STAINFORTH & HELWITH BRIDGE from FEIZOR

 


Summary

Date - 2nd November 2017 Distance - 7.75 miles
Ascent -
1230ft
Map - OL41 Start point - Elaine's Tearoom, Feizor (SD 7900 6768)

 

Summits Achieved

No summits were reached on this walk

 

Preface

It was a quiet afternoon. Tetley had brought the post. "Your Lake District magazines have arrived, pals."

"Ooh great, can't wait to start reading it", replied Southey, as Tetley gave it to him, and too Allen his.

"Has your Dalesman come?", asked Allen.

"Yes pal. Like you both I am looking forward to reading the articles."

A while later Shaun arrived with Little Eric riding on his back, and with Grizzly. "We bring tea and cakes", Shaun announced.

"Lovely", called out Southey as he and Tetley went to get the mugs and plates.

That done Allen said, "I'll lend a paw filling the mugs."

"Thanks", replied Shaun.

Little Eric meanwhile spoke up. "For cakes today, Grizzly has made chocolate caramel shortbread, and I have done chocolate coated flapjack."

Grizzly passed the tin around, and taking a bite Tetley said, "the caramel shortbread is absolutely delicious."

"As is the flapjack", went on Allen with a look of ecstasy on his face."

Finishing his cake Shaun said, "I have been looking at the map and found an area from Stainforth that we have not walked before. It takes us up over the fields and moor in the direction on Pen-y-ghent, to join a track down to the road between Settle and Horton in Ribblesdale. Close is the road to Helwith Bridge, that we also have not visited.

"Sounds good", agreed Tetley, "but how do we complete the circle.

"Well the logical place to start and finish is Feizor. We take the path over to Stainforth first. Then on the return after Helwith Bridge, leave the road and follow the Pennine Bridleway up and down to Feizor.

"Looks like we have a plan", agreed Southey, "but we have to convince Dad."

"That won't be hard", laughed Allen. "Feizor is where Elaine's Tearoom is. Dad and Uncle Brian's favourite cafe".

"Easy peasy", agreed Grizzly, letting out a hearty laugh too."

"As it's my idea, I'll got a see what Dad thinks", volunteered Shaun.

"Thanks", replied Allen. "It will save me the job for once."

"Is there a day put on one side?", queried Little Eric. "Dad does not seem to have so much time these days."

"That will be up to Dad to decide", replied Shaun, as he trotted out of the door.

There was an anxious wait, as we all wanted to get out in the fresh air and enjoy the scenery. Soon the patter of Shaun's feet could be heard, and when we saw the smile on his face, we were encouraged.

"Dad loves the idea. He has checked the weather, and we will be going on Thursday."

"Great" cheered Southey.

"Roll on Thursday", cried Little Eric, jumping up and down with glee.

 

The Walk


So we awoke to a lovely late autumn day sunny at first, and light northerly winds

The drive to Feizor was so familiar even for us, but for Dad he could almost do it blindfold, this being where he and Uncle Brian come every Monday to have a lunch at Elaine's Tearoom.

"I guess you will be having a pot of tea first", laughed Tetley.

"Sure lad."

"Good job we brought the flasks then", went on Shaun.

There was surprise, seeing Dad. He had a chat with Sharon, before the tea was brought. He told them that he had bought a new car only yesterday, which sparked more comments.

That done he soon got ready and with us all settled in the rucksack off he strode. Up through the farmyard, where Uncle Jonathan was working to free a piece of machinery from his tractor. More chat, of course.

"Finally, we're off", cheered Little Eric, as Dad climbed the stile at the top of the yard.

The path climbed by the substantial stone wall, the limestone scars to the left etched sharply against the clear blue sky.

A ladderstile got us across the wall, to continue climbing to the skyline, and drop down into the valley beyond.

Across the far side a stile in the wall allowed progress the path now climbing again. "That's a fine view looking back of Pot Scar and Smearsett Scar", Southey called out.

Just minutes later, there was a cry of, "wow", from Shaun.

"Quite" agreed Allen. "That is a magnificent view of Pen-y-ghent, with Plover Fell behind."

Reminiscing, Tetley sighed, "we have some good days climbing that, with Uncle Bob and Uncle Eric. Happy times."

Cresting the rise, Grizzly said, "there's Stainforth with Little Stainforth in the foreground."

The route dropped down to a step stile by a gate, and onwards through the hamlet of Little Stainforth.

"Can we deviate to look at the falls?", asked Southey.

"Sure lad."

Crossing the stile we were a little surprised at the number of people.

They were standing and sitting by the falls, with some sense of anticipation.

Suddenly the penny dropped. "They're waiting to see the salmon leaping on the their way up river", said Dad.

We stood a little while, to no avail, Shaun saying, "I guess we had better be getting on as there is a long way to go."

Strolled back with this view of the graceful bridge dating from the 1670s spanning the River Ribble.

It is very narrow as this picture shows.

"Hmm", mused Allen. "I doubt Uncle Brian would be very happy if you took the car across there."

"Best not to tell him if you did", laughed Tetley.

Beyond the road bends left and right climbing steeply.

Shortly Shaun called out, "we take this bridleway right above the railway."

He then pointed across the valley.

"Do you see that path crossing the fields and then continuing over the moor. That is our route from Stainforth."

Reaching the road, we crossed into Stainforth, beside the car park. "We have parked here to start walks in the past commented" Tetley.

"That's Auntie Sue's house, who works at the tearoom, on the left", said Allen.

So at the junction Shaun said, "we go left."

A short way stands St Peter's Church, this being the best picture Dad could get, due to the trees in close proximity.

"Can we go inside?", enthused Grizzly, who loves to look round churches.

"Certainly lad, provided it is not locked", replied Dad.

The church was built at the instigation of three sisters from a local gentry family, the Dawsons. It was constructed in the Gothic Revival style to a design by the Lancaster architect Edmund Sharpe, between 1839 and 1842. It was consecrated by Rev Charles Longley, the Bishop of Ripon on 29 September 1842. It was "thoroughly improved" in 1873. (source Wikipedia)

Here are a couple of pictures Dad took, first looking east towards the altar...

and then looking west, showing the organ.

"Thanks" said Grizzly as we left.

"What's that over there?", called out Southey, pointing.

So we hurried over Allen calling out, "there's an information board."

This told us that it is a pinfold, which we are familiar with in other villages. It was used to pen stray sheep until reclaimed by their owners. However while older people in the village can remember sheep being penned on top of the rubble that filled it, it's the wrong shape. A circular pinfold was marked on an 1844 map behind where the garage still stands. It is unusual for a village to therefore have two.
Lime plaster can still be seen on the inside walls, suggesting in was once a building with a roof, possible associated with the nearby Burnside Farm (dated 1697). It may well have been used as a piggery.
But now, after the removal of four tons of rock and rubble, including lots of late 19th and 20th century pottery metal and glass, it is a quiet place for villagers and visitors alike to sit and enjoy the view.

Our curiosity satisfied, it was time to bid Stainforth goodbye taking the Ribble Way track through houses and out into fields.

Beyond a gateway, Shaun instructed, "where the path divides we take the right fork and then climb steeply past the wall corner"

At the top we reached a gated step stile in the wall. Over this the ground was more moorland a clear path leading to the next stone step stile. Dad set to climb but was stopped by Little Eric saying, "we have not had our picture taken for the story, and this seems to be a good spot."

"Yes", agreed Southey. "We must appear at least once in each tale."

Sheep were grazing beyond the stile, so Dad could not resist snapping a shot or two. "Darn", called out Allen, "there goes the sheep picture free story."

"Sure does", laughed Southey.

Here the ground was very soft and muddy so Dad had some slip sliding about as he made progress. The route was clear through a gate then shortly over a ladderstile and across more muddy ground to the next.

"That's a fine horse", commented Allen. "I wonder what it is doing up here all alone?

"Maybe it's a wild horse", suggested Grizzly.

"Thank goodness the ground is firmer again", said Dad. "I wonder if it ever dries out up here?"

So through a further gate, and then finally to a gated gap stile on to Moor Head Lane, a stony track.

"We go left, obviously", said Shaun, "all the way down to the Settle to Horton road."

Before us were fine views to the quarries, this being Arcow Quarry with Ingleborough brooding behind.

Reaching the road Dad commented, "I have seen this track many times on my journeys along this road. I have always wondered where it went. Well now I know."

Here the road does a dog leg from the right then left. Shaun said, "we keep ahead the few yards to the corner and then go right towards Helwith Bridge."

Quite soon we crossed the River Ribble, in which the sky was nicely reflected...

...beside which to the left stands the Helwith Bridge Inn.

"Isn't that Auntie Elaine's car?", said Tetley.

"She can't be here", stated Southey.

"Ah", said Dad. Uncle Jonathan drinks here, and the landlord very kindly drives him home, so that will explain it."

"So", said Tetley, "this is the place where picture of us with Uncle Jonathan is pinned up on the wall."

Strolled on passing the parish boundary between Austwick and Lawkland, marked by this stone.

Seeing this sign ahead, Shaun called out, "that's our route."

The walled track led to a gate into a field, and on to another walled track to Lower Bark House. We joined the access track and climbed on to Higher Bark House. Now up to the brow and through a gate to follow the track that descends to Feizor.

The buildings part of which are the tearooms are in centre.

As we reached the car, Southey said, "thanks Dad for a lovely walk.

"It's Shaun you should thank really, as he devised the route. It was excellent and we have explored some new ground."

So of course it was now to Elaine's.

Sharon had seen us arrive, so by the time Dad had changed, she had set him a table and a large pot of tea was waiting.

"Talk about being spoilt", laughed Grizzly as we settled on the chair.

Dad had a nice tuna melt ciabatta with with salad.

It was quietish now, but Sharon said, "we have been really busy and there have been lots of people sitting outside too.

Later Elaine came and sat chatting. She has another eye infection, which we hope will clear up soon.

Before leaving Dad had another chat with Sharon. She said, "Molly wants a horse and Scarlet a cat, for Christmas. In their dreams!", she went on.

So another good day out thanks Dad, and a very happy group was driven home.

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