Winskill Stones and Catrigg Force

The wet weather continues and the rain looks set in for most of the day but the dogs still need walking. I don’t mind walking in the rain as long as I have the right gear on. There is something relaxing about being out in rough weather, usually alone in the landscape, as most sensible folk are tucked up in the dry.

I leave Brigholme Farm CL on foot and walk into Settle leaving the market square via Constitution Hill leading into the Highway. I take an uphill track on the right at the start of the Highway, signposted the Pennine Bridleway.

I follow the Pennine Bridleway route as it heads through gates and across fields.  Soon the quarries of Stainforth Scar come into view in front of me. There are squalls of rain, one minute the scar is barely visible and the next it is clear.

On reaching the road I turn right and follow it uphill to Winskill Nature Reserve. I have previously written about how this area was saved from quarrying. It is a stunning spot and would have been a great loss if campaigners had not come to the rescue.

My planned route is to keep on the Pennine Bridleway, but first I make a brief diversion following the road for a couple of hundred yards to look at the old roadside limekiln.

I retrace my steps to the Pennine Bridleway and follow the farm track towards Upper Winskill Farm. I have walked extensively in this area but have never previously walked along this particular section of path. There are some amazing rocks littered about. Not as spectacular as the Norber Erratics, but still very interesting.

Approaching Upper Winskill Farm the field of cattle seem ill at ease at our appearance. In the past we have had a few close encounters with cattle and I decide on the sensible option and retrace my steps back to the road.

Turning left along the road, to pass the limekiln again, and after half a mile I take a track on the left; soon passing another disused limekiln. I do like “bagging” limekilns and this is a new one to me.

The track heads across pasture to meet the Pennine Bridleway to the north east of Upper Winskill Farm. After going through a gate the path descends to another gate leading to a walled track. To the right is a path to Catrigg Force. I have visited this waterfall on a number of occasions, but decide that the recent rain might make this a worthwhile diversion. It proves to be the case; I have never seen so much water flowing here. It is noisy and spectacular.

Returning to the walled track I proceed downhill towards Stainforth, stopping along the way to take a picture of a limekiln over the wall to the left. This one is not easy to spot; the wall is high and it would have been easy to miss if I had not known it’s whereabouts.

I walk through Stainforth, an attractive Dales village we have visited numerous times, and on reaching the B6479 turn left towards Langcliffe. After a couple of hundred yards I take a footpath on the left into a field. There is very recent evidence of cattle, but I press on in the hope they will be away from the path, unfortunately, as I go over the brow of the hill they are right in front of me. Like the last lot they seem disturbed by the dogs and not keen to share their field, so I retrace my steps and rejoin the pavement besides the B6479.  I would have preferred to walk across the fields but I’m compensated by a great view of Stainforth Scar.

After about a mile I take a track on the left to head under a railway bridge and then immediately turn left to follow a path towards the Hoffman Kiln at the disused Craven Lime Works. I have previously written extensively about this limekiln. It is a truly amazing place.

The thing I find astonishing is that such a wonderful bit of industrial heritage does not attract more visitors. I have never encountered anyone else here. Obviously people do visit, but it must be one of the best-kept secrets around here.

I now have several options for returning to Settle; I can follow a path across fields, but I recall a couple of ladder stiles and I don’t fancy lifting two soaking wet Labradors over them, so I return to the B6479 and walk into Langcliffe. Being a wet Sunday afternoon the road is quiet and there are no lorries from the quarries whizzing by.

After passing Langcliffe I leave the road and take the lane on the left, The Highway, which leads back to Settle. As I walk along the lane a Wren keeps flitting about. I recently heard on a radio programme that this is Britain’s most common bird with over 8 million breeding pairs; I find it hard to believe. It is their size and speed that make them difficult to spot, and to photograph; I end up with lots of pictures of dry stone walls without a Wren in sight!

Back in Settle I wander back to Brigholme Farm CL. Despite it being a wet afternoon, with a couple of unwelcome close encounters with cattle, I have had a great walk. Any walk with four limekilns, including the amazing Hoffman Kiln has to rate highly!

To view this walk on OS Maps Click Here

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

10th September 2017

© Two Dogs and an Awning (2017)


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