By Vicky · Published Jan. 3rd, 2024
This circular walk up Conistone Dib, through wild scenery, and to Conistone Pie is a fantastic loop in the Yorkshire Dales.
The walk to Conistone Dib & Conistone Pie starts from the small village of Conistone in the Yorkshire Dales. It’s roughly 20 minutes drive from Skipton and 1hr15 from the centre of Leeds. The best place to park is on the nearby bridge over the River Wharfe. Get there early on sunny, summer days.
Conistone Dib & Conistone Pie Walking Map
- It can be wet and boggy near the top of this walk, so wear appropriate shoes.
- Walking up Conistone Dib is slightly rocky and has a very small scramble near the top so it might not be suitable for everyone.
- The map to take for this hike is the Ordnance Survey Map 2 of the Southern & Western Yorkshire Dales*.
- For other hikes nearby, try the short hikes up Beamsley Beacon, Almscliffe Crag, Sharp Haw and Flasby Fell, or Embsay Crag.
- You can find other Yorkshire ideas in our Yorkshire Guide.
Conistone Dib & Conistone Pie Walking Route
From the bridge over the River Wharfe near Conistone, head into the cute little village. Head over the central roundabout and right on the first small lane. This turns into a track that leads to the start of Conistone Dib, a small, narrow gorge in the hillside.
Walking up Conistone Dib
In Conistone Dib, the ground is slightly rocky and you have to climb up a few little rock steps. The surroundings get more and more impressive as the gorge gets narrower, and you’re surrounded by tall limestone cliffs. The path leads along the base of the windy gorge and continues as the cliffs disappear, to be replaced by grassy slopes.
Near the top of Coniston Dib, the cliffs return a little and at the very end, there’s a short, steep scramble to get out of the gorge. It is easy for most people and barely involves using your hands, though does require some agility.
Walking through the Wild Yorkshire Dales
After the scramble, head over the wall and turn left. At the track head right to walk gradually upwards. In about 700 metres, turn left at the walking signpost. Head across the field and right before the block of pine trees. Continue upwards through the rough fields. Just before the ground gets a bit steeper, you’ll notice several sinkholes. These have formed along a fault, a weakness in the rock which separates the limestone below from the sandstone above.
Cross the wall at the top. The character of the landscape changes quite dramatically here, due to the changes in rock type. Below were grassy fields, but on this side of the wall you’ll see peat bogs and heather. It can be very wild and desolate here, and you won’t see many people.
Conistone Dib & Conistone Pie: A Shorter Walk
If you would like a shorter walk, there’s a nice 5 km loop that heads up Conistone Dib and goes straight to Conistone Pie before returning to the village. There’s still some climb (150 metres) and the path up the Dib is rocky, but it only takes roughly 1.5 hours rather than 3-4 hours for the longer walk. You’ll see two of the key features on the longer walk, but miss out on some of the spectacular and wild scenery on the higher slopes.
Turn left along the path that parallels the wall. In a short while, you’ll come to some old lead mine workings. There are several pits and little hills of rocky ground. The path is indistinct here, but head through the pits and towards the gate in the wall on the other side.
Continue on the other side of the wall, heading slightly downwards. Cross over another wall and take the small, grassy path on your left about 50 metres after the wall. This path leads straight downward through the fields. Eventually, you’ll reach the start of a track. Head right here along the track and down to the woodland.
Just before you enter the woodland, you’ll see a large path heading to your left. This path makes up part of the Dales Way, so it’s well-trodden and well-signed. Walk along here, contouring along the hillside. There are fantastic views of Wharfedale Valley and the nearer limestone scenery of the Yorkshire Dales.
In roughly 2 km you’ll see Conistone Pie. This is a distinctive rock blob, which looks a bit like a pie (use your imagination). There are great views from the top up two valleys, through which the River Wharfe and River Skirfare flow. It’s easiest to climb up Conistone Pie around the far side.
Once you’ve admired the views, return to the path, and right across a wall. Keep along the wall, leaving the Dales Way, and turn left shortly after the junction. This path leads to a bigger track. At the track turn right and follow it downwards towards the bottom of the valley.
On the outskirts of Conistone, the track joins a larger lane. Turn left, past the church, and you’ll soon be back in the centre of the village. Take the right and you’ll return to your car and the end of the Conistone Dib & Conistone Pie Walk.
Guidebooks to explore more of Yorkshire
The Rough Guide to Yorkshire* is a great little guidebook and has a section on Ilkley and things to do nearby. The Yorkshire Dales Pathfinder Guide* has a good collection of short hikes suitable for the entire family and the Guide to North Yorkshire Pub Walks* has some fun walks in the Dales for those who are hungry and thirsty.