Trek to the source of the Wharfe: a riverside adventure in Yorkshire

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Inspired by an Edwardian guidebook, our writer walks the 65-mile length of the county’s most famous river

The swaying trees closed ranks in the darkness, obscuring my route. In theory a public footpath led through them: the next stage in my quest to walk the entire length of the River Wharfe.

I hunched over my Ordnance Survey map, trying to protect my phone’s light from the blowing rain and lamenting my lack of a headtorch. When I looked up, every sweep of my light made the slightest open area look like a footpath. So I decided to cut my losses and leave the river behind. Nearby, a quiet B-road would be mostly deserted at this hour, and would convey me straight into my destination – the Yorkshire Dales village of Appletreewick, where a warm, dry pub awaited me.

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