Settle Limestone.

Start. Langcliffe.

Route. Langcliffe - Blua Crags - Warrendale Knotts - Stockdale - Attermire Scar - Brent Scar - Malham Road - Catrigg Force - Stainforth - Stainforth Road (B6479) - Dog Hill Brow - Stainforth Bridge - Stainforth Force - Holmehead - Langcliffe.

Notes. It's all doom and gloom again, the weathers on the turn, storm warnings are in place, us Kendal folk have been told to prepare for more flooding, in the event we should have yet another biblical flood I took myself off to the Yorkshire Dales, under a grey sky I went exploring magnificent limestone country. Plunging limestone cliffs a haunt for men on ropes, columns and pillars and steeples reach into a slate grey sky, caves and rivers of limestone scree, this is Warrendale Knotts and Attermire Scar viewed by many, climbed by few. Let's do the viewing and take a walk with me through gods battlefield where giant plates of limestone and mill stone grit collide, thrusting rock formed on the sea bed of an ancient ocean skywards to form the Craven Fault. This riven edge marks the end of the high limestone dales and the start of pastoral Yorkshire, you must admit what god created man hasn't made a bad job of preserving, and you can't always say that now can you.

After parking in the small car park at Langcliffe I headed up hill, leaving tarmac almost immediately to ascend through a narrow paddock, on entering the next field the path swung right, I swung with it. Through limestone pastures I wandered, passed Blua Crags before descending in the company of Warrendale Knotts steep outcrops, scars and towers. The path ushered me into Stockdale depositing me at the foot of Attermire Scar, I turned left to follow the base of the cliffs north. Under impressive limestone cliffs and shifting rivers of scree I walked, passed Victoria Cave then Jubilee Cave before descending to the Malham Road, I turned right letting the tarmac surface guide me to a farm track next to a cattle grid. With said farm track under foot a strolled to Catrigg Force. Here Stainforth Beck takes a double leap into a sylvan gorge, possibly the finest waterfall in the Craven Dales.

From Catrigg Force I descended to Stainforth, a short walk through the lovely village followed, I alight onto the main road. A few hundred yards to the north Dog Hill Brow descends to the River Ribble, I followed the narrow lane to access river bank paths at the elegant Stainforth Bridge. With muddy paths under foot I followed the waters of the river south, passed exciting Stainforth Force where the slow flowing waters break free from their restraints plunging into a limestone gorge. A mile and a half of river side rambling followed before reaching a foot-bridge at Holmehead, I crossed before wandering between the cottages, the path then ushered me along the edge of a large mill pond then on to the mill it once helped power. Health and safety rules in places like this, the route was well marked, once through the industrial site a narrow path ushered me between dry stone walls, a foot-bridge allowed safe crossing of the Settle/Carlisle railway the last obstacle before stepping back into the streets of Langcliffe.

view route map.


Giggleswick Scar as seen over Langcliffe.

The massive cliffs of Langcliffe Quarry seen from limestone pastures above Langcliffe.

Ascending under Blua Crags with views over Ribblesdale for company.

Warrendale Knotts looking imposing from the descent to Stockdale.

Like a breaking wave, Sugar Loaf Hill.

The dramatic rock scenery of Attermire Scar.

Views taken over Stockdale and Sugar Loaf Hill with Pendle Hill grey on the far horizon.

Heading into Warrendale with views along the cliffs of Attermire Scar and Brent Scar.

Pen-y-ghent above Silverdale.

The attractive cascade of Catrigg Force.

Rising above Ribblesdale the friendly face of Smearsett Scar.

The stepping stones at Stainforth.

The River Ribble escapes it's restraints at Stainforth Force.

The elegant single arch of Stainforth Bridge, raised in the 1670s by local craftsmen on the instructions of the monks of Sowley Abbey.

The wier at Holmehead....

....responsible for keeping the mill pond topped up.

A slice of industrial history, High Mill built as a cotton mill in 1783, equipped with state of the art Arkwright machines, converted in the 20th century to paper manufacture.

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