Crummack Dale and Norber.

Start. Austwick.

Route. Austwick - Town Head - Thwaite Lane - Norber Sike - Wash Dub Field - Crummack Farm - Austwick Beck Head - Begger's Stile - Thieves Moss - Sulber Gate - Long Scar - Thwaite Scar - Norber - Nappa Scars - Bear Bought Plantation - Town Head - Austwick.

Notes. I'm striding out through limestone pastures, the crunch of frost under my boot soles, the winter sun's on my back, long shadows reach across the fields, it's a gorgeous morning to be out on the hill. Grab your bag and boots, come for a wander through some of the most beautiful scenery in the Yorkshire Dales. We'll visit Crummack Dale, a high glacial valley hemmed in on three sides by shear limestone cliffs, we'll visit a sheep dip, an iron age settlement, we'll explore Thieves Moss accessed by the Begger's Stile, and finally we'll take a wander through the Norber boulder fields, glacial erratic's deposited around 12,000 years ago when the Crummack Dale glacier retreated. Seven and a bit miles of staggering scenery all ours to enjoy.

Town Head Lane in Austwick marked the starting point for this scenic ramble, I ascended the lane to join field paths at Town Head, a way marked path ushered me through a couple of back gardens, a necessity to escape the village. With a green trod under foot and stiles to ease my crossing of field boundaries I wandered on, my route crossed Thwaite Lane before descending to Norber Sike, after fording the stream I ascended into Crummack Dale my first port of call Wash Dub Field. A delightful clapper bridge eased my crossing of Austwick Beck, I was now wandering between dry stone walls in one of Yorkshires many green lanes, on reaching a t-junction I turned right into another green lane, this particular one lead to Crummack Farm. The route for foot traffic by-passes the farm, a finger-post points the way, back on green paths I wandered on to the head of the valley stopping to explore Austwick Beck Head and a hard to discern iron age settlement. I escaped the valley via the Beggar's Stile, and I thought The Hole in the Wall was the only stile named on a map, after crossing Thieves Moss I ascended to Sulber Gate a perfect brew stop.

Brew over I turned south, a good path guided me to an ancient cairn on Long Scar, this cairn marks the start of a faint path traversing Thwaite, my route linked the many cairns, like a giant game of dot to dot, each cairn gifted me with jaw-dropping views, the further south I walked the wider my gape. Eventually the high limestone scar ended forcing me to descend a wide scarp to access Norber. A fascinating wander through the boulder fields followed before a stile was crossed allowing entrance to Dear Bought Plantation, the final stretch of field walking before joining the tarmac of Town Head Lane for the short descent to my starting point.

view route map.


Looking to Moughton Scar above Wharfe.

Dramatic scenery, viewing Thwaite from field paths above Austwick.

Descending to Norber Sike, looking to Moughton above Crummack Dale.

Sowerthwaite Farm dwarfed by Long Scar and White Stone.

On the approach to Wash Dub Field, scanning the head of Crummack Dale.

A resident of these parts, the view, the dry waterfall that once tumbled over Studrigg Scar backed by the dome of Moughton.

The clapper bridge at Wash Dub Field, in late spring and early summer the beck would be dammed allowing the sheep to be washed to remove parasites, the Wash Dub was still in use as late as the 1930s.

Erratic boulders litter the fields in this part of the Yorkshire Dales, greywacks carried many miles by glaciers, abandoned as the glaciers started to retreat at the end of the last ice age.

Pen-y-ghent carrying a little snow, as seen from Crummack Farm.

I mentioned earlier Crummack Dale was hemmed in by limestone cliffs on three sides, but to the south you're gifted with stunning views.

Austwick Beck Head.

There are wonderful views to be had as you ascend to the head of the dale.

Extraordinary landscape found in this wonderful hidden corner of the Dales.

The Begger's Stile, a portal into another slice of dramatic rock scenery.

Drinking in views over Crummack Dale.

Amazing limestone scenery on the edge of Thieves Moss, dark across the skyline Moughton.

Near Sulber Gate drinking tea soaking up views to a ghostly Pendle Hill.

Rising above Ribblesdale, Pen-y-ghent.

Dappled light on Ingleborough, seen from Long Scar.

Taking in the view from the traverse of Thwaite, and a staggering view it is.

Yorkshires broad acres at their very best.

Crummack Dale seen from the descent to Norber.

A field of stone, over Norber in sunlight and shade, In Moor including Smearsett and Pot Scars.

Erratic boulders deposited here 12,000 years ago, this particular example sits on a limestone plinth, marking the original ground level.

The cliff and scree of Robin Proctor's Scar.

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