RYE LOAF HILL & KIRKBY FELL from LANGCLIFFE

 


Summary

Date - 7th February 2015 (also 7th June 2007 from Stainforth ending in Langcliffe) Distance - 10.75 miles
Ascent -
2040ft
Map - OL2 Start point - Langcliffe (SD 8231 6501)

 

Summits Achieved

Name Height (ft) Height (m) Grid Ref
Rye Loaf Hill 1795 547 SD 8642 6331
Kirkby Fell 1792 546 SD 8735 6353

 

Preface

Allen, Southey and Tetley were huddled round the laptop, as Grizzly, Shaun and Little Eric trotted into the room.

"What are you on with?", asked Little Eric.

"Looking at the pictures Dad took on our walk on Wednesday with Uncle Eric", replied Tetley.

"There is already a story from the last time we did the walk", went on Allen, "but we learnt a lot more thanks to Uncle Eric's extensive knowledge about the past industrial history of the area in particular concerning the gunpowder works and the horse tramway that was used to transport it."

"Looking at the pictures, there is plenty of scope to expand the story to include information about this", added Southey.

"And about the big house at Summerlands that was used a rehabilitation centre for seamen, and a bit more about the Quaker Burial Ground nearby", said Grizzly.

"Well that's all for another day, how about we have tea", said Allen, eyeing the flasks that Shaun had brought.

"Ever the practical one", replied Shaun laughing.

Soon the mugs were charged and we had cakes on our plates too.

"Little Eric has made the flapjack", said Grizzly, "and the cherry and ginger scones are all my own work."

"They are both absolutely delicious", said Tetley, taking another bite of his scone with lashings of butter and jam.

"I noticed that there is nothing in Dad's diary for the weekend, so perhaps we will get out for a walk", said Southey.

"Saturday looks to be the best", replied Allen, who had navigated to the Met Office app on the iPad.

"I was wondering", said Little Eric. "I know that the summits in Wainwright's Limestone book, are really just part of the Yorkshire Dales Fells, and that we do not specifically feature that list on the website. However there are still a few that I have not done and I would like to try and catch up."

"Let's see", said Shaun bringing the list up. "There's three. Norber, Smearsett Scar and Rye Loaf Hill."

"How about the last one", suggested Tetley. "We did that back in June 2007 with Uncle Bob and there is another hill just adjacent that you can bag too, pal."

"Hmm", said Shaun. "The walk is one that was published in the Westmorland Gazette." Help me get the binder off the shelf will you Allen.

"Sure pal."

"Here we are. It is a circular walk from Langcliffe, and this time we will actually do the full published walk, except for the deviation to the summits. When we did it with Uncle Bob, using the two cars, we started from Stainforth to take in Catrigg Force, and coming down past Victoria Cave to then join the published walk on Stockdale Lane, following the route to end in Langcliffe.

"Oh I hope Dad is agreeable", prayed Little Eric.

As Allen, walk sheet in paw went off to see Dad, Tetley said, "he is pretty good a persuading him."

"I'll pour him another mug of tea", said Little Eric, "and put another piece of cake on his plate."

Well he needn't have worried as Allen's face was wreathed in smiles on his return a few minutes later. "It's on. Dad thinks it is a great idea and will get him back in training for the hills too, as the climbs will be over totally trackless terrain. Also he will be able to go to Elaine's afterwards for refreshment."

"Just like you, Dad is ever practical", replied Tetley with a laugh.


The website had not been envisaged, when we originally did this walk with Uncle Bob in 2007. Dad did not take very many pictures, hence why it was not initially included on the 2006/7 walks listing. We have now, but the following account is mainly based on our adventure in 2015. However we have included an initial section relating to the route taken from Stainforth in 2007 with Uncle Bob.

 

The Walk

Stainforth to Attermire Scar - 7th June 2007

To add extra interest to the walk Uncle Bob had suggested starting from Stainforth. So Dad's car was left at Langcliffe (end of walk) and we all rode in Uncle Bob's to Stainforth.

This is a pretty and typical Yorkshire village with mellow stone houses and of course the pub aptly named the Craven Heifer.

The main reason for the start from Stainforth was so that we could take in a visit to Catrigg Force. To get onto the path from the village Stainforth Beck had to be crossed using the large stepping stones.

Initially path was steepish but then soon after it came between walls the brow was reached. Descending then and leaving the path left Catrigg Force was reached. The Stainforth Beck falls in a narrow cleft in the cliff about 20 feet in two stages to the rock pool below.

"Wow, that is just beautiful", breathed Tetley.

Quite a bit of time was spent here, Uncle Bob using his tripod to capture the scene. Uncle Bob would we have no doubt got some super pictures. Here is our Dad's effort.

So, finally dragging ourselves away from this enchanting scene, we returned to the path.

"Where do we go now?", asked Grizzly.

"Follow the path, but then leave it right towards Upper Winskill. Just above this we then take a track left that runs by the wall across and area called Winskill Stones, to the road."

On reaching the road, Shaun then said, "we go right a short way passing a wall and then take the narrow path left to get to Jubilee Cave.

Pausing to look at the cave, Tetley suddenly said. "where's Allen gone."

Just a few moments later Allen called out, "I have been trying out potholing", as we saw him emerging from a bear sized hole.

"I hope you have not got yourself too dirty", chided Grizzly.

Now after a brief section on the bridleway, that we would in fact repeat at the end of the walk, we took the narrow path left that climbed over past Victoria Cave and then on under the majestic Atttermire Scar and Warrendale Knotts. This led to the main path at Attermire, so joining the published route. From this Warrendale Knotts and Attermire Scar were very impressive. We are glad to be able to include this shot because, as will be seen, it was totally obscured by mist on the day in 2015.

The bridleway exited to Stockdale Lane for the rest of the walk, as will be seen below, after the initial published section from Langcliffe.


 

Circular from Langcliffe - 7th February 2015

On a cold winter day, but with little or no wind, we hurried out to the car, saying our goodbyes to Uncle Brian and Gladly, who were busy with the Daily Telegraph crossword.

The route to the start was for the most part the ever so familiar drive for Dad, that he and Uncle Brian take every Monday, when they go to Elaine's Tearooms at Feizor.

"There's the lane up to Feizor", called out Allen, as Dad swung right round the sharp bend keeping on along the A65. Shortly at the start of the Settle Bypass, it was left onto the old road that drops down Buck Haw Brow to Giggleswick and then over the River Ribble into Settle. Immediately turning left on the road to Horton in Ribblesdale, it was about another half mile or so to go right on the narrow road into Langcliffe, passing the typical stone houses.

Reaching the far end of the village and the church, Tetley called out, "there's the car park on the left."

As Dad drove in, Grizzly said, "I see an honesty box for paying."

Leaving home it had been quite sunny and clear, but here the mist was hanging round the upper slopes and this was what we had to contend with for quite a lot of the day.

As Dad got ready, we looked about, and Shaun pointed across the road, saying "the start is through that gate and up the narrow pasture and then through the gateway at the top."

It was about 10:00, with us safely tucked in the rucksack, that Dad strode off up the field. "Beyond the gate we keep ahead along by the wall on the right", instructed Shaun.

"I know it is very grey and misty, but it would be nice to include a picture looking down to Langcliffe", said Tetley. "It gives a good impression of what the weather is like now."

The church can be seen in the foreground to the left and the car park to the right.

Keeping on ahead the narrow path led through more gates and over stiles with the mist shrouded slopes of Warrendale Knotts to the left. At one point the path became enclosed by walls then, beyond a gate descended to a three-armed signpost by a ruined wall.

"Tetley said, "we have been here before, but that day we walked up from Settle. We were with Uncle Bob and our main objective that day was to summit Warrendale Knotts and Black Hill."

"Yes", agreed Shaun. "We took the path steeply uphill signed to Malham, which is what we have to do today."

It looks quite clear here, but very soon as we climbed the mist was down, reducing visibility and making navigation difficult. "The instructions say we should drift right but exactly where I am not sure", said Shaun

"Well not to worry lad, we will find the way eventually", replied Dad.

Ahead was a rocky area so Dad skirted right, but after a while said, "I think we have now gone too far."

So returning left we soon came to a wall and a gate. "This is where we need to go, I reckon", said Shaun.

Shortly a Y-junction was reached and Shaun said, "yes we seem to be on track as this is mentioned in the narrative, and it does not matter which branch we take either."

Now for sure on the right path with the wall to the right, it was here that for some inexplicable reason Dad's my map reading sense deserted him, by the fact that he read the wrong Easting square number, so getting confused. We should just have kept on ahead to go though a waymarked gate and on again, which would then have brought us correctly to the point on Stockdale Lane.

But, by reading the map wrongly we took an unmarked gate in the wall and walked down to find a gate with footpath sign. Following the path then brought us to Stockdale Lane if rather nearer to Settle than we should have been.

Realising his error, Dad said "how could I do this after all these years! I am so sorry lads, I must be losing it."

"No you are not!", exclaimed Little Eric. "We all make mistakes, but we are now back on track."

So, turning right, we strolled along the tarmac of Stockdale Lane. The mist was still down ahead and right, but to the left it began to lift. "What is that hill that is partly in view?", asked Southey.

"Warrrendale Knotts", replied Grizzly.

Coming to a corner there was a gate on the left. "This is where we should have come out", remarked Allen.

"Quite lad, if I had not been so stupid", replied Dad.

The lane had been climbing steadily and continued to do now and then arrived at the point where the lane went down to Stockdale Farm. We could see the farm, and beyond we should also have been able to see our first summit objective Rye Loaf Hill, but this was lost in the mist. Here is that view taken in 2007.

"We go left through the gate", instructed Shaun.

Walking on the path was now grassy and stony and there were stretches of ice.

Still misty here, soon it quite suddenly lifted off to the left, revealing limestone outcrops. "One looks like a giants' boot", called out Southey.

To the right however the summits were still stubbornly in the mist, and Little Eric said, "bearing in mind that the route is totally trackless, I will not mind if you decide not to take us up there today."

Well is if by magic as we got near to the gate that gives access, the mist lifted and all was revealed.

"Well" said Grizzly, "perhaps we were meant to get off track earlier on, to give the mist time to lift."

"Aye lad, maybe", agreed Dad.

So crossing to the gate we then set off on the ascent. It was not completely straight forward, as after the initial section over the foreground in the picture above, there was a sharp descent to cross the narrow ravine of Stockdale Beck. Then the height had to be regained and onwards up the fellside. Quite steep at times the way was over trackless rough ground with patches of snow.

"You must have lost count of the many miles of similar terrain and bog, we have crossed with Uncle Bob, in pursuit of bagging the Yorkshire Dales Fells", remarked Tetley.

"Yes lad, miles upon miles", replied Dad. "It is to a large extent the nature of these hills."

Climbing the slope in the centre, Dad then crossed right towards the highest point in view, only for us to discover that there was another flat area before the final section to the summit.

Oh heck", exclaimed Southey.

"This is how it is, quite often on many of the hills", said Tetley. "You think you are reaching the summit only to find more sections of ascent one after the other."

Soon, thankfully, the trig point and cairn came into view.

"Ooh great", cried Little Eric. "That's another Limestone summit bagged. Just two to go now."

"No wind, so come on pals, let's settle on the trig point for our picture", called out Allen, as he scrambled out of the rucksack.

On the top we were above the cloud that was still covering the valleys below. "This is called an inversion, Southey", said Grizzly. "Over there is Pen-y-Ghent poking up out of the cloud."

"Where now", asked Little Eric.

"We go east to Kirkby Fell", replied Shaun, pointing.

It did not look to be far, but looks can be deceptive. Settled again, Dad descended to cross the wall where it had been partly broken. The descent continued for a short way to commence the climb on more trackless rough terrain up Kirkby Fell.

After a while and still a little way short of the summit, Southey commented, "that wall now is much further away than I expected it to be."

Reaching the flat top, Shaun said, "according to the map the spot height is marked as being to the left."

"That cairn over there, then", replied Allen.

Arriving Tetley said, "this is it for sure as there is the flat rock in front of the cairn that we sat on last time."

We all quickly scrambled out and settled there again today.

"How lovely it is up here and so clear now. Such a contrast to earlier", said Little Eric.

"The clouds are still hanging in the valley, so we may not be done with them yet", replied Tetley. How prophetic this was to be.

"Right", said Shaun, "It is now due north down the fell to a gate at a wall corner."

Soon after setting off, Allen called out, "I can see the gate."

Arriving we found it was chained and padlocked, but a substantial stone step stile just to the right got us over the wall and after a short way over rough ground to the track, by a three-armed signpost. "We keep ahead by the wall, signed to Landscar Gate", instructed Shaun.

"I well remember being here, the day we climbed Warrendale Knotts and Black Hill. The wind had blown like a gale all the time, and Uncle Bob and I sheltered on the far side to have our lunch", said Dad. "It was a blessed relief for a short while but then we had the walk along the the track towards Stockdale Farm in the teeth of the gale. What a contrast being so calm today."

Initially the path climbed to a brow. "What is that stretch of water in the distance?", asked Southey

"Malham Tarn", said Grizzly, "We have started a few walks from there with Uncle Bob over the years."

After a while the wall bent away. The path kept ahead to pass though a gate in another wall, then through two more walls and so down to a t-junction, and a three-armed signpost.

"It's left here, along the National Pennine Bridleway", advised Shaun.

"Heck the distance reads 4.25 miles to Langcliffe", said Southey, his little heart sinking.

"Aye lad, but I expected it", responded Dad.

The terrain was featureless moorland, and while clear initially we were soon enveloped in mist, as Tetley had warned. The path was surfaced level and wide so good progress was possible and Dad really stepped it out to do the distance in about an hour and a quarter. There had been a thought, for Southey's sake to take in Black Hill. This was away off to the right across totally trackless moor, and with the lack of visibility today any attempt would have been silly.

"It is rather eerie in the mist and makes me think of Dartmoor and the Hound of the Baskervilles", said Tetley.

Well there was no hound, but we did see two sheep dogs, accompanying a lady who was running along the track.

So the path led on and on through a few gates to eventually reach Jubilee Cave, where now out of the mist we walked on. Here some sheep were grazing, and again to Allen's chagrin, Dad was able to get a shot, that we have to let him include in the story, as after all it is his fingers dancing over the keys of the laptop.

Through another gate the track continued down past a barn and then with woodland on the left, to reach the road that led steeply down to Langcliffe.

"Look, there's Stainforth Scar", said Tetley.

The trees were all bare, so we thought it would instead be nice to include the shot taken in 2007, when we gazed on this view with Uncle Bob for company, and remember the many many happy times we had walking with him.

At the car we jumped out and settled on the front seat, while Dad was getting his boots off etc. Then before we drove off, he went and took this picture of Langcliffe Church, Dedicated to St John the Evangelist, it was built in 1851 by architects Mallinson and Healey of Bradford. The church site and funds for construction were given by John G Paley, a director of Bowling Iron Works at Bradford. He was a member of a Langcliffe family which included Archdeacon Paley of Carlisle. The church with its slender bell-turret and steeply-pitched roof overlooks one of the finest village greens in the north and the unspoilt village.

"So it's off to Elaine's at Feizor", said Tetley as Dad got into the car.

"For sure", he replied.

Arriving he saw Jonathan, Elaine's husband.

"Hello Gerry", he said.

"Nice to see you. I've left Brian at home today, watching the Six Nations Rugby."

"Thanks for reminding me, I'm going to have a break now and watch some of it myself."

Dad then collected us from the car, while Jonathan went off into the kitchen saying, "Wandering Walter's here." A new nickname for Dad, that was remarked on by Elaine and her staff when he poked his head into the kitchen.

Sitting at the table for two, we say quietly on the other chair. Ariane served him, and brought the tea, chocolate caramel shortbread and a lovely fruit scone.

Well, he had earned it after the long walk! Sheila came and sat for a little while, having a nice chat, and she asked after Uncle Brian too. Then a little later Elaine came out to talk to a couple sitting at the next table, who from their accent it was obvious came from Northumberland.

They were called John and Sue and getting drawn into the conversation, Dad discovered that they were from Whitley Bay. Staying at the Traddock in Austwick, they had come to Elaine's for a meal, having rung and booked a few days earlier.

Elaine said, "you won't know the joke about the booking, Gerry. When Sue rang, she had asked if there was a Spa nearby, but Sharon and Marian had misinterpreted this as Spar, saying there was one in Bentham."

So funny, and they all laughed about this again, and Dad said, "I would have suggested Armathwaite Hall at Bassenthwaite."

"Oh we've been there", replied Sue. "It is a wonderful."

"It's their second home", said Elaine, "Brian and Gerry go there a few times a year."

A little later Dad got talking some more to them, saying that he and Uncle Brian had been to Northumberland many times staying at the Percy Arms at Chatton, which they knew of. Sue mentioned a few places, which Dad said they had been to.

"You really have explored the county", said Sue.

Dad pointed us out, saying, " I collect teddy bears and this group come on all the walks."

"How many have you got", asked John.

"Over 500",

"Wow", they replied.

Dad then told them that we write stories of our adventures and that we have a website.

"That's interesting" said Sue, "What is it called."

"Stagwalks, said Dad

"I've already seen it", Sue replied. "That is how we found Elaine's."

We were all very pleased about this and Sue told Elaine, "what a coincidence that we should meet Gerry. Today is my birthday and that has made my day."

Sharon came in with her daughter Molly and the new puppy Dixie, so Dad chatted to her too. So we all had had a lovely and very jovial time here that rounded the day off to perfection!

As we drove home the sun was beginning to set and the hills surrounding Crummack Dale and those between Austwick and Clapham, for a short time, looked like this.

"What a super day we have had", said Southey. "Thanks Dad from us all."

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