Smearsett, Pot and Giggleswick Scars.

Start. Stainforth.

Route. Stainforth - Dog Hill Brow - Stainforth Force - Little Stainforth - Smearsett Scar - Pot Scar - In Moor - Feizor - Feizor Thwaite - Giggleswick Scar - Schoolboys Tower - Nevison's Nick - Stackhouse Lane - Stackhouse - River Ribble - Stainforth Force - Dog Hill Brow - Stainforth.

Notes. This was a stunning walk through some beautiful limestone scenery, Smearsett and Pot Scars provide staggering views for little effort. I paid homage to Elaine's Tea Room in Feizor, well off the beaten track but surprisingly busy, field paths guided me south from Feizor depositing me on the South Craven Fault at a place you've most probably have heard of, Giggleswick Scar. So this walk has a little slice of everything limestone country has to offer, including a walk along the banks of the picturesque River Ribble.

My day started at Stainforth, a large empty car park, the hoards of Ribble Valley walkers were still eating breakfast. A few hundred yards north along the main road a single track lane climbs from the valley bottom, this is Dog Hill Brow, this I followed to the River Ribble. An elegant pack horse bridge spans the river, I crossed before wandering down stream to visit Stainforth Force, here the River Ribble is compressed into a narrow gorge, the waters spill over a number of rocky shelves, not that spectacular but worth a look especially when the Salmon are fighting their way upstream.

From the falls I doubled back to the Dog Hill Brow road then ascended to Little Stainforth, continuing straight on at the cross roads, I soon left tarmac behind ascending into stunning limestone scenery. To my left Feizor Thwaite but to the right two of Yorkshire's lesser heights, Smearsett and Pot Scars, after crossing a ladder stile I joined a green trod on the right, this unassuming path guided me over another ladder stile then on to the summit of Smearsett Scar, a perfect brew stop and, I made the best of it. Brew drained I continued along the ridge to Pot Scar, I then descended through In Moor to access a gate in a field corner. Now this gate was chained and locked, I guess it wasn't an official right of way, it is on access land so I climbed over, bid good morning to the farmer who was feeding his sheep and continued to a foot-path that guided me into Feizor, Elaine's Tea Room was open, who could resist not me.

A number of paths leave this delightful little hamlet, my chosen route was signed Stackhouse and Buck Haw Brow, after a short climb another finger-post confronted me, Giggleswick and Buck Haw Brow, this path I followed. Through a number of large fields I wandered, I emerged above Buck Haw Brow on the path that traverses Giggleswick Scar. Along the scar I walked passed a number of caves and long dry waterfalls, my aiming point the large cairn at the southern end of the scar. This is the Schoolboys Tower a large squat cairn, it is tradition that pupils from Giggleswick School on their final day at the school place a pebble on the cairn, thus the cairn grows. I think pupils from Giggleswick School should go up there and do a spot of maintenance before we have but a pile of rubble.

The cairn resembled a pile of stones not the squat tower it once was, I sat down and had another brew before starting my descent into the Ribble Valley. With the fence that guards the massive scar of the Giggleswick Quarry to guide me I descended, soon joining a path that cut back north. Through woodland and scrub I wandered, along the edge of a dry stone wall to be greeted by a ladder stile, after crossing the wall I descended through sheep pastures to access Stackhouse and a path leading to the banks of the River Ribble.

Now on the final leg the song of the river accompanied me, through fields over narrow river bank paths I strolled, passed a couple of springs. It wasn't long before the song of the river was deafened out by the sound of thunder, I was approaching Stainforth Force for the second time today. I think we'll end it here, all that was left, to ascend Dog Hill Brow which I most certainly was not looking forward to.

view route map.


From sheep pastures above little Stainforth views to Pen-y-ghent across the Ribble valley.

The limestone cliffs and scree of one of Yorkshire's lesser heights. Smearsett Scar.

Pot Scar seen over Happy Valley, not a very Yorkshire sounding name, I got it from old Wainwright so blame him if it's wrong, I always thought it was called Stockdale, feel free to correct me.

From near the summit of Smearsett Scar views over Crummack Dale and Wharfe to the Ingleborough massif.

Pot Scar as seen from Smearsett Scar.

Viewing Moughton Scar from near the summit of Smearsett Scar.

Ascending Pot Scar looking back to Smearsett Scar.

The summit Pot Scar.

Tucked away in the folds of the Yorkshire Dales the fell village of Feizor.

High and lofty Pen-y-ghent viewed across Ribblesdale.

Time for tea and cakes, god did I make a pig of myself.

Adventures through an extraordinary landscape.

Looking back to Feizor one of Yorkshire's many secret corners.

Pot Scar seen from field paths en route to Giggleswick Scar, melting into the haze top left Ingleborough.

Giggleswick Scar seen from above Buck Haw Brow.

The Schoolboys Tower.

Taking in the view from near the Schoolboys Tower.

I'm looking across Ribblesdale towards Langcliffe, across the horizon Warrendale Knotts and Attermire Scar.

The subject of limestone, the Langcliffe Quarry (disused).

The route ahead, hunting for a ladder stile to aid my crossing of the dry stone wall.

Descending through sheep pastures above Stackhouse looking to Reinsber Scar and a distant Pen-y-ghent.

Roaring and majestic the River Ribble at Stainforth Force.

Spanning the river above Stainforth Force an elegant packhorse bridge.

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