Catch the Craven Connection 75 bus via Gargrave ​ to Eshton Bridge  (or take a taxi) and walk back the 10km distance through some beautiful Yorkshire Dales landscapes.

1. From Eshton Bridge walk briefly north then turn right through a kissing gate following fingerpost to Flasby. Pass through another kissing gate and walk to the left of the fence to your right. Go over stile then turn almost immediately right through a fieldgate and downwards. Pass over two stiles to track. Turn left and at road right. Where the track bears right continue ahead and around the back of a wendy house.

Great British Life: Flasby Moor. (c) Paul KirkwoodFlasby Moor. (c) Paul Kirkwood

2. At a choice of tracks bear right. Pass through a metal fieldgate on left and walk parallel with wire fence. Pass through another fieldgate to join a track that comes up from your left. After Flasby Moor Side Farm pass through fieldgate into open access land.

3. Steeply ascend the unnamed hill via a lone tree and what looks like a tilting gravestone. After a false summit continue south to the actual hilltop (marked 283m on the map). Make your own way down to and through a metal fieldgate within a wall. Follow a track through a wooden fieldgate and start the rough ascent of Rough Haw in a 1 o'clock direction.

Great British Life: Big views from Sharp Haw. (c) Paul KirkwoodBig views from Sharp Haw. (c) Paul Kirkwood

4. From the second cairn on Rough Haw follow a fairly clear path down to and around a very large boulder to the bottom of the hill and through a handgate. From this point you are on the Dales High Way. At a bridleway fingerpost fork right towards the trig point on Sharp Haw. After the pillar keep ahead through a small gate backed by a ladder stile. Follow grassy path as it gently descends passing a bridleway fingerpost. Bear left onto a track coming in from your right.

5. Pass through a gate and at road keep ahead. As it bears sharp right continue ahead over stile and onto a grassy track. Go over two stiles to meet and cross the road and continue ahead down Brackenley Lane.

Great British Life: Skipton. (c) Paul KirkwoodSkipton. (c) Paul Kirkwood

6.Turn right through metal gate onto public footpath (a stony track). Pass through a handgate and continue with wire fence on your left. Follow the instructions and warnings on the signs to cross the golf course, linking the yellow topped posts. Pass through a copse and through a metal gate to leave course and cross a field.

7. Go over a stile, cross the A59 with great care, continue down footpath ahead and descend through a wood. Go over another stile (following sign to Skipton High St), across a track and over a third stile. Cross a stone stepstile and complete descent by heading to the left of the first house. Go over another stone stepstile and onto stony track. At the end turn right onto a lane, pass the Curious Fox pub then turn left onto B6265.


Great British Life: See the colourful canal boats in Skipton. (c) Paul KirkwoodSee the colourful canal boats in Skipton. (c) Paul Kirkwood

8. At Mill Bridge cross road at the pedestrian crossing. At the side of J Stanforth butchers descend steep steps to canal. Follow the towpath into town and under a road bridge to the Freddie Trueman statue.


Great British Life:  Eshton Bridge to Skipton via Sharp Haw (C) OS Maps Eshton Bridge to Skipton via Sharp Haw (C) OS Maps


Start/finish: Postcode BD23 3PX, grid ref SD 941560.

Time/distance: 4 hours/10 km.

Accessibility: You will need to use your hands on some ascents. Walk when the bracken is not at full height. For a simpler route bypass the first two hills by following signs from Flasby for the Dales High Way.

Maps: OS Landranger 103 Blackburn & Burnley and OL Explorer OL2 Yorkshire Dales Southern & Western areas.

Parking: Bridge St car park, Skipton. Take a taxi to Eshton Bridge. Cost: about £14. Alternatively take the Craven Connection 75 bus via Gargrave.

Map link:

Points of interest

Hat-trick of hills

Skipton is the gateway to the Yorkshire Dales. I've passed it numerous times en route to walks deep inside the national park and previously ignored the three hills immediately to the town's north but, as I found out, they're well worth a wander especially if you fancy a frisson of off-piste adventure. The hills get progressively higher until you reach Sharp Haw, the only summit of the trio to boast a trig point. View from here extend towards the Rylstone Cross above Cracoe and over to Gargrave and the Leeds and Liverpool Canal. Fittingly, the Haw has the same profile in some elevations as Roseberry Topping, Yorkshire's foremost mini-mountain.

Great British Life: Cricketing legend Fred Trueman is remembered in his native Skipton. (c) Paul KirkwoodCricketing legend Fred Trueman is remembered in his native Skipton. (c) Paul Kirkwood

Legendary Yorkshire and England cricketer Freddie Trueman provides another unlikely theme to the walk. At the start it passes the bungalow in Flasby where he lived and ends at his statue in the canal basin in central Skipton. For the full Trueman experience you could nip out for a meal at the Devonshire Arms at Bolton Abbey, the reception venue of the wedding of his daughter to Raquel Welch's son in 1991.

A final point of interest is Mill Bridge in Skipton which dates back to 1753 when the Keighley to Kendal turnpike road was built to enable goods and livestock to be moved swiftly to Skipton market. The canal towpath, sneaking peacefully into the town centre, is a fine finale to the walk.

Eat here

Great British Life: The Curious Fox. (c) Paul KirkwoodThe Curious Fox. (c) Paul Kirkwood

The Curious Fox, Chapel Hill, Skipton. The 'around the world' menu features starters and main courses from, among others places, Spain, Thailand, Portugal, the US, Austria, Italy, Vietnam, Japan ... and Yorkshire! Dine on the patio at the front.

Great British Life: Castle Inn. (c) Paul KirkwoodCastle Inn. (c) Paul Kirkwood

The Castle Inn, Mill Bridge, Skipton. Serves all the pub classics including Sunday roasts, burgers and home-made pies. Small plates, hot ciabattas, and vegetarian and vegan options also available. Tables available outside.