SUGAR LOAF HILL & VICTORIA CAVE from SETTLE

 


Summary

Date - 29th August 2018 Distance -6 miles
Ascent -
1100ft
Map - OL2 Start point - Main car park Settle (SD 8381 6303)

 

Summits Achieved

Name Height (ft) Height (m) Grid Ref
Sugar Loaf Hill 1214 370 SD 8374 6868

 

Preface

Tetley strolled in to find Allen and Southey peering at the iPad.

"Your Lakeland magazines have arrived pals", he said.

"Ooh thanks" they replied in unison.

"Can't wait to see what interesting articles there are this month" went on Allen.

Sensing question from Tetley, Southey preempted him. "There is a day down to walk with Uncle Eric on Wednesday, so we were checking the weather forecast. It is rather cloudy but brightening later, and the main thing no rain."

"Great", he replied. "So all we have to do is come up with a suggestion for Dad."

Before any further discussion could take place, Shaun with Little Eric perched on his back and Grizzly arrived with the tea and cakes.

"Ahh", said Allen. "I can always think better after tea."

"Ha", laughed Grizzly. "You are just like Dad. A tea belly and cake stuffer!"

Meanwhile Tetley and Southey had got the plates and mugs, Southey lending a paw to help Shaun pour the tea.

"Thanks pal."

So what's the cake?" asked Allen.

Grizzly has made chocolate coconut slice, while I have done mincemeat slice", replied Little Eric.

So we all tucked in. The look of delight on Allen and Southey's faces, was proof the the cakes were as always delicious.

Tetley said to Grizzly, "we always appreciate the time you and Little Eric spend making the cakes."

"You're welcome."

So his brain now in gear, Allen returned us to the question of a walk. "How about we go to Yorkshire. Uncle Eric has not explored that a much a Dad."

"Dad will think that is a good idea, as there will be the prospect of perhaps a visit to Elaine's afterwards", laughed Little Eric.

"I know", said Tetley. "There is a walk from Settle that takes in Attermire Scar and Victoria Cave. I know we have been there, but I am sure that Uncle Eric has not"

"The scenery is beautiful, so I am sure Uncle Eric will like it."

"Sounds like a plan", agreed Southey, who went on, "it will largely be a new area for me to explore too.

The walk list was consulted and then we helped each other get the binder down and find the instructions. Then draining his mug, Allen said, "OK I'll go and see what Dad thinks."

A few minutes later he was back. "Dad likes the idea, but we will have to see if Uncle Eric is happy about it too, when they chat on the phone."

He was, so here is the account of our adventure.

 

The Walk

The plan was for Dad and Uncle Eric to go to Elaine's for a snack afterwards, so for us we packed a picnic which we left in the car for later.

The instructions stated the start was at the Greenfoot car park, but neither of them knew exactly where that was so instead it had been agreed to meet at the main car park in Settle.

So on hearing Dad slam the hatch on the car shut, we dashed out and settled on the front seat, for the ever so familiar drive. The day started cloudy but became sunnier later, as the per the forecast.

We called out a cheery "good morning", to Uncle Eric.

"Good to see you lads", he replied.

We got settled in Dad's rucksack, and soon we were off, striding to and through the Market Place.

Every year at this time the Flowerpot Festival takes place in Settle. We passed a few of the creations by residents.

"That cow makes me laugh", called out Tetley. "Love the way that a glove has been used for its udder."

At the top of the Market Place, Allen pointed, "look, there's a cyclist one at the bike shop."

The road was followed on, shortly keeping ahead along the narrow lane at the next junction where we arrived almost immediately at Greenfoot car park.

Dad commented, "I'll know where it is for the next time."

Shaun said, "we need to keep left and follow that rising path."

Another flowerpot display was passed here.

"Tin man from Wizard of Oz?", I think remarked Grizzly.

So walked the rising path by the car park to emerge onto a road.

"Ooh", called out Southey. "Just look at the long flowerpot snake in that tree."

Checking the map, Shaun instructed, "turn right then very soon go left."

This was a narrow steep road taking us past the houses and then come to the old Pinfold that is now a picnic area.

"It's along that rough track to the left", called out Shaun.

As we climbed the view opened out. "That will make a nice shot of the Pinfold and Settle behind", suggested Grizzly.

After climbing this stile...

...we were now in open pasture, and the path curved left to a gap by a stile and then onwards by the wall to the right, to come to a stone step stile. Once over with the wall to our left, the path lead ahead to this signposted gate onto Lambert Lane.

Uncle Eric is very interested in railways, so it was unsurprising that he pointed out that the gatepost was in fact an old railway sleeper, which is why we wanted Dad to include this picture.

"We go right now", called out Shaun.

"Look", called out Tetley. "The farmer is driving cattle along the lane behind us."

" Wondered what the noise was", replied Dad.

Soon we saw that the cattle went into the field via the gate we had used.

Lambert Lane soon turned sharp left and led us to the road, below the slopes of High Hill.

"It's right", called out Shaun, "then soon we go left along the walled Stockdale Lane."

As we turned onto the lane, Shaun pointed and said with a laugh, "that road sign has certainly seen better days."

Where Stockdale Lane turned sharp right, Shaun called out, "we climb the facing stile, and then go on ahead by the wall."

The ground rose a little, then dropped into the bowl to the left of Sugar Loaf Hill.

We paused to take in the surroundings. There was absolute silence here. Just heavenly.

Apart from Southey, we had all climbed Sugar Loaf Hill before.

"Uncle Eric", he said. "would you mind if we climb the hill, so that I can bag the summit?"

"Of course not lad, and I will bag it too."

Here we are at the unmarked summit.

"It is so calm up here today", remarked Tetley. "Such a contrast to when we climbed it with Uncle Bob in 2009. Then the wind was raging and Dad had to secure the rucksack with his stick, so that we could sit out of the wind."

From here there were fine views to Warrendale Knotts...

...and Attermire Scars.

"My", said Uncle Eric. "I never knew that there was all this wonderful landscape just a few miles from Settle. I am really enjoying this walk."

"OK", said Shaun. "We are now heading for the path to the right side of the wall that runs uphill between the scars."

Descending the hill, the path led to a gate, where we followed the green track to a signposted stile...

...and then right by the wall to a gateless gap, and so onto the ascending path left below Attermire Scar. This was followed on and on.

The views again opened out. "That's Ingleborough" called out Southey. "And the ridge to the left in front is Pot Scar and Smearsett Scar, the path below which leads to the best tearooms, Elaine's at Feizor."

Up to the right we could see Victoria Cave. Taking the narrow path forking right we now walked up to it and went on inside to explore once again.

We had slipped out of the rucksack, to explore. Dad said, "be careful on the rocks and look after Little Eric. We don't want him falling down between the rocks and not being able to get out."

"We will", responded Shaun.

Exiting the cave Grizzly looked about with a quizzical look on his face.

"What's up pal?", asked Allen.

"Well, last time we were here there was an information board all about the history associated with the cave, which Uncle Eric would have found interesting to read."

We all looked about but to no avail. "It's gone", said Tetley.

However later we were able to let Uncle Eric see story from 2009 where Dad had kindly included this. Here it is below:-.

Few other British caves show so strikingly the changing cycles of the world’s weather. We have probably heard of the Ice Ages but just to try to imagine a time in between the glaciers when it was warm enough for hippopotamus and elephants to wander across the rough pastures you are surrounded by today.

It is perhaps easier on a winter’s day up here, to imagine the wind-swept arctic tundra occupied by brown bear and reindeer, which followed the last Ice Age, 12,000 years ago. It was this landscape which the first Dales people hunted across and just like the glaciers, hippos and hyenas before them they left their mark in Victoria Cave.

By the time the Romans arrived, the climate had warmed, and brown bear no longer hibernates in the cave. It became instead a shrine and workshop area for people from nearby forts and settlements. Then the humans moved and out and the foxes and badgers moved in for the next 1500 years.

All that changed in 1837 when a dog sent in after a fox led to the cave being rediscovered. Since then the cave has been altered almost beyond recognition. The original narrow entrance was enlarged and literally hundreds of tons of material dug out by hand.’

We noted on the information board, that there was a picture of a 12,000 years old bone harpoon point that had been found inside.

Returning down to the path we continued on by the wall to a gate where we joined a wide smooth track.

"Our way is left down to the road", called out Shaun

By the road groups of girls, doing their Duke of Edinburgh, were getting ready to set off and Dad and Uncle Eric chatted briefly to one group. They had been in Malham last night and were now heading to Stainforth via Settle, today.

Once again our faithful guide Shaun, gave us directions. "We go through that gate in the wall to the left just before the road."

This led on and on over pasture with the the pretty village of Langcliffe down to the right.

"That's a nice tree", pointed Tetley.

The route eventually became the walled Banks Lane, that ended at a road.

"Yippee", said Allen. "No sheep pictures today."

He had however spoken perhaps too soon, as following the road into Settle we passed another of the flowerpot displays.

"Ha, ha, ha", called out Southey.

"There not real, so don't count", humphed Allen.

Arriving at the start Uncle Eric said, "that was a super walk. Thank you for suggesting it."

So now it was to Elaine's for a snack. We sat in the car to enjoy our picnic. Uncle Eric had a bacon and sausage bap, while Dad had a ham and cheese ciabatta with chips. And tea of course.

Dad chatted a little to Sue, and to Megan who told him that she and her family and Sharon's family had had a good time in Cornwall.

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