As we suspected, this eight-mile route involved water-crossings and waterfalls. The successive spells of rain recently had satisfied the ground and the subterranean aquifers and spilled profusely overground. This day, however, was brightening progressively, and our group of walkers, led by Dave and Heide Wolstenhulme, set off from Buckden to climb up the Rake northwards, enjoying the clear views ahead and of the valley below. Eventually, with Cray below us, we were treated to the volume of stepped waterfalls of Cow Close Gill, which gushed downhill to meet Cray Beck, although our trek did mean some flooded crossings.
From Cray High Bridge we descended to the ancient farm and once-coaching inn, to then make our way westwards across the height above Langstrothdale.
Walking near the edge of this broad open landscape on this clear day, the magnificent views of both valleys and their geological interest were especially appreciated. Progressing over Crook Gill and Strans Gill, both full of tumbling water through their deep and rocky courses, and past remains of early medieval occupation, we began our own rocky descent into the ancient farm of Yockenthwaite. Our route continued eastwards now, alongside the River Wharfe to Hubberholme, seeing Dippers flitting up and down the rushing and swollen river. Sections of the path which had been eroding above the river have been very well repaired.
At Hubberholme we stopped at the bridge for a while as other walkers had mentioned seeing a pair of Kingfishers there, but we were not lucky. Onward then towards Buckden, very muddied but very satisfied with the excellent day of diverse interests, in good company, and concluding with a welcome tea at Westwinds.