A major landmark on the A59 as it climbs the moor from Blubberhouses, the Dovestones are two large gritstone buttresses that are well worth a visit.
The most impressive of the two is the easternmost, a magnificent outcrop that I always thought was called Raven’s Peak. A closer look at maps suggests that Raven’s Peak is in fact a much less obvious outcrop on the other side of the road. Instead it is given the much more prosaic name of ‘Main Wall’ in climbing guides.
Although I’ve never seen any climbers on my three walks to the Dovestones or on the many car journeys past them, there are 25 climbing routes on the Main Wall and a further five on the so-called Policeman’s Buttress. Fortunately for us walkers it isn’t necessary to climb to get to the top and there is in fact a nice path running through the bracken to the top of the Main Wall. Be warned that in the height of summer this bracken can grow over head height!
The Dovestones can be visited on a nice walk from the head of Fewston Reservoir. There are a few possible route variations with the more adventurous also visiting the superb Brandrith Crags. The view from the top of the Dovestones looking east down the valley towards Menwith Hill. Whenever I am up there though I can never escape the thought that my mere presence stood atop the crag might fatally distract someone driving up the snake like bends of the A59.