Challenging

Ingleborough from Clapham

9.6 miles | 15.4 km | 751 m Ascent | 13.3 Naismith miles | Bernie & Sheila Garrett
One of the (many) advantages of living in Bentham is easy access to the Yorkshire Three Peaks. The group has taken various routes up each, and in this excellent walk we tackle Ingleborough again. Why? – because it’s still there as Mallory might say.
Most walkers start at Ingleton, but we take the slightly less common starting point at Clapham and approach the peak via a route that passes Clapdale Wood and Ingleborough Cave. We then take an optional short diversion to look at Trow Gill, before continuing slightly further north to find an easier route uphill across Clapham Bottoms and on to the famous Gaping Gill. After that there’s a steep climb up Little Ingleborough before we finally reach the peak, where we enjoy fine views and note bronze age remains and a demolished hospice. The diversions just tipped us over the 15km limit that we use to mark a walk as challenging but leave those out and it would be moderate – though still steep.

Ingleborough from Clapham Read More »

Yarnbury Lead Mines and Mossdale

9.9miles | 16.0 km | 333 m Ascent | 11.6 Naismith miles | Sandra Craggs
This walk can be considered to connect with at least two other Bentham Footpath Group walks: It physically shares part of the route of our Copplestone Gate and Conistone Pie walk, and although in a different part of the Yorkshire Dales, it shares much of the industrial heritage of the Gunnerside and Old Gang Smelt Mill walk.
The first half of the walk heads across Downs Pasture to the top of the Dib at Conistone, with great views of the Wharfe Valley and as far South as Pendle Hill. From there we head up the Bycliffe Road to Kelber Gate and then on to Mossdale Scar. The return journey takes us over Grassington Moor and through increasingly bleak, but strangely beautiful lead mining spoils back to the mines at Yarnbury where we spend a while exploring the remnants of this once vast industry.
We rate this walk as Challenging mainly because it’s quite long. There are no particularly steep climbs and there are options to shorten the route if needed.

Yarnbury Lead Mines and Mossdale Read More »

Ullswater and Place Fell

10.0 miles | 16.1 km | 921 m Ascent | 14.6 Naismith miles | Ed Badley
In July 2022, Bentham Footpath Group undertook a challenging linear walk on the Northern side of Ullswater. During that walk we had great views across Ullswater to Place Fell, and this time we return to explore the South side of the lake.
We start from Deepdale Bridge, and initially take a gentle route by contouring around the lake until we get to Scalehow Force. We then head steeply uphill to High Knott, then on to High Dodd, from where we get a good view of the cairn on Place Fell. The strenuous climb to that cairn is rewarded by excellent views across Ullswater to Glenridding, Patterdale and the Kirkstone Pass, before we head downhill – again quite steeply – to Boredale Hause. The final leg of the walk continues downhill to meet the path we used at the start of the walk at the base of Dubhow Crag, before we head back to the cars. This is a strenuous walk, with the more difficult terrain later in the day – so prepare well and make sure you have enough water.

Ullswater and Place Fell Read More »

Long Preston

9.8 miles | 15.8 km | 462m Ascent | 12.1 Naismith miles | David Longton
Long Preston is a small village that many people drive through on the way to better known destinations in the Yorkshire Dales. It’s well worth stopping though to explore this village and the excellent walks that can be accessed from it.
The walk we present here is classified as challenging simply because it just exceeds our 15km limit for a moderate walk – but much of the route is on tracks, or minor roads, and there are no steep climbs, so if you feel comfortable with our moderate walks give this one a go too. There are some shortcuts highlighted.
As you can see from the gallery, we picked a wet day to walk it, but in better weather, the views over the Ribble Valley, and the flood plains south of Settle are well worth seeing, as is Scaleber Foss at the halfway point.

Long Preston Read More »

Backbarrow and Bigland tarn

9.6 miles | 15.4 km | 530 m Ascent | 12.2 Naismith miles | Susan Badley
The Cartmel Peninsula is a popular starting point for walks, and it features in a number of BFG routes.
This circular walk starts at Low Woods near the River Leven just South of Haverthwaite, then tracks up the valley to Backbarrow. We cross the Fell to Hazelrigg and work South to Seatle. From there we walk through woodland to High Cark, and cross Seatle Plantation to visit Bigland Tarn before working down steepish woodland paths back to our start.
This is quite a long walk, so we list it as challenging, but there are no particularly steep climbs nor difficult terrain, and the views toward Windermere and the Southern Lakeland Fells pay dividends, so if this is slightly longer than your normal limit, it’s still worthy of consideration.

Backbarrow and Bigland tarn Read More »

Gunnerside and Old Gang Smelt Mill

10.4 miles | 16.7 km | 927 m Ascent | 15.0 Naismith miles | Sandra Craggs
We tend to think of the Yorkshire Dales as a rural idyll, but there is also a great deal of industrial heritage to be found. This walk starts in the lovely village of Gunnerside in Swaledale and then heads up Gunnerside Gill into an area that from the 15th to 19th centuries was the centre of a vast lead mining industry.
We explore remains of the lead mining sites – now mostly reclaimed by nature, before taking the steep scramble to cross Melbecks moor where we find an altogether bleaker and more damaged landscape –the result of lead smelting. This is where we find the Old Gang Smelt Mill, a much larger and toxic operation than the remains we saw at Gunnerside.
From there we walk down to Surrender bridge and then take a return route along the side of Swaledale with fantastic views up the valley to Muker and beyond or down toward Reeth and the North Yorks Moors.

Gunnerside and Old Gang Smelt Mill Read More »

Ullswater Way (linear)

11.0 miles | 17.6 km | 786 m Ascent | 14.9 Naismith miles | Ed Badley
Most of the walks that Bentham Footpath Group offers are circular, but this challenging walk on the Ullswater Way uses public transport to get us back to the starting point – which means that we can cover almost half of the route around the entire lake in one go.
The Ullswater way covers 21 miles in four self-contained sections, 2 of which we cover on this walk: Pooley Bridge to Aira Force via Maiden Castle is about 7 miles –or we press on to Glenridding – a further 4 miles, where the bus awaits.
The notes cover the full 11 mile distance, but we would rate the walk as “moderate” if the shorter route is selected.

Ullswater Way (linear) Read More »

Horton in Ribblesdale

9.6 miles | 15.5 km | 454 m Ascent | 11.9 Naismith miles | Sue King
We start in Horton and then walk up to the station where we cross the lines and take the path up to Sulber Nick. Here we turn right along the Pennine Bridleway for a while, but when the bridleway heads East toward the road, we press on North to the entrance to Alum Pot and then head right to take the lane down into Selside.
From Selside we turn left and head over to High Birkwith, crossing the upper reaches of the Ribble, to reconnect with the Pennine Bridleway, which takes us up toward Old Ing. Before we get that far though, we take a sharp right to pick up a path heading South along the contours of Horton Moor.
This eventually comes down to a quiet lane at New Houses which we follow back to Horton.

Horton in Ribblesdale Read More »

Grisedale and Garsdale

9.5 miles | 15.3 km | 590 m Ascent | 12.4 Naismith miles | Sandra Craggs
Grisedale is not well known, and often missed by visitors, but there is a simple beauty in this Dale – which is what why we chose this walk.
We start at Garsdale Station and then head up Grisedale to East Scale and the Quaker Burial Ground, before walking up Galey hill to Flust where we pick up the Pennine Journey path down to the B6259.
A very short section of road walking takes us to Quarry Farm where we head over fields and through a plantation to Lunds Chapel, before climbing (quite steeply) up the side of Abbotside Common to pick up (Lady Anne’s) High Way. We follow this along the valley side for a while before heading down the Pennine Bridleway to the Cobbles Plantation and Ure Force.
A brief stop at The Moorcock Inn is a recommended option, before crossing the A684 and walking under the impressive Dandry Mire Viaduct to return to the start.

Grisedale and Garsdale Read More »

Barden reservoirs

11.4 miles | 18.3 km | 469 m Ascent | 13.7 Naismith miles | David Longton
In the summer months, the light allows for walks that are longer, more challenging and which start from points that are farther from sunny Bentham.
This is the case for this varied walk in Wharfedale that covers rough moorland and a pleasant riverside view, with industrial and medieval heritage and wildlife.

Barden reservoirs Read More »