Limestone Pavement

Sunbiggin Tarn and Great Asby Scar

7.9 miles | 12.7 km | 233 m Ascent | 9.0 Naismith miles | Valerie Eccles & Mary Pickstone
Limestone pavement is one of the defining features of the Yorkshire Dales, and when asked to think of an example, most people mention Malham: that pavement and the Cove are indeed spectacular, and Bentham Footpath Group have enjoyed a number of good walks there.
This walk however visits the much larger (15 square miles) and rather more secluded Great Asby Scar National Nature reserve. Malham famously has a tarn, so we throw one of those in and start at Sunbiggin tarn before taking a gentle climb to the scar using the Dales Highway path. We then head west along the top of the scar and visit Castle Folds, the remains of a Romano-British walled settlement. From there we pick up the path coming up from Asby Winderwath Common and circle round the scar to head down to the Gamelands stone circle, before taking the Coast to Coast path back to the tarn.

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Giggleswick Scar 2

5.4 miles | 8.6 km | 249 m Ascent | 6.6 Naismith miles | Sandra Craggs
In recent walks we have travelled further afield and enjoyed some stunning scenery. Sometimes though, it’s nice to remind ourselves just how beautiful our own area is – and this walk is a perfect way to do that.
This easy route is a shortened version of our earlier Giggleswick Scar walk and makes an ideal half day stroll. We start from The Mains in Settle and then head up to Stackhouse via Lord’s Wood. We then take the Pennine Journey path round the back of the scar, as if heading to Feizor, but before we get that far we find a fingerpost which indicates the path returning to the front of Giggleswick Scar.
The top edge of the scar gives us great views to the south and lots of interesting limestone features including caves and cairns, before we arrive at the Schoolboy Tower. We then circle round the now disused quarry and then wrap things up by heading back down to Lord’s Wood and our cars. Two added benefits for this walk are that starting from Settle makes it accessible by Public Transport, and adding Elaine’s Tea Rooms would be an easy (2km) extension.

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Hampsfell from Grange

4.5 miles | 7.2 km | 350 m Ascent | 6.5 Naismith miles | Alison Kinder / Colin Stroud
A good number of Bentham Footpath Groups walks have centred on Silverdale, and on those we always enjoy views over the Kent estuary toward Hampsfell. In this walk we climb Hampsfell and look the other way, using the viewing platform at the Hospice as our highpoint.
We have walked in this area before, using Cartmel as our starting point offering a walk with moderate challenge, so this time we offer slight variation – we start from Grange over Sands and make the walk shorter and easier. The aim here is to give the opportunity to spend time in Grange exploring what this delightful town has to offer.

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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.

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Dalton Crags

6.5 miles | 10.5 km | 283 m Ascent | 7.9 Naismith miles | John Smithson
The triangle formed by the pinch point of the M6 and the A65 is often overlooked as a walking area – it’s not the Yorkshire Dales, and it’s not the Lakes – it’s not even the Forest of Bowland. But it is easy to reach, it offers great walks and not surprisingly then, is popular with The Benham Footpath Group.
This relatively easy walk focusses on Dalton Crags – the area of limestone pavement to the South of Hutton Roof. We start at Plain Quarry car park and then meander South through the rolling hills around Dalton Old Hall before heading back up to Burton-in-Kendal where we pick up the path along Slape Lane and into Pickles Wood, before taking a track through Storth Wood. This takes us part way up Dalton Crags, where we have a good look at the limestone pavement before heading back down to the car park.

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Pikedaw Hill and Malham

7.8 miles | 12.6 km | 525 m Ascent | 10.5 Naismith miles | Sandra Craggs
Malham is one of the “honeypot” villages of the Yorkshire Dales – and the use of the Cove as a backdrop for filming “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows” has made it even more popular. There’s more to this area than the Cove though – stunning as it is – and if you pick a weekday out of season, you can still enjoy a quiet walk. This moderately challenging walk starts in Malham, with a steep climb up Pikedaw Hill, offering great views back to Malham and over toward Pendle.
We pass Nappa Cross, then head down the spectacular dry valley at Watlowes to the top of the Cove, where we take the Dales Highway path to Goredale Bridge and return to Malham village via the always delightful Janet’s Foss path. We grade the walk as moderate, but be aware that the first section is relentlessly steep, and potentially quite boggy – and that the dry valley requires particular care.

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Giggleswick Scar

7.4 miles | 11.9 km | 400m Ascent | 9.4 Naismith miles | Sandra Craggs
This walk starts from Giggleswick Village and then heads up through Lord’s Wood, past the quarry, to join the top of Giggleswick Scar at Schoolboy’s Tower where we get great views across the Ribble valley. From there we walk along the top of the scar until we meet the path coming up from Buck Haw Brow, when we head North to Feizor Thwaite.
A sharp turn back along the Pennine journey path brings us down to Stackhouse, and from there we stroll back to Giggleswick along the side of the Ribble at Settle.
Although this walk is classed as easy because it’s (marginally) less than 12 km, be aware that there is a steep climb and some terrain that can be wet and slippery in poor weather.

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