Sunday, 9 September 2018

Stainforth Force, Catrigg Force, Attermire Scar & Warrendale Knotts

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Route: Langcliffe, Stainforth, Pennine Bridleway, Catrigg Force, Winskill Stones, Cowside, Jubilee Cave, Victoria Cave, Brent Scar, Attermire Scar, Warrendale Knotts

Date: 09/09/2018
From: Langcliffe

Parking: Langcliffe
Start Point: Langcliffe
Region: Yorkshire Dales

Route length:  miles (12.2 km)
Time taken: 03:20
Average speed: 2.3 mph
Ascent: 448m
Descent: 446m

Summits: None

Other points of interest: Stainforth Force, Catrigg Force, Winskill Stones, Jubilee Cave, Victoria Cave, Attermire Scar, Warrendale Knotts

The Craven Fault is a series of geological fault lines which run along the southern and western edges of the Yorkshire Dales and includes the North Craven Fault, the Mid Craven Fault and the South Craven Fault. It is a wonderful place to walk and includes many of the Yorkshire Dales' finest features; Malham Cove and Cross Field Knotts to name a couple. Our highlights would be the scars at Attermire and the interesting Warrendale Knotts. Throw in a few waterfalls and caves and you have a classic Dales day out.

We started from Langcliffe, a small village which sits on the border of the National Park. We joined the Ribble Way, another long-distance route along the length of the River Ribble, making our way along the river banks towards Stainforth. I must admit that this leg of the walk is fairly uninteresting though it takes you close to the immense Stainforth Scar. There was also Stainforth Force to look forward to.
Langcliffe Mill
The River Ribble
Weir on the River Ribble
The Ribble Way
Stainforth Force is a fine waterfall, very close to the village of Stainforth (which should not come as a surprise). It is where the River Ribble tumbles over a series of cascades much like Aysgarth Falls near Hawes. Today it was absolutely roaring and make for quite a sight. Just upstream of the falls is an old packhorse bridge, a single span bridge dating from 1672. On 23rd September 1931, the bridge was transferred into the care of the National Trust.
Stainforth Force
Stainforth Force and the packhorse bridge
The packhorse bridge
Above Stainforth Force
From Stainforth, we took the Pennine Bridleway as it initially climbs steeply out of the village before wending its way across open fields towards Catrigg Force. The Pennine Bridleway is a recent long distance route designed to complement the famous Pennine Way by allowing horseriders and cyclists to make the 200-mile journey through the Pennine hills.
Stainforth
Stainforth
The Pennine Bridleway
The Pennine Bridleway
You'd be forgiven for walking past Catrigg Force were it not signposted. It's craftily hidden in a deep ravine which makes it all the more spectacular. You can stand right on the precipice of the 6m drop before making your way down into the depths to see the waterfalls full height. After hanging around for lunch, we returned back to the bridleway to continue across Winskill Stones.
The path down to Catrigg Force
Catrigg Force
Catrigg Force
Catrigg Force
Winskill Stones is an area of limestone grassland and limestone pavement, one of Britain’s most threatened habitats. It is a National Nature Reserve overseen by an advisory group which includes representatives from the Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority, the farming community and local residents.
Pen y Ghent makes an appearance
The path at Winskill Stones
Winskill Stones
Winskill Stones
The weather begins to clear
The path reaches the Langcliffe - Malham road, a superb drive if you're in the area, which we used to make our way to Jubilee Cave on the fringes of Langcliffe Scar. Jubilee Cave is very modest in size though gave us a much-needed respite from the cold wind that was blowing in from the northwest. It is, however, overshadowed by the monstrous Victoria Cave which is hidden up the hillside at Brent Scar.
Brent Scar and Warrendale Knotts
Brent Scar
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If waterfalls and caves weren't enough already, the next part of the walk was equally as impressive; a wander through Brent Scar and Attermire Scar, a ravine that runs out through the exposed limestone and provides an excellent route back towards Settle. Attermire Scar is a high limestone cliff which forms part of the Craven Fault in the hills beyond Settle.
Attermire Scar
Attermire Scar
Attermire Scar
 The path heads into Attermire Scar, a large geological fault that isolates Warrendale Knotts on the opposite side from the rest of the fault. Attermire Scar formed part of a gigantic subterranean cliff face which arose from the sea approximately 200 million years ago.
Warrendale Knotts
Warrendale Knotts
Warrendale Knotts
After rounding the bottom of the scar, a short uphill section leads beneath Warrendale Knotts towards Settle before a swift descent towards the town. Prior to actually reaching Settle, however, another bridleway serves as an easy route back to Langcliffe.
Settle
The Ribble valley
Stainforth Scar