BETWEEN Skipton and Keighley is an area of rolling moorland, dotted with farms and a variety of terrain. Some is open moorland but in other places the walk is over farmland, woods and quiet country lanes. The highlight though is the spectacular views from Earl Crag.

Park on the road near the church at Sutton-in-Craven and walk through Sutton towards the obvious wooded dell/valley under the moors near Sutton Hall. The wooded dell next to Lumb Cleugh Beck is lovely, the bridleway broad and easy to follow. I kept to the east of the river where the path is at its best. After 500 metres take the left fork and zig zag uphill to your left till reaching the road to Keighley. Turn right and head uphill.

There are some great views over the Airedale valley from a lane 100 metres further on to the left, walk a few yards along the lane for the best views. Return to the road and continue for another 300 metres to a farmers track in to farmyard on your right. Go through the farmyard and enter open countryside.

For the first half mile this is straightforward to follow, it is after the path reaches Gill Top Farm that route finding is a little more challenging. I passed through the farmyard and picked up a path heading south west and then west across open fields towards Starr Farm. Look for the stiles in the walls that mark the direction of the path. From Starr Farm I took the easiest option and followed the driveway south to a moorland road. Turn right and follow this quiet road north west for 0ne mile as it undulates gently through the open moors.

After a sharp left hand bend on the road (turns to the west) a track heads off to the left towards Lund’s Tower, a monument which has been obvious on the road section. This is the pepper for the well-known ‘salt and pepper pots’. This folly was commissioned by James Lund, either as a commemorative building for Queen Victoria or as a gift to his daughter Ethel. A delightful half a mile then follows between the pepper and the salt of Wainman’s Pinnacle.

Some large sandstone boulders make up the scar to your right, reminiscent of the Wainstones in the North York Moors. The walking and views across Lothersdale and further afield make this one of the best short stretches of walking for miles around.

Wainman’s Pinnacle is placed upon the rocks and is another folly with only legends indicating its origins in 1898 but it may have been to do with the Napoleonic wars.

Return towards ‘the pepper’ for 150m then turn sharp left and follow the track under the rocks till it passes through a wall.

From here turn right and drop steeply down a faint path to a road, cross the road and continue down the signposted path to Crag End. The views ahead along Airedale are still good. Yellow painted arrows indicate the path which heads north east through several tight stiles to High Maisis Farm. From here go east alongside a wall, past another farm till the path enters the western fringes of Sutton in Craven.

* Fact File

Distance: Roughly six miles

Height to Climb: 285m (940 feet).

Start: SE 007442. I parked near the church in the centre of Sutton, there was plenty of room when I visited.

Difficulty: Moderate. The land through the farms above Sutton can be confusing but the remainder is well signed on good terrain.

Refreshments: There is a choice of pubs near the church in Sutton-in-Craven.

Be Prepared: The route description and sketch map only provide a guide to the walk. You must take out and be able to read a map (O/S Explorer OL21) and in cloudy/misty conditions a compass. You must also wear the correct clothing and footwear for the outdoors.

* Jonathan Smith runs Where2walk, a walking company in the Yorkshire Dales. He has written his own book, the Dales 30, which details the highest mountains in the Dales.

He also runs one-day navigation courses for beginners and intermediates. Join his Learn a Skill, Climb a Hill weekends in the Dales.