Craven Lime Works, Catrigg Force and Warrendale.

Start. Langcliffe.

Route. Langcliffe - Craven Lime Works - Stainforth - Catrigg Force - Winskill Stones - Malham Road - Jubilee Cave - Victoria Cave - Brent Scar - Attermire Scar - Stockdale - Warrendale Knotts - Langcliffe.

Notes. This was a diverse walk with many attractions and points of interest, including the Craven Lime Works. Lime had been burnt in Yorkshire for centuries used to freshen the pastures and as lime mortar for building, in the 19th century demand grew, kilns like the Hoffmann Kiln were built, 22 individual fire chambers heated by coal, the one we visited is the best preserved in the country.

The Yorkshire Dales are littered with dramatic cascades and cataracts, above Stainforth Catrigg Force a hidden gem deep within a wooded gorge, the broken ribbon of water falls almost 20ft into a plunge pool, visit this cool corner of the Dales, you’ll not only be treading in our foot steps but those of the composer Edward Elgar whom visited many times. On our route the Craven Fault, this riven edge marks the end of the high limestone dales and the start of pastoral Yorkshire, where green fields and tiny villages carry the eye to industrial Lancashire and, limestone cliffs dominate the landscape. Home to many caves, the most famous being Victoria Cave discovered in 1837, legendary finds were brought to the surface from Romano-British artifacts to fossilised bones of hippo and elephant probably dragged into the cave by hyena over 120.000 years ago.

We parked in the small car park at Langcliffe, to the north-west corner a stoney track disappears between typical Dales houses, this we followed between dry stone walls, after a hundred yards or so a finger-post invited us to Stainforth. We left the track joining a green trod, through fields we wandered gates and stiles aided our crossing of field boundaries, pastoral walking ended at the Craven Lime Works. For anyone interested in industrial history this place will intrigue you, if not I’ll bet you find it fascinating.

After a wander round we exited the lime works at the north end via a small stile allowing access to sheep pastures, again the path was a lovely green trod, it deposited us on the main road near Stainforth. After a quick mosey around we ascended another stoney track, this one was steep, it guided us into stunning views depositing us at Catrigg Force, an unforgettable hidden gem, where Catrigg Beck plunges around 20ft into the dappled light of a wooded gorge becoming Stainforth Beck in the process.

After a quick brew and an early lunch we re-joined the track, guided by it’s stoney surface we wandered through a field then into high limestone pastures above Winskill, the views were breath-tacking we soaked them up as we walked. The track terminated at the single ribbon of tarmac leading to Malham, we turned right, to our delight the road was closed, traffic free, it safely ushered us to a cattle grid, at this point we turned left leaving this lonely grey ribbon.

With yet another green trod under foot we ascended into the high valley of Warrendale, being on the Craven Fault the limestone scenery is staggering, we visited the twin entranced Jubilee Cave and much larger Victoria Cave before descending to Stockdale. At this point we swung right, the path guided us passed the cliffs, towers and caves of Warrendale Knotts, limestone scenery at it’s very best. The path then climbed out of the valley before plummeting into Ribblesdale, the steep descent deposited us on a path linking Settle to Langcliffe, we turned right our aiming point Langcliffe. With a good path to guide us and dry stone wall for company we soon found ourselves descending through sheep pastures back into the delightful little village we set out from, the final gate deposited us on the closed Malham Road right next to the parked car.

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Views taken across the Ribble valley from field paths near Langcliffe.

Wandering through the pages of industrial history, the Hoffmann Kiln.

Inside one half of the giant Hoffmann Kiln, Sue helps give this shot some perspective.

En route to Stainforth looking to Little Stainforth backed by Smearsett Scar.

Backed by Moor Head and the scars of Medieval field systems, Stainforth.

Glistening white in the sun the stepping stones at Stainforth.

Smearsett Scar viewed from the lane ascending from Stainforth.

Gain a little more height and the unmistakable flat top of Ingleborough tilts into view.

Falling into the diffused light of a wooded gorge, the broken cascade of Catrigg Force.

Free of the tree cover and the song of falling water, we enjoy views to Pen-y-ghent and Plover Hill.

Reaching across the skyline Fountains Fell.

From the edge of Winskill Stones another view to Pen-y-ghent.

Near the Malham Road looking back to Pot Scar and Smearsett Scar.

Breath-taking views from the narrow grey ribbon leading to Malham.

Magical views over Winskill to the Ingleborough massif.

The twin entrances to Jubilee Cave.

The much larger Victoria Cave.

From Victoria Cave a stunning view over Ribblesdale.

Warrendale marks the end of the high limestone dales and the start of pastoral Yorkshire, where green fields and tiny villages carry the eye to industrial Lancashire.

The dramatic rock scenery of Warrendale Knotts.

Rock architecture at it's very best, Attermire Scar.

Caves, crag and limestone scree, Warrendale Knotts.

Big skies and staggering vistas on view as we leave the valley.

The delightful market town of Settle.

Looking to the Langcliffe Quarry backed by Pen-y-ghent.

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