Todays walk starts in the busy market town of Settle in the Yorkshire Dales. It is one of my favourite walks and takes in some fascinating caves and a couple of waterfalls.
From the Market Square we walked up Constitution Hill before branching off onto a bridleway to begin a steady climb.
At a signpost which points to Malham we turned right and the way became steeper as we climbed up the hillside.
After a col the path descended along a pleasant grassy track to Warrendale Knotts where we entered an area of scars and caves.
The Attermire Rifle Range.
We came across some rusting iron plates with what looked like bullet holes in them. In fact they are all that remains of the Attermire Rifle Range. www.northcravenheritage.org.uk A volunteer force was formed in May 1859 when it was thought that a war with France was possible. The range was in use until the end of World War 1 and then used again during World War 11 for target practice by the Home Guard. Towards the end of the war the Home Guard were given some armour piercing equipment and it is the holes made by these weapons that we saw today on the old metal plates.
On reaching Attermire Scar we turned left to walk up the valley below the scar heading for Victoria Cave.
The mouth of Victoria Cave is about 200 ft wide and 32 ft high and the chamber extends back into the crag about 100 ft. 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 to the modern era.
We continued heading north past Wet Cave and Albert Cave until we met a broad path showing our way to Upper Winskill. However we made a slight diversion to visit Jubilee Cave and Bat Cave. Retracing out steps we climbed over a ladder stile and made our way down to a minor road.
I wandered off to take a picture of a solitary tree growing on the edge of an area of limestone pavement. So typical of this part of Yorkshire.
Our next point of interest was a large boulder. One of the erratic’s carried here by a glacier during the last ice age.
After a leisurely lunch when we spent time leaning against an old dry stone wall and enjoying the sunshine we followed a path leading down to Catrigg Force where the waters of Stainforth beck plunge 60 ft down into the gorge.
Leaving Catrigg Force we followed Goat Scar lane down into the village of Stainforth where we crossed Stainforth Beck by the stepping stones.
The water level was low and the stones were large but I still managed to have a ‘wobbly moment’
After crossing the main road we reached Stainforth Force overlooked by an old packhorse bridge.
We had some entertainment when three youths decided it would be fun to jump into the water.
I’m sure they had all done it before but it looked highly dangerous and the water must have been freezing.
When I was here in 2010 someone was going over the edge in a kayak. Much more exciting and photogenic.
The final couple of miles followed the bank of the River Ribble back into Settle. It was easy walking and I had time to look around and search for wild flowers. I spotted some Celandine, Cowslip and Wild Primrose.
Almost 9 miles of walking in perfect conditions. It had been the hottest day of the year so far and we were ready for tea and cakes at the Naked Man Cafe in Settle.