Catrigg Force and Attermire Scar.
Route. Langcliffe - Pike Lane - Dicks Ground Plantation - Lower Winskill - Upper Winskill - Pennine Bridleway - Catrigg Force - Pennine Bridleway - Malham Road - Jubilee Cave - Victoria Cave - Brent Scar - Attermire Scar - Warrendale Knotts - Sugar Loaf Hill - Stockdale Lane - High Hill Lane - Scalber Force - High Hill Lane - Lambert Lane - Mitchell Lane - Upper Settle - Settle - Constitution Hill - Pennine Bridleway - Langcliffe.
Notes. Waterfalls and rivers of scree, that's what I got today on this enjoyable excursion through the petrified rock of the Craven Fault. Lets not get into the geology, to my mind the fault marks a line where the high limestone dales end and the flatlands of industrial Yorkshire begin. There is a great many attractions on show, perfect waterfall building country, caves and limestone scars, towers and spires where the land's been ripped apart, why not come take a look.
My day started in Langcliffe as the first rays of sunlight illuminated the scars on the opposite side of the valley, night was giving way to day. Pike Lane leaves the car park, I followed the stoney track between dry stone walls, the lane ended at a field gate, I passed through said gate then ascended to the tiny hamlet of Upper Winskill. A combination of well signed paths guided me through sheep pastures, along stoney farm lanes to Catrigg Force. Guarded by a clump of trees the waters of Stainforth Beck take a double leap into a rocky ravine, it was a cool spot in the heat of the morning, I hung around.
I ascended from the ravine to re-trace my steps to a field gate, I then wandered south east to reach the tarmac surface of the Malham Road. A hot walk between limestone scars followed, the road surface was warm, the scars kept the breeze at bay, it would be a few hours before the sun got really high and the mercury rose. I reached a cattle grid then left the road, a pleasant green trod then guided me into a high u-shaped valley, this was Warrendale, high green pastures and stunning views. At this point I took a wrong turn, forced to double back (it was too hot to wander aimlessly), I made sure the next junction was right, it guided me to a ladder stile and the twin entrances to the not so interesting Jubilee Cave. I continued through the valley, a land rover track ushered me to a finger-post promising access to Victoria Cave, it told the truth, I ascended to the large cave entrance.
Victoria Cave, discovered in 1837, when the importance of the find was realised the entrance was made more accessible. The remains of Rhino, Hippopotamus, Elephant and Hyena were brought to the surface, Neolithic man left flints and even stone axes, later occupants left beads, coins, brooches, pottery and even iron age weapons.
From Victoria Cave I continued to the cliffs of Attermire Scar, a steep descent followed, just peeping around the corner on show for the first time the massive limestone towers scree and climbing cliffs of Warrendale Knotts, an awesome sight, one that draws much attention, apart from climbers, geologists, photographers love it, I took some snaps before wandering to a finger-post promising access to Stockdale Lane. After crossing a stile I continued through stunning scenery, even traversing Sugar Loaf Hill, because it seemed a good idea. The path terminated at it's promised destination, which in turn lead to High Hill Lane, I turned left, not quite time to head back yet.
Half a mile over another length of hot tarmac lead to a cool shaded spot, where another waterfall plunges into a deep gorge, this is Scalber Force, well worth the diversion, after a dry spell a delicate curtain of alluring water, after heavy weather an awesome frightening sight. I took some photos, had a brew, enjoyed the cool of the tree shaded ravine, too soon it was time to head back. I re-traced my steps to Stockdale Lane, just around the corner a narrow lane cut off to the left, this is Lambert Lane, it's billed as part of the Pennine Bridleway, I followed it between dry stone walls to a finger-post inviting me to Settle. Pleasant walking followed, through sheep pastures into some splendid if not unexpected views, the path terminated at Mitchell Lane which then ushered me into Settle.
I stopped in this delightful market town, had a brew and a snack, wished I'd parked the car there, contemplated walking back to Langcliffe along the road, decisions, decisions. Enough road walking today, I ascended Constitution Hill to access another narrow lane, again billed as the Pennine Bridleway, this track guided me between dry stone walls into high sheep pastures and stunning views. Through fields I wandered all the while the massive cliffs of the disused Langcliffe Quarry beckoned me on, I soon found myself descending back to the car park and the patiently waiting car.
view route map.
Early morning across the Ribble valley.
Views over Ribblesdale to the scars above Stackhouse.
Ascending to Lower Winskill looking to the hills above Settle, Lower High Hill and Middle High Hill.
Lower Winskill, "windy shieling or hut on high pasture" one of hundreds of Norse place names in the north of England.
Towering above Ribblesdale, seen from near Upper Winskill mighty Pen-y-ghent.
From the edge of Winskill Stones Pasture views to Smearsett Scar, with the flat top of Ingleborough across the horizon.
Seen from the field above Catrigg Force, Ingleborough across the limestone scars of Moughton.
Catrigg Force, a cool corner of the Yorkshire Dales on a hot morning.
The scene over Winskill Pasture from the Malham Road.
Above Jubilee Cave with this stunning view for company, over Winskill, the unmistakable flat top of Ingleborough with Whernside to the right.
Limestone scenery above Jubilee Cave, the view Pen-y-ghent and Fountains Fell.
The twin entrances to the not so interesting Jubilee Cave.
Victoria Cave, far more interesting, discovered in 1837 clay deposits turned up animal bones dating back 130,000 years, hippos, narrow nosed rhino, elephant and spotted hyena, imagine elephants wandering around the Yorkshire Dales, after the last ice age 12,000 years ago the cave was used by hibernating brown bears, 11,000 years ago the first humans occupied the cave, the very first Yorkshire men left an antler harpoon point amongst the remains of reindeer bones.
From Victoria Cave views over the civilized side of Warrendale Knotts, across the horizon Pendle Hill.
Stunning views over Warrendale and the Ribble valley.
Views taken along the scree and petrified rock of Brent Scar towards Victoria Cave.
Looking imposing from the Warrendale path, Attermire Scar.
Warrendale Knotts where the high limestone dales abruptly end.
Best view of Warendale Knotts, from the summit of Sugar Loaf Hill.
Looking back to the distant drama of Attermire Scar.
Lime Kiln passed on the descent to Stockdale Lane.
A delicate curtain of falling water, Scalber Force.
Settle on view from field paths just off Mitchell Lane.
Nearing Lanfcliffe looking to Pen-y-ghent.
Above Langcliffe looking to the imposing cliffs of Langcliffe Quarry.
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