Skipton Moor

Skipton Moor

Skipton Moor, as its name suggests, is a moorland top that rises quite steeply above the town of Skipton and lies just south of the National Park.

Height (m): 373
Height (ft): 1224
Prominence (m): 137
Classification: HuMP
Hill No: 5314
Grid Ref: SE013509
OS Map OL2, OL21
No. of Visits 5

The summit of Skipton Moor lies just over 1.5 miles as the crow flies from the centre of the town. It is also the same distance south of the boundary of the Yorkshire Dales National Park. Perhaps if it was in the national park it would be better known than it is. It doesn’t even seem to be that popular with the residents of Skipton. On my five visits to date the only people I’ve seen at the summit are those who have accompanied me on the walk.

Skipton Moor from Halton Height
Skipton Moor from Halton Height

In my humble opinion Skipton Moor really should be better know. Indeed, despite its modest height of 373m, I would say it is one of my favourite summits. The summit itself is a neat little ridge which contains a number of features of interest. These include cairns, gritstone outcrops and an Ordnance Survey trig point.

The cairn on the western end of the summit ridge
The cairn on the western end of the summit ridge

The two most impressive cairns can be found at the eastern end of the ridge. These are quite prominent from the A59 below and it wouldn’t surprise me, given Skipton Moor’s position between Beamsley Beacon and Pinhaw Beacon, if this were not also a former beacon site.

The two prominent cairns on the eastern end of the summit
The two prominent cairns on the eastern end of the summit

The trig point was built in 1949 as one of the secondary order trig points. It is worth noting that the Ordnance Survey decided to record the trig point as being Vicar’s Allotment rather than Skipton Moor. The former name is also recorded near the summit on the Ordnance Survey’s Explorer and Landranger maps.

The Vicar's Alltoment trig point on the top of Skipton Moor
The Vicar’s Alltoment trig point on the top of Skipton Moor

The trig point is not in fact at the highest point. According to the Database of British Hills the highest point is the top of the gritstone boulder which sits on the ridge aabout 30m to the west of the trig point.

The rock in the foreground is the highest point on Skipton Moor
The rock in the foreground is the highest point on Skipton Moor

My favourite rocks on the summit though are the ones that lie about 30m in the opposite direction. Here a modest little crag provides a superb perch to dangle your legs over and enjoy the fine views.

One of my favourite posing spots
One of my favourite posing spots

The superb panorama is one of the other main attractions to Skipton Moor. It is particularly extensive to the west and includes Pendle Hill, Longridge Fell and the Bowland Fells in Lancashire. To the north there are more intimate views of Embsay Moor, Crookrise Crag and Cracoe Fell.

Looking along the summit ridge
Looking along the summit ridge

There are a number of possible routes up on to the summit. The quickest and easiest, though steep in places, is to park a car at the top of Short Bank Road and take the path up into Jenny Gill. At the top of the latter there are a couple of options, my preferred one being to follow the Dales High Way east. Upon reaching a gate on the right between two plantations take the path slanting up to the top corner of the far plantation. From there a thin path continues to a final steep scrabble to the top.

Skipton Moor as seen from the Ramshaw on the other side of Airedale
Skipton Moor as seen from the Ramshaw on the other side of Airedale

An alternative approach is over nearby Standard or one of the multiple rights of way leaving the village of Low Bradley. If approaching from Low Bradley beware the crossing of Black Sike, a narrow but very boggy little stream just below Millstone Hill.

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