RIBBLE WAY, STAINFORTH FORCE & GIGGLESWICK SCAR
from GIGGLESWICK

 


Summary

Date - 14th February 2009 Distance - 8 miles
Map - OL2/OL41 Start point - Settle pool car park (SD 815641)

 

Summits Achieved

Name Height (ft) Height (m) Grid Ref
Giggleswick Scar 1050 412 SD 8058 6562

 

Preface

"Are we walking tomorrow"?, asked Allen.

"Yes, and with Uncle Bob too, starting from Settle" replied Dad.

We all cheered!

It was not precisely correct that we were walking from Settle, as the car park is in fact in Giggleswick, on the north side of the River Ribble. As we did not cross the bridge over the river, it meant we did not actually go into Settle.

 

The Walk

Settling (ouch – that is an awful pun!) down into Dad’s rucksack we set off from the leisure centre car park, walking the few yards towards Settle, to the Ribble Way footpath beside the river.

The pleasant, if at times muddy path, meanders by the river, before leaving it to come to the road that leads into the hamlet of Stackhouse. A path then leads off right to come again by the river at a substantial weir.

From now on the path hugs the riverside climbing gently to reach the waterfalls at Stainforth. The river was full so the falls were impressive, so we had to be very patient while Uncle Bob and Dad had a prolonged photo session. Well at least we were warm and safely tucked up in the rucksack!

We suppose that we had better include this of Dad taken by Uncle Bob. Well, we appear often enough!

Photograph courtesy Bob Woolley (Uncle Bob)

You will see the bridge in the background. We think that it is worth including a proper picture.

This graceful packhorse bridge replaced a ford in the 1670’s, and is now owned and cared for by the National Trust. The bridge today joins Little and Great Stainforth. It is quite narrow, just space for one car at a time, as measured here by Dad.

Photograph courtesy Bob Woolley (Uncle Bob)

Now we strolled on through Little Stainforth, before climbing steadily up, where we enjoyed this view looking across towards Warrendale Knotts and Sugar Loaf Hill, which was to be the subject of our next walk in Yorkshire.

Soon Smearsett Scar came into view, which we had climbed almost exactly one year ago to the day.

Here snow has drifted to lie deeply beside our path with from left to right Pot Scar and Smearsett Scar behind. Today we were just walking in the valley below the hills, eventually dropping down to the tiny hamlet of Feizor (pronounced Fazyr). Sounded a bit Star Trekky to us!

Now it is well known that Dad, if possible, likes to include a visit to a tearoom as part of the day out, usually at the end of the walk. Today though he and Uncle Bob broke with tradition, stopping at the halfway point to go to Feizor Refreshments, run by Elaine Knowles. Their excuse was that they were sheltering from a rain shower. It seems to be a place that is often visited by walkers, and cyclists too. When they arrived it was about half full, but almost immediately it filled up completely with the arrival of a party of cyclists. Uncle Bob said, "we'll just have tea" so a huge pot arrived, which just suited Dad. Then however, they spotted the delicious cakes and puddings, which proved to be irresistible and lemon meringue pie was ordered. So much for will power. Joking apart all the food on offer is delicious and home made too. It can be thoroughly recommended. Dad and Uncle Brian met Uncle Bob and Aunt Ann there a couple of weeks later, and again the food was excellent. Although having only been the once before, Elaine recognised Dad. Once seen etc.

Here Uncle Bob poses outside.

Time to get going again we thought, so Dad shouldered his rucksack and we all headed out of Feizor, on a track that climbed towards Giggleswick Scar.

This long escarpment stands above the road that leads down to Giggleswick and Settle. Once the main road, it is now just a quiet byway since the opening of the Settle bypass.

We picked our way along and then Spider Cave came into view, which we went to look at. From the Internet we were able to glean that this cave is 65 ft long but after about 20ft its height deteriorates to a small crawl space. High enough for us, but we are sensible and did not make any attempts to enter.

Climbing up beside this we reached the ridge and after climbing the stiles through a number of walls, finally reached the summit cairn. Well it is about time we put in an appearance.

Here too is Uncle Bob’s shot of Dad taking our picture.

Photograph courtesy Bob Woolley (Uncle Bob)

Now all that remained was the walk down to the cars. First the descent off the top, passing by the huge Giggleswick Quarry. Such was the drop that there was no wonder that two protective fences had been erected. At a gate we walked along the track through Lord’s Wood, that led to a road with some very nice houses either side. This ended at the main road and then it was just a short stroll to the car park. The end of another enjoyable walk. We then wished Uncle Bob a safe journey home and waved him off. We were initially mystified why Dad took the road towards Horton in Ribblesdale, but soon tumbled that he was going of course to Eileen’s at Newby Head Farm, to stock up on cakes. What is he like?

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