Crummack Dale and Thwaite.

Start. Austwick (Townhead Lane).

Route. Austwick (Townhead Lane) - Thwaite Lane - Slaindale - Norber Sike - Crummack Dale - Wash Dub Field - Crummack Farm - Begger's Stile - Thieves Moss - Sulber Gate - Long Scar - Thwaite - Norber - Dear Bought Plantation - Townhead Lane - Austwick.

Notes. This walk although short encompasses the Yorkshire Dales at their very best. Crummack Dale a typical glacial hanging valley surrounded on three sides by limestone escarpments with cliff and scree falling to the valley floor, babbling streams flowing through lush green limestone pastures. Garnishing the western scarps perched blocks, better known as erratic boulders deposited when the Crummack Dale glacier melted around 12.000 years ago, it’s all there to explore and more if you care to leave the car.

We left the car in Austwick at the foot of Townhead Lane, with an icy wind ripping through the village this was going to be a cold one. Up the lane we wandered hunting for a foot-path somewhere on our right, once located the path ushered us through some back gardens, it felt a bit intrusive but this was the right of way, intrusive or not it ejected us into sheep pastures above Austwick. Field walking continued over the hill into Slaindale, across Norber Sike and up the next field. With plenty of field boundaries to cross stiles made for an easy passage. We soon found ourselves entering Wash Dub Field to be greeted by a fine old clapper bridge, we turned left, crossed said bridge to join one of Yorkshires many green lanes. with dry stone walls to guide us and a stoney track under our boot soles we wandered up the valley.

I thought wrongly as it happened that the valley walls would shelter us from the icy wind, no the wind funneled down the valley, bitterly cold and relentless. Heads down and hoods up we battled on, passed Crummack Farm to seek shelter under the head wall of the valley, we sat out of the wind drinking hot coffee, snacking on biscuits. Several cups passed my lips before we made a move, but first anticipating another icy battering I donned another layer, that made four.

We ascended to the Begger’s Stile, a gateway into another world, the stunning limestone scars of Moughton, between limestone clints and grikes we wandered, crossed Thieves Moss before a short sharp pull out of the valley to Solber Gate. The icy blast I’d expecting didn’t happen, I guess the Ingleborough massif was shielding us from the wind. We turned south, with a very good path under foot we made excellent progress as far as the large cairn on Long Scar, here we left the path, a narrower trod guided us through the calcareous grassland and over the limestone pavements of Thwaite.

We stopped many times to admire the stunning limestone scenery, when we descended it was to access a ladder stile allowing admittance to Norber and it’s world famous boulder fields. Now you can’t visit this place without having a wander through the boulder field, erratic boulders dumped on the slopes of Thwaite when the Crummack Dale glacier melted, perched blocks resting on carboniferous limestone plinths after 12.000 years of erosion. We did just that before descending to a large field, Dear Bought Plantation, after walking through said field a large gate allowed access to Townhead Lane, the short descent over tarmac was a delight, it’s a beautiful village Austwick.

view route map.


Nappa Scar seen from the sheep pastures of Slaindale.

Dry stone walls and field barns a quintessential part of the Yorkshire Dales.

Sue ascends field paths into Crummack Dale.

Clapper Bridge, usually found near fording points, this one's next to White Stone Lane at Wash Dubb Field, so named because farmers would dam the beck to wash their sheep, rid them of insects and parasites.

Erratic boulders litter the western hillside, bizarre.

Nestled in a horseshoe of limestone crags Crummack Farm.

Amazing views such as this to Pendal Hill are to be had as you ascend the valley.

One of two stiles I know of with names, one is The Hole in the Wall accessing Striding Edge and this, Begger's Stile an introduction to the stunning limestone scenery at the head of Crummack Dale.

The delicate beauty of the valley head.

Adventures through an extraordinary landscape.

Stunning views across the limestone pavements of Moughton and Crummack Dale.

Pen-y-ghent as seen from Sulber Gate.

Heading through the wild emptiness en route to Thwaite, across the horizon the upturned hull of Pen-y-ghent and Fountains Fell.

Ingleborough as seen from Long Scar.

Over the head of Crummack Dale Pen-y-ghent looms on the skyline.

The dramatic rock scenery of Thwaite with views over Moughton to Fountains Fell.

Across the divide of Crummack Dale Pen-y-ghent acts like a magnet attracting the camera lens.

Crummack Dale with a magnificent mountain backdrop.

A curtain of scree marks the edge of Thwaite and our descent into Norber.

Welcome to the Norber Boulder Fields, the wall builders art.

This is the one that draws the camera lens, but there are many more.

Views along Robin Proctor's Scar.

From near Dear Bought Plantation views to the hills above Settle.

Rising into an ice blue sky the cliffs and scree of Robin Proctor's Scar.

The formidable climbing cliffs of Robin Proctor's Scar.

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