Our most recent family walk was up Sharp Haw, a conical shaped hill known as Skipton’s Matterhorn. A fact I’ve only just learnt! Sharp Haw also has an easy trig point for the kids to bag. I’ve great affection for this hill, as driving towards college it would appear in the distance and I would say hello to it. I know, bonkers. I even gave it a name, ha ha. I’ve been meaning to find a way to walk up it for ages and we finally got the opportunity. After our Salt and Pepper pots walk, we were ready for another hill.
The only problem with this walk is that it starts on a little country lane and there is hardly any parking. We set the alarm one week for 6am, with all the intentions of getting up early so that we would be able to do the walk. We rolled over and went back to sleep, so had to try again. We arrived later than anticipated but were able to park in a little pull in. The walk is across open access land, there are some finger posts though, and an obvious way up to the summit. We used another Happy Hiker route and the walk would take in not only Sharp Haw, but Rough Haw too and a circular walk back around. The walk is just over 6 miles.
It was a fairly easy walk up to the trig point. There’s a metal bench at the top which was glinting in the sunlight as we set off. My Husband was convinced that someone had parked up there! After the obligatory trig point selfies, we carried on, taking a path to the right of the trig point and towards Rough Haw. This hill was a little harder to climb as the path through the bracken was a little damp and rocky. There isn’t a trig at the top of this hill but a stone cairn. If you don’t fancy this hill you retrace your steps anyway to carry on the walk, but we wanted to get to the top!
Leaving the two hills behind us we carried on the walk following easy paths across the fell, then fields and footpaths. The route was easy to follow and there was a forestry road to follow at one point too. It would have been easy to stay on this and forget to look for a hidden style to take us home. Luckily, despite the vegetation we found it. We had passed a couple with a map who seemed to be doing a strange route, they didn’t follow us, so hopefully weren’t looking for it. We had seen them earlier in the walk in front of us and I was sure I saw him throwing litter around. When we got to where they’d been, I couldn’t see anything, or I’d have picked it up. I was tempted to say something as we passed them, but they got a Hip2trek glare instead. If you visit, I was going to say the countryside, but quite frankly ANYWHERE, you should leave nothing but footprints. Sorry, rant over! The fields then led us to the country lane, and it was a bit of walking back on that till we were back to where we had parked. It was a great walk and we really enjoyed it. Must get my eyes or Stick Boys eyes tested again, he had us convinced for ages that there was an owl sat on a fence post. We never did find out!
Extra Info and top tips!
The OS map you will need is OL2 Yorkshire Dales Southern and Western Areas
Parking: We parked on Bog Lane, Stirton, BD23 3LQ. There is a small pull in area on a sharp bend for a few cars. When we came back, we saw that people had also parked in some of the roads passing places. Not something I would advise! Before the turn off for Bog Lane on the B6265 there is a small layby that you could potentially park in. We did this walk during the corona virus pandemic and so the Craven Heifer Inn wasn’t open. I have seen other routes that can be done from here, across the fields to the Bog lane start, with of course drinks and food in the pub on the return. You may also want to seek permission from the pub to park here if you do this option.
There are no facilities on route. Take a picnic and have a wee before setting off.
Some of the finger posts later in the walk are missing when you meet the forestry track.
There is a small amount of road walking on this walk.