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5 Walks In The Yorkshire Dales

 Sharp Haw and Rough Haw

Starting point  and OS Grid reference:

Rough parking on Bog Lane out of Stirton (SD 975540)

Ordnance Survey Map

OL2 Yorkshire Dales – Southern and Western Areas.

Distance: 6.3 miles

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Yorkshire Dales walk Sharp Haw and Rough Haw - sketch map

To view route as a dynamic Ordnance Survey map click here.

Introduction: Less than three miles from the centre of Skipton, Sharp Haw seems like a mere pimple at only 1171ft (357 metres) but it earns its “Sharp” credentials by being a distinct conical hill which stands out in the landscape for miles around. From its summit is a spectacular 360° panorama which is achieved with very little effort, and so, Sharp Haw is well worth a trip.

The walk starts from the very boundary of the Yorkshire Dales National Park and after the saunter up Sharp Haw itself to enjoy the view, wanders across Flasby Fell to Rough Haw, then to the outskirts of Flasby hamlet before returning through Crag Wood.

This would be a great walk to introduce children to the joys of fell walking as they get to conquer a distinct “mountain”, complete with trig. point.

There is a public bridleway across Flasby Fell but initially, this walk largely ignores this and takes a path which, although not marked on the OS map, is very clear on the ground.

The walk starts at a wide track leading from some rough parking on the narrow Bog Lane out of Stirton, a small hamlet just outside Skipton off the A65. Proceed north east along Bog Lane passing Tarn House Farm. There is then a sharp left hand bend, a sharp right hand bend, another sharp left hand bend then at the next right hand bend, park there. I spell this out in detail because if you miss this parking spot, there is nowhere else along the lane, even to turn round and you will finish up at the busy B6265 to Grassington with difficult visibility for pulling out or turning round. The other problem is that the parking is very limited, no more than for 4/5 cars. If full, the best advice would be to turn round utilising the entrance to the track and return to Stirton where there is some room to park on the road, then walk back along Bog Lane to the start of the walk. Depending on where you park, this could add ¾ mile to the overall diatance.

There are no refreshment opportunities en route. The top of Rough Haw has some flat-ish rocks useful for a picnic.

Start: From the parking (SD 975540), walk along the broad track marked by a green arrow, following the left boundary wall and heading north west. Already, you can see the distinctive summit of Sharp Haw.  At this point you are following the marked bridleway.

Sharp Haw and Rough Haw

After going through two gateways, the track splits. Take the right fork indicated by a green arrow and follow the fence on the right hand side.

Go through a gate indicating you are entering Open Access land and follow the clear track for Sharp Haw ahead.

View south west to Elslack Moor

View over Rough Haw

Shortly after turning right at a public bridleway fingerpost and crossing a plank bridge, the path divides (SD 969545). The official footpath/bridleway goes more or less straight on but you branch off left heading for the summit. The summit is attained shortly after crossing a metal ladder stile (SD 959553).

Summit of Sharp Haw and trig point

The views are spectacular. You are looking down on the village of Gargrave. The distinct shape of Pendle Hill is in the distance to the south west and to the north east, the craggy edges of Rylstone and Cracoe Fells with their War Memorial and obelisk are clearly visible.

Looking down to Gargrave

Cracoe fell

View along Sharp Haw summit

The hill in the near distance to the north east is Rough Haw (SD 963559). To get to it, ignore the path which continues along the ridge but from the trig point branch off to the right, descending past a large rock on the left and go through the gap in the wall. Follow the path down to a walkers’ gate and go straight ahead up Rough Haw. The path to its top branches off to the right, part way up.

Rough Haw summit with Sharp Haw behind

After “conquering” Rough Haw, retrace your steps to the walkers’ gate and without returning through it, turn right.along the obvious path. Follow this path downhill, heading for the right hand end of the trees (SD 959561). The path follows the boundary wall around the trees.

When the trees stop, continue to follow the boundary wall to some more trees where there is a gate. Stay on the obvious track through this gate and one at the next at the end of the field.

Cross a farm track through two metal gates and follow the walled track ahead. This exits the trees at a stony farm track. Follow this for a few yards then turn left at the junction (SD 948566), following the finger post for Stirton.

The track passes some farm buildings and heads for the trees and just after going under some power lines, as it curves to the left, continue straight ahead.

Go through a metal gate and the path climbs gently, curving first left then right into the trees via a kissing gate          (SD 953559). Stay on the main track until it divides at a bench. Go right here following the fingerpost for Stirton. At the broad forestry track, turn left.

Stay on the main forestry track to a junction where you go left. Stay on this main track and as it curves sharply left at the end of the trees, go straight ahead to find a stile (not easy to spot).

Once over the stile, the path goes straight across the field to a gated stile at the far side. Follow the left hand boundary of the next two fields. Cross another stile and bear slightly left to a wooden stile on the right into another field where you continue to more or less follow your original line along the right hand boundary.

At the road (SD 976535), turn left to return to the parking (or right if you have had to park in Stirton).

Carving at Tarn House Farm

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