Rylstone Cross, near Skipton

Updated December 2023

Location: Parking in lay-by on the approach to Rylstone, BD23 6LH

What3words: Lay-by is ///loyal.hawks.bleaker . Start of walk is ///nobody.daydreams.mistaken

Distance: 5km

Rylstone Cross is a war memorial sat high and proud on the rocky ridge overlooking the Gateway to the Dales, Skipton and Wharfedale.

This walk is challenging due to there being quite a bit of uphill walking. So if going with little legs save for a calm, dry day and go armed with plenty of snacks!

We parked in the small lay-by on the right hand side approaching Rylstone (see what3words location above). You can also park in the lay-by just past the duck pond heading towards Cracoe. If starting by the duck pond this will add on 2km to the total.

From our lay-by we walked a very short section on the main road grass verge before following the track up (what3words location above). The route turns left at the signpost up to Barden Moor. This footpath then takes the track heading right up onto the moors. The Cross is reached by turning left once the path flattens out to follow the rocky ridge. You can either follow a footpath in front of or behind the wall… if the wind is getting up I would always recommend being behind the wall to be able to shelter.

The views are lovely on the way up, right across Wharfedale. These beautiful views are a good distraction from the steep, in places, climb up. At the top the views are obviously even better and if you attempt this at sunset then you really are in for a treat.

The day we climbed it was pretty windy. The rocky edge is exposed with steep drops so be extra vigilant with little ones and keep holds We retreated back to the wall side for shelter whilst taking in the views and enjoying our coffee and cake.

To extend the walk you can head over to Crookrise Crag across Barden Moor or in the opposite direction towards Cracoe Obelisk. We headed straight back down though and enjoyed the many many puddles that the track had to offer!

The track leading up to the Cross
A rest stop to take in the views
The calm approach to the Cross
Happy place happy place big puddle
Sunset from Rylstone Cross

Other walks close by include Linton Falls, Conistone Dib and Grimwith Reservoir.

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