk from Kettlewell to Starbotton along the valley side and back Kettlewell along the River Wharfe.

Brief details

Length 4 miles
Difficulty Easy. Some inclines at the start but pretty flat thereafter.
Regretfully, it’s not suitable for wheelchairs.
Type Circular walk from Kettlewell to Starbotton, out along the valley side and back alongside the River Wharfe.
Time required 2 hours

Map of the walk


Park in one of the car parks just over the bridge into the village (coming from the Grassington direction). There’s one on the left (a pay & display) and another, private one, on the right.

From the car parks walk along the road, into the village in the direction of Starbotton and over a small bridge. Turn right into Cam Cottage land alongside the pub. At the end of this lane is the start of the walk. It’s signposted, and after a few more yards you will go over a style and bear left. From now on you are walking parallel to the Starbotton road, a little way up the valley side.

The views down the Wharfe valley are beautiful and it’s glacial heritage is obvious. The classic dales vista is criss-crossed with drystone walls, stone barns and grazing sheep with the river winding its way down the valley floor.

The path is clear and you will have to clamber over those drystone walls every so often using steps built into the stone work and through little wooden gates atop the wall. It’s a pleasant and not too demanding walk which takes you through the signed ‘Cross Wood’ although there isn’t much evidence of the copse any more.

As you approach Starbotton, the path turns left and then drifts right until you reach a tarmac lane. Turn left and head the few yards towards the main B6160. Almost opposite, on the other side of the road, the path heads down a narrow farm track. Go through the gate and head towards the river.

NB. If you fancy a break in Starbotton, you can enjoy a fine pint of Black Sheep beer or a coffee and a bite to eat in the Fox and Hounds. It’s a short walk into the village on the right. If the day is fine you can enjoy your refreshments at one of the tables outside.

Back to the walk. Head down to the river where you will cross a foot bridge. Once over, turn left and follow the path along the river. There are a number of paths in different directions at this point but we are going back to Kettlewell. The path sort of follows the river although, with its many twists and turns, sometimes you will be walking alongside it and at others you’ll head across a field with the river somewhere over to your left.

As you approach Kettlewell, the path will become better made, and will stay close to the river’s edge. You will come through a gate and see the car park opposite you over the river. However, the path steers to the right, past the car park and round towards the beautiful old stone bridge that is one of Kettlewell’s landmarks. Go through the final gate near the bridge, up and onto the road, across the bridge and you are back.

Time for a cuppa and a sticky bun in the Cottage Tea Rooms (a little way up on the right) or maybe Zarina’s further into the village.

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