Date - 22nd March 2009 Distance - 13.5 miles
Map - OL2 Start point - Settle pool car park (SD 815641)


Summits Achieved

Name Height (ft) Height (m) Grid Ref
Warrendale Knotts 1444 440 SD 8337 6423
Black Hill 1535 468 SD 8660 6621
Sugar Loaf Hill 1214 370 SD 8374 6368



Allen and Tetley were sitting quietly reading their Lake District and Dalesman magazines.

"Some good articles", commented Tetley.

"And in mine too. Swop once we have finished as usual?", said Allen.

"Of course pal, then we can pass them on to our other pals."

"That will be nice", said Grizzly, as he arrived with Shaun carrying Little Eric on his back. "We bring tea and biscuits."

"Super", cheered Allen, as he went to get the mugs. "I'm gasping for a cuppa."

"Such a tea belly", laughed Tetley, as he helped filling the mugs. "Here you are pal."

"Thanks", replied Allen.

"I bring good news about walking, as I heard Dad to speaking to Uncle Bob, last night", Shaun said. "A date has been arranged for this coming Sunday."

"Super. It is 5 weeks since we last had Uncle Bob for company", said Tetley. "So, where from?" he then asked.

"Settle", Shaun replied. "Ticking off a few summits in the area behind the town."

Allen piped up; "we never got into Settle last time, as we did not cross the river, so let’s hope we do this Sunday".

The night before, we went to bed early, so that we were fully rested, to be up and ready for the off next morning.


The Walk

Settle is only about a 30 mile drive from home. So, we did not have to set off as early as we had for some of our Yorkshire adventures in the past.

As last time we met Uncle Bob at the leisure centre car park in Giggleswick.

"Hi Uncle Bob", we called out, "Good to see you and have your company again today."

"Hello lads, here's to a cracking walk."

Dad got his boots on etc, then we settled (ouch! – that awful pun again), in his rucksack and off we went.

Shaun issued instructions, "turn left, passing the path we took by the river last month, and then cross the bridge over the River Ribble into Settle."

We stopped to admire the sign. Its shield contains the White Roses of Yorkshire, above two rams’ heads, and a depiction of the England flag flying from the great crag of Castlebergh Hill that dominates the town.

"Ahh", said Tetley. "I'm proud of my Yorkshire heritage. God's county."

"Aye lad, that's right", agreed Uncle Bob.

The arrow straight road led under the bridge that carries the Settle to Carlisle railway, and brought us to the town centre.

Dad said, "that gallery looks to have some interesting pictures for sale. Let's go and see."

"Some really nice ones", agreed Uncle Bob as they looked in the window."

Spotting a framed triptych of prints of Great Gable and Haystacks, Dad said, "I really like them, and I can perhaps get it later."

"Sadly not today mate", replied Uncle Bob as he pointed, saying, "the shop is closed on Sunday. But, you can bring Brian here for a run, and then take him to Elaine’s at Feizor for lunch.

"Now that's and excellent idea", agreed Dad.

Just a fortnight later Tuesday, Dad and Uncle Brian did indeed come to Settle. The Haystacks picture was bought. Uncle Brian spotted one of Muker, one of his favourite places in Yorkshire, by and artist called John Sibson, who we were aware of already from a thank you card sent to us.

"I like that", said Uncle Brian.

"Ok then, we'll have it", replied Dad.

That day they went to Hawes for lunch then calling to see Eileen for cakes. Two days later they returned to the gallery. Uncle Brian had seen another picture by John Sibson of Keld, and wished they had bought it. So this was done today, and then Dad took Uncle Brian to Elaine's at Feizor for lunch where they received a cheery welcome and enjoyed the lovely food.

So, back to the the story. Shaun said, "we cross the road and then climb the narrow lanes beside Castlebergh Hill."

This left the town behind, but opened up a nice view over it. "I think a picture is on order", said Grizzly.

"The white building in the centre, is the Olde Naked Man Café", commented Allen. "I suppose that is where you will be going for tea after the walk."

"Yes, most definitely", replied Dad.

Our route continued along a track, until after a wall Shaun said, "we should follow that sign right."

"Phew, that looks steep", said Little Eric. "Glad I am in the rucksack."

This path, part of the Dales High Way, ascended the steep slope towards an area called Attermire.

Settle, with Giggleswick beyond were spread out below. Tetley said, "That's a fine view. The Settle-Carlisle railway can clearly be seen sweeping from left to right."

Walking on, Allen said, "that is Warrendale Knotts above to the left. Our first summit today."

However before tackling that, we came to a small cave in the crags below. Grizzly said, "Wainwright describes it as 'so snug and dry a refuge in wet weather that one regrets going past on a fine day'."

Here Uncle Bob poses outside.

Later, when Uncle Brian saw this picture, he remarked, "that's not a cave, but a black bear sitting down in front of the crag."

Well, we can happily report that we all got away safely.

Warrendale Knotts has sheer craggy slopes, so Shaun said, "I suggest we traverse round the hill to the other side, as the map shows the ascent will be less steep."

Crossing a wall in the process, the summit was attained, marked by a trig point amongst a pile of stones. "Ooh it's rather windy", said Little Eric. "To much for us to sit on top, so let's huddle down in front."

As we got snugged again, Grizzly said, "will we have to retrace the ascent to get back to the valley?"

"No lad", replied Dad. Then pointing he went on, "there's a path that descends towards Victoria Cave, which is where we were going next."

It ran straight and true, two gates allowing access through the walls to reach another path and then left to Victoria Cave.

Outside is an information board and we makes no apologies for quoting from this.

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.

We all went inside and we looked around. Dad said, "you must not go exploring the narrow spaces at the back, as it is too dangerous."

"Ok", replied Shaun, "You are right, of course. We do not want to have the Cave Rescue Team to come out."

Dad resolved to get a picture looking out. This took a lot of trial and error, so we waited patiently.

When Dad was typing the story, Tetley and I, were sitting with him as usual.

Uncle Brian who was sitting next to us, had just looked over at this picture, commenting, "the cave opening is like a large cow."

"What are you like!", laughed Allen.

With the exploration over, it was time to get going again, rejoining the path and continuing to pass the smaller Jubilee Cave.

Having done some research Grizzly, told us, "the cave consists of one main passage half choked by boulders and roof fall with a double entrance at the south- west end. Near the mouth, the main cave passage divides into two parallel tunnels, separated by a thin cave wall. Archaeological investigations have occurred periodically at Jubilee Cave in the late 19th century, when Victoria Cave was being excavated, and in the early 20th century. In addition to Iron Age and Roman material, artefacts of Mesolithic and Late Palaeolithic type have been reported from the cave."

Shaun directed, "follow that narrow path over the rough grassy tops and then join a good track, and go right."

Striding out, and after about a mile Uncle Bob said, "that is Black Hill, our next summit, to the left"

It was necessary to strike off the track to attain the summit. After negotiating some initial boggy areas we reached the flat top.

It may not look it, but the wind was ferocious here. "However are we going to be able to sit for the picture?", asked Little Eric worriedly.

"The only solution is to plant my stick firmly in the ground through the straps of the rucksack and so provide a windbreak", replied Dad.

"Phew", cried Allen. "Glad to get that over", as we snuggled down again.

Quickly on our way, we headed down and along below a small ridge to regain the track, but much further along in the direction we wanted to go. The path was climbing now and brought us to the junction near to Langscar, marked clearly by a signpost.

"That's Malham Tarn", pointed Grizzly. "It has been the start point for a number of our walks in the past."

Checking the map, Shaun instructed, "we want the path towards Stockdale Lane." In the picture it is the direction of the finger post pointing towards us.

This climbed over a number of pastures, and brought us to the junction near Nappa Cross. "The return route is through that gate", advised Shaun. Looking beyond he said, "that's Rye Loaf Hill."

Tetley said, "we climbed that and the adjacent Kirkby Fell in June 2007, with you for company, Uncle Bob."

As can be seen there is a high and substantial wall. Uncle Bob said, "behind this will be a good place to shelter from the wind, and have lunch."

"Great", cheered Allen, rubbing his tummy, "I'm hungry."

"Why does that not surprise me", laughed Shaun. "Mind you, I'm hungry as well."

It was so nice and calm sitting behind the wall, and as you might imagine we were reluctant to leave, but there was a long way still to go.

"Ok", said Dad, "time to face the wind again."

"Not so bad for us", commented Grizzly. "We are sheltered behind Dad's back."

So battling the wind Dad and Uncle Bob, strode the track below Kirkby Fell and Rye Loaf Hill. We were now heading back towards Attermire and we had this superb view of Warrendale Knotts and Attermire Scar with the lowering sky behind.

"We continue through the gate", said Shaun.

This took us into the valley bottom, directly below Attermire Scar that is to the right of the picture.

There Shaun instructed, "it's over that stile then go left to make the final ascent of Sugar Loaf Hill."

It did not seem possible, but the wind was even more ferocious here. "Same plan, erecting the rucksack windbreak", said Tetley.

"Yes lad."

Warrendale Knotts forms the backdrop. The trig point can just be seen on the highest point to the left.

While doing this Uncle Bob snapped Dad.

Photograph courtesy Bob Woolley (Uncle Bob)

"Just the matter of getting safely back in the rucksack, now", called out Allen over the howling wind.

Dad however got himself in an awful tangle trying to do this, as he had not taken his stick from out of the frame.

Uncle Bob called out, "I'm going to head off down to out of the wind, while you sort yourself and the lads out."

"Very sensible", called back Grizzly.

An easy path now led down to the road, which was followed into Settle. This interesting narrow building called Junction Lodge is squeezed in between these two lanes.

Soon we were in the town centre. "Cafe time", called out Tetley, pointing to the Olde Naked Man Café.

This turned out to be not one of the better cafes that Dad and Uncle Bob have visited. The food was expensive and the teapot was so small that they were only able to have one and a half small cups of tea each.

"Huh", said Allen. "no good for you Dad. Being a tea belly like me, I know you like at least four cups."

"Nothing for it but to give this place the paws down", stated Little Eric.

So, now there was just the gentle stroll through the town and over the bridge into Giggleswick to the car park.

"A long walk", commented Shaun, checking the GPS, "but very interesting, especially with regard to the caves."

All that remained now, was to say our goodbyes to Uncle Bob and then we settled in the car for the drive home.

"How lucky we are to go on all these adventures", said Tetley. "Thank you Dad, it has been another grand day out."


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