from Clapham, ending at Stainforth



Date - 17th February 2008 Distance - 9.5 miles
Map - OL2 Start point - Clapham car park (SD 745692)


Summits Achieved

Name Height (ft) Height (m) Grid Ref
Thwaite Scar on Norber 1339 408 SD 7628 7089
Smearsett Scar 1191 363 SD 8024 6780


The Walk

With the forecast of another sunny and calm winters’ day, Dad had arranged to initially meet Uncle Bob at the village of Stainforth, near Settle for this walk. This was where the walk would end so Dad’s car was left here and we all drove in Uncle Bob’s car to Clapham our start point. Uncle Bob decided that he would take the back roads and we soon turned off down a narrow lane that took us via the packhorse bridge, over the river Ribble. It is extremely narrow and the wing mirrors of the car almost scraped the walls. We held our breath and were mightily relieved when we had got over. It would have been nice to have a photo of the car on the bridge but of course Dad could not open the door to get out! Here however is a photo of the bridge itself that Dad took in 2003.

The bridge is over 300 years old and in the ownership of the National Trust.

Soon the views opened out and we stopped to look across to the fells Pen-y-ghent and Moughton. Uncle Bob took Dad's picture standing by his car. We love the clever way he has changed the registration number!

Once at Clapham Uncle Bob and Dad were soon ready so we hopped into Dad’s rucksack and off we went. Once out of the village our route was along a track called Thwaite Lane, that we eventually left to cross the fields and walk beneath Robin Proctor’s Scar. Here Uncle Bob poses below.

Here is why this cliff is so named: -

The story of Robin Proctor is not a particularly happy one. He was a farmer who lived in a Crummack Dale farm with his wife and two small sons. He was a good farmer and his business was quite successful. Every night he would take his horse out of the stable and ride down the valley to the local hostelry. These nights of drinking and laughter became longer and longer, and sometimes it would be well into the early hours before Robin was ready to make the long ride back up the dale to his house. He would often be so tired and drunk he would climb on his horse and fall asleep.

It was fortunate for him that the horse was old and clever, and knew the way back to the farmhouse with Robin Proctor asleep in the saddle. Sometimes he would fall off and wake up with a start as he hit the ground, but often he was still asleep when the horse arrived back at the stable. Being a clever horse it found a way of dropping Robin Proctor into the straw where he would sleep until morning.

One night however the weather was very bad and the wind and the rain were awful. Robin's wife told him not to go out with the weather so terrible but he would not listen and put on his greatcoat, took out the horse and rode off to the inn. He was not a bad man and before he started drinking he put his horse in the stable behind the inn for some shelter, as had some of his friends. The evening was a very merry one and after lots of beer Robin Proctor had become quite drunk. He did however remember that his horse was in the stable. He went to the stable behind the inn, brought out a horse and set off back home. Unfortunately he was so drunk that he hadn't realised that he had taken the wrong horse! It was too late. He set out riding the horse back towards his farmhouse and quickly fell asleep. This horse had no idea where it was going but being a good horse it kept on going up the lanes and was soon in the middle of the moors in the terrible storm, walking in the dark with Robin Proctor asleep on its back. The poor horse continued until it arrived at the top of a cliff and, not knowing any better, it kept on going, plummeting over the edge and falling on to the rocks at the bottom! They were both killed instantly and ever since the cliff has been known as Robin Proctor's Scar. It is said that on wild and windy nights the sound of horses’ hoofs can still be heard around the cliff!

The path now climbed up and ahead we could see Nappa Scars and this tree seemingly growing out of the living rock.

Perched above we saw this large boulder.

This is one of what is known as the Norber Boulders or Erratics.

The boulders in all shapes and sizes are dark grey Silurian rock but lie on a bed of white limestone and are, therefore not native to the place that they have come to rest. They have in fact been moved to their present position by the movement of a glacier that once filled Crummack Dale. It is a fact that the source of these boulders can be traced to and area half a mile distant up the valley and at a slightly lower level. Here is another example.

After exploring this area and marvelling at the landscape we walked on to the top of the hill seen in the background of the above picture. This was the hill called Norber and after visiting a few of the numerous cairns finally reached the one that is the highest and thus the summit. It is actually at an area known as Thwaite Scars.

The hill behind is Ingleborough, which we climbed on 23rd December 2006.

We now descended slightly and walking over an area of limestone pavement, suddenly Crummack Dale came into view. It was such a nice scene that we were glad that Dad suggested stopping for lunch. We sat on a convenient rock and enjoyed the scenery, while eating our sandwiches that Allen carries for us all in his rucksack.

The hill across the dale is called Moughton (pronounced Moot'n). Uncle Bob and Dad are going to take us up there quite soon too. Walking on we made our descent then walked along the track you can see in the picture. After a while we turned left on another track that took us to the other side of the dale. Austwick Beck blocked our route but fortunately this old clapper bridge enabled us to get across.

While Uncle Bob and Dad were busy taking photographs we went and read the information sign attached to the wall. This told us that we were standing in what is known as the "Wash Dub Field". We could see as the sign said the pen where the sheep were held ready for their wash in the Wash Dub. In the late spring and in the autumn the beck was dammed to make a pool, and the sheep were washed to remove parasites. One can only imagine what a cold and wet experience it must have been for all concerned.

The onward track now led below Moughton and down to and through the hamlet of Wharfe with its stone houses. Reaching the road that we had actually driven along this morning, we soon left it via a stile on the right and walked over a number of fields and climbed a few stiles as we ascended by Wharfe Wood finally reaching a track. This we followed for a short distance before passing through a gate on our left. This took us towards out next summit Smearsett Scar seen here ahead.

Looking left we noticed on Moughton Nab that the shape of the rock looked like a face and Dad took a photo for us.

Following the clear track we finally branched off right and climbing the slopes of the hill, eventually reached the trig point marking the summit of Smearsett Scar. If you look carefully you might spot a village in the rear left of this picture. This is Stainforth and the end of the walk.

Uncle Bob had gone exploring further along the ridge before coming up to join us at the summit. Here he strides up to the trig point.

Well all the remained now was to carefully descend off the steep end of the fell, and once over the wall, join the clear track that eventually led down to Little Stainforth. Here we crossed the narrow bridge mentioned at the beginning to reach the road and Dad’s car. Not before we had stopped to take in the view of the whole ridge from Smearsett Scar along to Pott Scar.

We jumped out of the rucksack and settled ourselves in the car, and then Dad drove us all Clapham, by the main road so we did not have to cross that narrow bridge again. Uncle Bob and Dad then got changed and while we had our picnic in the car they went off in search of refreshment. Well by now that will come as no surprise at all! They found a nice café and had pot of tea and scone with butter and jam. We must tell you too about an incident that happened in the café. Dad was filling the teapot up from the hot water jug, but unbeknown to him the lid did not fit tightly and so ended up falling in the tea. He nearly burnt his fingers getting it out. We laughed our socks off, as did Uncle Brian when we told him.

Well that was another superb days’ walk all that remained was to say our goodbyes to Uncle Bob, before Dad drove us home.


shopify analytics