Amongst locals, Beamsley Beacon is the hill on the Langbar Moor – great for a morning jog, views over the valley, or a quick family walk with the dogs.
However, the hill itself is actually called Howber Hill. The name Beamsley Beacon refers to the pile of rocks at the summit trig point, which once served as a warning beacon set alight at signs of valley invasions. The town of Ilkley below was once a Roman fort named Olicana, so it saw plenty of action.
While the warning beacon is in its well-deserved retirement these days, you can still hike to the summit trig point. If you are visiting Ilkley or its surrounding Yorkshire towns, I recommend climbing Beamsley Beacon. The views, atmosphere, and history make visiting Beamsley Beacon one of the most interesting local hikes.
Where is Beamsley Beacon?
Beamsley Beacon is located on Langbar Moor, between the villages of Beamsley and Langbar.
The hill is on the outskirts of the Yorkshire Dales National Park and is a protected Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.
The Beamsley Beacon Walk
The walk to Beamsley Beacon is short but sweet. The return hike is only around a mile, although the steep summit path is a quick cardio workout. You can easily fit the walk into an hour.
Start your walk on the clear trodden path in the break between the houses on Lanshaw Bank Road. You can use the postcode LS29 0EX to pinpoint it and watch out for a wooden signpost and bench.
Head up between the houses and follow the trodden route to veer left. This initial section can be quite boggy, but the ground should get firmer and drier as you begin to climb.
Within a few minutes of walking, you’ll reach a stone track which is much clearer to follow. Be prepared to climb over large boulders sunken into the track, and be mindful that the loose smaller rocks can be slippery.
If you have a good fitness level, you can expect to reach the summit in around 15-20 minutes. Here, you can sit or climb the trig point for a picture or admire the valley views. It is a popular tradition to add a stone every time you climb Beamsley Beacon, so you can always find a rock near the summit or on your climb. Otherwise, just enjoy the summit before heading back down the same route you came.
What if I want to go further?
If you want to go further when you reach Beamsley Beacon’s summit, you definitely can.
Otherwise, you can also drop down onto Langbar Moor’s many footpaths and create your own circular track. I’d recommend downloading OS Maps to check a route ahead of time and packing sturdy, waterproof boots as some sections can be boggy.
When to visit Beamsley Beacon?
I’ll start by saying that Beamsley Beacon is beautiful all year round. And, as an untechnical and low hill, it is an achievable summit no matter the season. However, there are a few things you should consider when planning a visit.
Late spring and summer are usually the easiest and most pleasant months to visit Beamsley Beacon. There is a higher chance of clear blue skies, better visibility for views, and warmer, dry weather. The only battle you may face is less parking, as visiting in these seasons is understandably a popular idea!
In winter and early spring, Beamsley Beacon is likely to have snow. While slippery, climbing the hill in snow can be fun. However, be aware that access is quickly lost to the Beamsley Beacon roads and that even 4WD vehicles might struggle to navigate the roads back to the valley in heavy snow. It’s advisable to carefully monitor any snowfall to prevent getting stranded and to make sure to wear shoes with excellent grip.
In general, visiting Beamsley Beacon on a rainy or windy day will be less enjoyable. The path is extremely exposed, so if it rains, you will get wet, and if it is windy, you will know about it.
No matter when you visit Beamsley Beacon, check the weather forecast before visiting.
What to wear to climb Beamsley Beacon?
A waterproof coat and sturdy (preferably waterproof) hiking boots are essential for climbing Beamsley Beacon.
The summit route is short and untechnical but has lots of loose rock, so your shoes must have a decent grip. Hiking boots should also protect you from rolling your ankles should you slip (ouch, right?).
Wear layers under your waterproof coat if you are visiting on a cold or windy day. Layers help you retain and regulate your body temperature, as they are quick and easy to take off or put on when needed.
Beamsley Beacon Quickfire FAQS
What is Beamsley Beacon?
Beamsley Beacon is a 393m hill with a stone summit landmark.
How high is Beamsley Beacon?
Beamsley Beacon is 393 metres or nearly 1,300ft tall.
Which areas are no dogs, Beamsley Beacon?
Dogs are allowed on all public footpaths on Beamsley Beacon.
However, dog walkers will be requested to keep their pets on leads at certain times of the year to protect nesting grouse. Pay attention to any laminated signs on the wooden signpost at the trail start and cooperate with any requests from local farmers.
Where is the Beamsley Beacon car park?
The car park is not so much a car park as limited roadside and verge parking.
When visiting Beamsley Beacon, be prepared to drive further down the hill to find a suitable space, and ensure you aren’t blocking field entrances or private driveways.
If you become hooked on Yorkshire’s stunning walks, I’ve written a complete guide to the best walks in the Yorkshire Dales that you can view here. From Beamsley Beacon, you are only a twenty to thirty-minute drive to the Yorkshire Dales National Park – so don’t miss out!
Got any more tips for visiting Beamsley Beacon? Drop them in the comments below.