The parish boundary is defined by the slopes of the Walden Beck valley (sometimes known as Waldendale). The western boundary runs form the outskirts of Aysgarth over Naughtberry Hill to Buckden Pike. The eastern boundary runs from the A684 over the top of Penhill and Harland Hill towards Buckden Pike. The parish includes the village of West Burton and the hamlets of Walden and Walden Head.
Prior to the nationwide municipal reorganization of 1974, Burton-cum-Walden was in the Aysgarth Rural District of the North Riding of Yorkshire from 1894. Historically it was in the ecclesiastical parish of Aysgarth in the wapentake of Hang West.