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Catrigg Force and Attermire Scar Walk
Statistics: Map of the walk
Start (OS ref):
Map (1:25,000):
Car parking in Settle
11.2 miles (17.9 km)
4 - 5 hours
586 metres
Some easy scrambling
Route Map:
Summary: The walk begins and ends in Settle. It include a fell walk to visit to a lovely secluded waterfall. Then the walk follows fell and quiet road before walking to Victoria Cave and then Attermire Scar before returning to Settle.

Elevation profile of the settle walk

The Story of the Walk:

The walk to Langcliffe from Settle
Sheep leaving the fells on which they were born
Great views of Penyghent approaching Catrigg

This walk was the final one of three days walking enjoyed by Stewart, Deke and myself in the late summer of 2003. It was a walk in classic Yorkshire Dales country that had some spectacular moments, some laughs, some mishaps and some pain. At the end of it all Stewart practically crawled in but then he had done three continuous days walking, something he hadn't done for a long time. As with our previous two days in Dentdale and the Howgill Fells we were lucky with the weather. It was a hot sunny morning that greeted us as we left Sedburgh to travel to Settle and it got hotter as we drove over. At 10.30 we were ready for the off but not before we had collected sandwiches and drinks from Dekes favourite Settle bakery. Then it was a stiff walk out of Settle up steep streets onto the fell side via a bridleway which was blocked by sheep that were being taken away from the only place they had ever known to a far darker place. What some beasts suffer for our Shepherds Pies and Cornish Pasties. The walk took us out of Settle in a notherly direction towards the fringes of Langcliffe before we headed on a gentle incline to Catrigg Force. This initial walk in the quite dales is great and on a clear day you can get fantastic views of Penyghent, my good friend Steve Scotts favourite hill. I was thinking of you mate, stuck in the Quantocks!

Catrigg Force from the top
Catrigg Force
Catrigg Force falls from the top...
...into a lovely waterfall pool at the bottom

The Force is a beautiful waterfall surrounded by a quaint little wood. It is a wonderful place to dwell a while and so we did. The water cascades down the falls in an area of deep tree lined idyll. This is fantastic in itself but you are in for a surprise yet if you've never been here before. I stood at the top of the waterfall and wondered where Stewart and Deke had gone. Then I spotted a path leading down into the wood and followed it as it winded down to running water at the bottom. There were more smaller waterfalls here to enjoy but as I tracked back upstream I walked into a vast open area surrounded by deep rock sides that had been cut out by the major waterfall when it was a much more potent force. The area was charming and it was here that we stayed a while watching the water flow over the top and down into the pool it had created about about 25 feet below. The picture below sees Stewart enjoying the moment. Deke was sat down just left of picture enjoying a sandwich he had bought at that bakery in Settle. After Catrigg Force had beguiled us we reluctantly left and followed a footpath east across fields between Gorside and Cowbeck to reach roadside which we followed east to a t-junction at Henside. Then we took the right fork to Capon Hall before leaving the roadside to follow footpaths to the north of Langcliffe Scar and then past Jubilee Cave before continuing south to Victoria Cave. The walk was fantastic on lovely velvet ground in the best of limestone country. Even the section along the road was lovely, there was hardly a car to interrupt the peace of the dales.

Beautiful limestone landscapes near Jubilee Cave
The entrance to Victoria Cave
Beautiful limestone landscapes near Jubilee Cave
The entrance to Victoria Cave

The first feature of Attermire Scar we reached was Victoria Cave. At the cave Stewart, who had been visibly waning for some time perked up. We peered into the cave without entering. Signs warned us not to do so and as we were feeling responsible we obliged. We explored the outside for this area is a place to explore at length. The limestone formations are some of the best, a fantastic part of the Dales and one of my all time favourite places in this great park. The views of limestone outcrops and pavements are superb and almost unabating as you leave one interesting limestone formation and are suddenly faced with another. This brilliant section is about three miles long if you include a diversion to Settle Scar but it never feels it and it is one of those walks that you will do time and time again.

The walk to Attermire Scar
Attermire Scar
Great dales scenery at Attermire Scar
Rocky outcrops on the superb Attermire Scar

After a while playing around, because it takes you back to feeling like a youngster exploring the land Stewarts new vigour was spent and it was sadly time to leave. we walked the final couple of miles with Stewart being coaxed along by Deke. I walked on and after the final climb onto the fell top above Settle I waited for the boys. Five minutes later Deke arrived, and a further ten passed before a weary Stewart trudged over the final hill. "I'm knackered but I've done it" he claimed. He had.

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