Nestling in the hills of northern Wharfedale lies the handsome village and civil parish of Buckden.
Home to a number of bed and breakfasts, a public house and holiday cottages, the area is a popular stop off for walkers taking the 85 mile Dales Way, which runs from Ilkley in West Yorkshire to Bowness-on-Windermere in Cumbria.
A shorter walk in the region takes visitors up to Buckden Pike, a fell that rises above the village and is the second highest peak in Wharfedale after Great Whernside. At the summit stands a memorial cross dedicated to five Polish members of the Royal Air Force that sadly died when their craft crashed into the moor during 1942.
Evidence of people living around the village has been traced back to the Bronze Age and close to the river at Yockenthwaite you can visit a circle of stones that are thought to have been left from a burial mound that stood on the site in pre-historic times.
The village of Buckden itself was formed during the 12th century and stands on the route of an old Roman road that linked Bainbridge and Ilkley.
In the main, Buckden was used a settlement for a forest keeper and his staff during the Middle Ages with hunting being the main industry. During this period, the church in Hubberholme was established.
Lead mining became the main industry in the village during the 17th century and what remains of the Buckden Gravel Mine can still be seen today. It was open for almost 200 years from 1697 and only closed because it became cheaper to import lead from overseas.
The mine is at the centre of a mystery that is yet to be resolved. In 1964 a skeleton was found at the site. It is believed that the man had entered the mine in 1890, but he has never been identified. Locals have dubbed him “Buckden Bill”. Strangely, his corpse was just 400 yards from the mine’s exit.
To the west of the village stands an 18th century bridge known to locals as “election bridge” because it’s construction was funded by a prospective MP who promised to pay for it if he was voted into office.
Heading further up the road you will come to a small farming hamlet named Hubberholme. Other than a public house and fishing area, the main point of interest here is the Church of St Michael and All Angels which dates back to the 12th century. It is one of only two churches in Yorkshire which has a roof loft and it is also the final resting place of the famous author J.B. Priestley.
Buckden itself has an excellent choice of places to stay as well as enjoy a drink or an evening meal. A popular time for holidaymakers is in the middle of June when the village gala takes place.