On Wednesday, I set out with Les and Chris to do a reccee for the next CHA walk at Settle. A ridge of high pressure covered the country which resulted in clear blue skies but it was a bit chilly early in the morning.
Our first challenge was to find a route that was new to us as we had walked so often in the Settle area.
Today, after crossing the river bridge we headed south to follow the Ribble Way. After just over a mile, as we approached a main road, we left the river bank to cross the river via the road bridge. The footbridge indicated on the map was non-existent. We now headed east towards Lodge Farm and then northeast along Lambert Lane towards Sugar Loaf Hill. The way was along green lanes between dry stone walls, typical Yorkshire scenery. We paused for lunch on top of Sugar Loaf hill and with the perfect visibility we could admire the surrounding hills and scars.
We dropped down to a junction of paths and we were then back on familiar ground following the path below Attermere scar up to Victoria cave.
The mouth of Victoria Cave is about 100ft wide and 32 ft high and the chamber extends back into the crag for about 100ft. When the cave was excavated it yielded bones and artefacts ranging from the interglacial period of 120,000 years ago, through the Stone Age and the Romano-British period of 2000 years ago.
Beyond Victoria cave we continued north past Wet Cave and Albert Cave to meet a broad path. A couple of hundred yards further on we came to Jubilee Cave and Bat Cave, another interesting place to explore.
Green tracks linked by a short section of minor road led us to Upper Winskill where we picked up a path to Catrigg Force where the waters of Stainforth beck plunge 60 ft down into the gorge.
On this section we found an erotic boulder, or should that be an erratic boulder. These Silurian boulders were transported by glacial action in the last ice age 13,000 years ago and deposited in the area of carboniferous limestone.
Leaving Catrigg Force we followed Goat Scar Lane down to the village of Stainforth where we crossed Stainforth Beck by the stepping stones. After crossing the main road we reached the better known Stainforth Force overlooked by an old packhorse bridge. The water levels were quite high and the falls were spectacular.
The final couple of miles were along the banks of the Ribble back into Settle.
Distance 20k or 12 miles in old money.
Height gained – 1500 ft.
Walking time – about 6 hours.
This is a super walk through typical Yorkshire scenery and visiting the major attractions of the area.