The Norber Erratics

A few months ago we did an interesting walk in the Yorkshire Dales from Clapham to Crummock Dale. Later when reading a walking book it transpired that we had been close to a geological phenomenon known as the Norber Erratics. So today, our last day in the Dales in 2015, we decide to explore and see if it is as spectacular as reported.

Our walk starts from the Dales National Park car park in the centre of Clapham. From here we turn right up the lane heading towards the village church, on reaching the church we veer right to pass through two tunnels and proceed uphill on the rough walled track.


At a junction of walled tracks we continue straight ahead along Thwaite Lane, to our left is the impressive Robin Proctor’s Scar and to our right extensive views across the Dale.


We contemplate taking the first footpath on our left leading up towards the scar. However, there is a large bully bear just the other side of the wall and whilst he looks to be having a well earned rest we are not going to tempt fate. When with our dogs in these situations I believe it is always preferable to secure an alternative route. Today’s alternative route is a footpath further along Thwaite Lane.

On reaching this footpath we cross into a field to follow a grassy path heading towards Nappa Scar. Through a gate and we are warily watched by a herd of sheep. Who, interestingly, decide to follow us, as if they are monitoring our intrusion into their territory.


We then climb up the grass hill between Nappa Scar and Robin Proctor’s Scar to reach Norber. We immediately encounter large boulders that are balanced on small rocks. It is well worth the climb, but we wonder why this site is said to be so impressive. So we continue slightly disappointed.


We then come across more of these boulders balancing on smaller stones and then more and more. We realise that the first outcrop was just the starter before the main course and what an impressive main course! This place is really amazing.


The Norber Erratics were created by Millstone Grit boulders being deposited on limestone during the ice age. In the approximately 12,000 years since then the softer limestone has eroded and left the Millstone Grit perched precariously. We spend a long time wandering and wondering at this marvel.


What is peculiar is that we are alone, if this site was within 100 yards of a car park it would be packed. Presumably because it requires a little effort to reach, it is deserted. However, it adds to the magic of the place making the experience even more enjoyable.


Dexter and Crosby wait patiently whilst we take pictures, they do not mind delays, but usually expect to be provided with a treat as recompense. If you are a Labrador there is little fascination in a rock balanced on another smaller rock!

Eventually we move on and join a footpath leading to a ladder stile over a wall. This is a high ladder stile and both dogs need assistance in getting up. Crosby jumps down to the other side but Dexter takes up residency on the top. He has adopted a look which says if you put me up here, you had better get me down. The problem is that I am on the ground and he is still a foot or more above me, so 25kg of dog suddenly lands on my shoulders!

When we have restored a bit of normality we continue to wander along the path to follow cairns that lead us above Thwaite Scar. At a cairn on Long Scar we join the footpath that heads back towards Clapham. We take a slight diversion that takes us through the Ingleborough Estate Nature Trail.


We return to Brigholme Farm CL and start preparing for our journey home. Getting ready to leave Yorkshire is always a sad affair. This time the sadness is increased because we know it will be the last time that we will visit Settle whilst our special friends Maurice, Jane and Carlos live here. They are due to move in a few weeks time so our next visit it is bound to have a different feel.

But now there is time to pop along to The Talbot for one last get together before we all head off on new adventures. The perfect end to a couple of cracking weeks in Yorkshire.

12th October 2015

[To follow this walk you will need Ordnance Survey Outdoor Leisure Map OL2 – Yorkshire Dales – Southern & Western Area]

© Two Dogs and an Awning (2015)


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