Pennine Journey

Far Moor Bridge and Ribblesdale

7.8 miles | 12.6km | 297 m Ascent | 9.3 Naismith miles | Sandra Craggs
Horton in Ribblesdale is a great place to start a walk, and the “three peaks” are the big draw with Pen-y-Ghent an obvious choice, as is the Sulber Nick route over to Ingleborough.
Both are good walks, but there is much else to see in this area, as we show with a route including a tarn, the stunning Far Moor Bridge, disappearing rivers, atmospheric lime kilns, a National Nature Reserve, extensive limestone pavement, and vast quarries, all of which is accessible via the Settle to Carlisle railway. What more could you want? A blue lagoon? – well there was one until recently, and we can offer pictorial evidence.

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Norber erratics from Clapham

6.9 miles | 11.0 km | 249 m Ascent | 8.1 Naismith miles | Mary Taylor
Bentham Footpath Group travel up to an hour or so to get to the start of our walks. This generally works well, but given that we already live in paradise, we sometimes find ourselves thinking – why not just stop here and just walk our own patch? So that’s exactly what we do on this walk.
The Norber erratics are well known, and one of the “tick list” attractions in the Yorkshire Dales. The usual starting point would be Austwick – and we have in the past walked from there, but this route extends the day and gives us a chance to take in Clapham and Wharfe, as well as Austwick.

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Kingsdale via the Turbary Road

8.0 miles | 12.8 km | 337 m Ascent | 9.6 Naismith miles | Mary & Kate Taylor
Walks for the Bentham Footpath Group are planned in four month programmes – which means that the date of this walk was fixed in September 2023. It could easily have been the case then that we encountered miserable rain with poor visibility whilst sliding around in ankle deep mud.
But we were lucky – we could not have had a better day for the start of 2024 – bright sunshine and clear air on the tops and atmospheric inversion clouds in the valley bottoms were even more beautiful than the pictures convey. Add potholes, caves, natural fountains, ancient monuments, and informed guides, to make for a perfect start to the new year.

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Ingleton Circular via Fell Lane

4.1 miles | 6.6 km | 197 m Ascent | 5.1 Naismith miles |Alison Kinder / Colin Stroud
This walk was designed to be brief such that as a group we could meet as usual yet be finished in time to reconvene with friends and family at the Old Sawmill in Clapham for a convivial meal.
Don’t go thinking that this walk is any the lesser for being short and sweet though – it goes far enough up Fell Lane (one of the routes up Ingleborough) to give good views of the peak, and we have Ingleton and the Lune Valley to enjoy too.
A brief look at the OS map will show that this walk intersects with many other footpaths so there are ample opportunities to extend or modify the route – or simply enjoy it as it is: An easy but enjoyable walk that can be slotted into the day with minimal planning.

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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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Settle

7.1 miles | 11.4 km | 592 m Ascent | 10.0 Naismith miles | Bernie & Sheila Garrett
This excellent route showcases just what great walking country we have right on our doorstep. We start from Langcliffe, less than half an hour away from Bentham, and then fill the day with the kind of walking that you might see on one of those “celebrity buys some walking boots” TV shows.
We head out of Langcliffe on the Pennine Journey path, hop over to the Pennine Bridleway, and then take a footpath up to Victoria Cave, which we explore for a while before walking along the base of the wonderful Attermire Scar.
We follow that round, passing under the entrance to Horseshoe Cave, before heading over to Stockdale Lane with great views over to Pendle Hill, and Rye Loaf Hill. We then cut back along a footpath between High Hill and Sugar Loaf Hill to arrive at the base of the Warrendale Knotts. From here we retrace our outbound journey – although in this direction the views are surprisingly different -and then as a bonus treat, pop up to the smaller Jubilee Cave. The final part of the walk follows our outward route back to Langcliffe.

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Dowbiggin

6.6 miles | 10.6 km | 312m Ascent | 8.1 Naismith miles | George Sheridan
The Howgills, are a firm favourite of Bentham Footpath Group: These distinctive rounded hills with their lovely velvety appearance offer a wide variety of walks with peaks such as The Calf, Calders, and Arant Haw, along with the spectacular waterfall of Cautley Spout.
This easy walk does not do any of these big climbs – instead we focus on gaining a great view of the wider area. It starts from New Bridge just outside Sedbergh and then heads East along the Clough River, before turning North at Dovecote Gill. We pass through Dowbiggin and then cross the Hebblethwaite Hall Gill before heading West at Hebblethwaite Hall. We then press on to the A683 via an Alpaca farm at Ghyllas, and after a very short section of road walk take the Pennine Journey path along the Rawthey back to New Bridge.

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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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Austwick

6.4 miles | 10.3 km | 305 m Ascent | 7.9 Naismith miles | Bernie & Sheila Garrett
This circular walk starts from Austwick– where there is generally parking available free of charge on the roadside: For this walk we start by the Traddock Hotel.
We stroll through Austwick and out to the Horton Road where we pick up the footpath over Flascoe Bridge before taking the bridleway over to Feizor. The Dales Highway then takes us up toward Little Stainforth, but before we get that far we divert up to Smearsett Scar, before looping round to enter the top of Wharfe Wood.
We walk through Wharfe Woods, and then through parts of Oxenber wood before heading back downhill to Wood Lane which we follow as far as Austwick Bridge, and the Traddock.

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Dent

8.0 miles | 12.9 km | 466 m Ascent | 10.3 Naismith miles | Rick Clapham
Dentdale and Dent Village are stunningly beautiful, but perhaps because the roads into them are all minor, they tend to be less crowded than we might expect – a good thing in our books.
This walk combines the flat tranquil meadows along the Dee with a stroll through the village and up Flintergill where we take the ancient Green Lane known as the Occupation Road, enjoying long distance views down Barbondale, and over to the Howgills.
At the end of the Occupation Road, we turn right toward Gawthrop, and then loop round Stone Rigg, now with views up Dentdale, before following a path down to Dillicar where the Dales Way leads back to our start.

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