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Dropping down to Stainforth village from Stainforth Scar
Dropping down to Stainforth village from Stainforth Scar

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Route No. 781 - Thursday 18 July 2019
Langcliffe, Stainforth Scar, Stainforth village,
Stainforth Force, River Ribble circuit - 7km
Settle, Ribblesdale . . .

Route map from Ordnance Survey Open Space service.

Map: OS Explorer OL2 Yorkshire Dales Southern & Western Areas


Setting off along the track from the north western corner of the car park at Langcliffe
Setting off along the track from the north western corner of the car park at Langcliffe

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Following the track out of Langcliffe
Following the track out of Langcliffe

Walled track heading northwards from Langcliffe
Walled track heading northwards from Langcliffe

Nearing the end of the walled track
Nearing the end of the walled track

We set off from the north western corner of the car park along an access track between the cottages. After about 100m there was a fork in the access track and we kept to the right hand fork heading northwards out of the village. We walked along the walled track for about 600m from the village. Here we passed through a gate into a large field sloping down to our left.

Today the weather was not as reliable as it has been lately with more cloud about and a few light showers. My friend, Jim, and I drove out through the little town of Settle in Ribblesdale and parked in the car park in the village of Langcliffe at map ref. SD 823 651 opposite the village church.

We kept to the right where the track forked<img src=
We kept to the right where the track forked

Recently sheared sheep by the track
Recently sheared sheep by the track

Gate at the end of the walled track
Gate at the end of the walled track

Grassy track continuing around the top edge of the field
Grassy track continuing around the top edge of the field

Nearing the gate at the end of the field
Nearing the gate at the end of the field

Path up the steep hill side
Path up the steep hill side

Pedsestrian gate at the top corner of the field
Pedestrian gate at the top corner of the field

The rock face of the disused quarry at the end of Stainforth Scar was on our left. Looking back from this path there was a fine view along Ribblesdale towards Settle. At the top of this field we passed through a pedestrian gate and continued up the steep slope to the top of this small field and the top of the climb.

From the gate we continued along a grassy track next to the edge of the field on our right. We followed this track around the top edge of the field to a gate at the far corner of the field (map ref. SD 827 661). Through this gate the path climbed up the steep grassy hillside.

Gate to the path up the steep open hillside
Gate to the path up the steep open hillside

View dowm Ribblesdale towards Settle
View down Ribblesdale towards Settle

Nearing the top of the climb
Nearing the top of the climb

View up Ribblesdale from the top of the climb
View up Ribblesdale from the top of the climb

Path across the hill top
Path across the hill top

Stile from the field path to the farm access track
Stile from the field path to the farm access track

Path through Lower Winskill farm
Path through Lower Winskill farm

We walked along the access track through Lower Winskill farm to a ladder stile over the tall dry stone wall behind the farm. Over the stile we climbed up a short steep bank to a finger post on the path at the top.

We crossed the next field on a clear grassy track to a farm access track at the far side of the field. We crossed the stile onto the access track and turned left towards Lower Winskill farm.

Path across the hill top
Path across the hill top

Access track to Lower Winskill farm
Access track to Lower Winskill farm

Ladder stile at the back of Lower Winskill farm
Ladder stile at the back of Lower Winskill farm

Looking back over the ladder stile and across Lower Winskill farm from the finger post at the top of the bank
Looking back over the ladder stile and across Lower Winskill farm from the finger post at the top of the bank

Continuing across the hill top from the finger post
Continuing across the hill top from the finger post

The top of Pen-y-Ghent about 7km to the north
The top of Pen-y-Ghent about 7km to the north

Steep limestone steps down through Stainforth Scar
Steep limestone steps down through Stainforth Scar

Gate to the field path at the bottom of Stainforth Scar
Gate to the field path at the bottom of Stainforth Scar

The path continued down a series of rough limestone steps through the woodland on the crag. From the bottom of the crag we followed the footpath across the fields to Stainforth village.

From this sign post we walked along the grassy path over the hill top with a view of the top of Pen-y-Ghent almost 7km away to the north. We followed the path down to the top of Stainforth Scar, a limestone crag with a good view along Ribblesdale.

Starting to drp down towards Stainforth Scar
Starting to drop down towards Stainforth Scar

Nearing the top of Stainforth Scar
Nearing the top of Stainforth Scar

Steep limestone steps down through Stainforth Scar
Steep limestone steps down through Stainforth Scar

Path across the fields to Stainforth village
Path across the fields to Stainforth village

Following the field path to Stainforth village
Following the field path to Stainforth village

 Leaving the field path in Stainforth village
Leaving the field path in Stainforth village

Public toilets in the car park by the B6479
Public toilets in the car park by the B6479

At the main road, B6479, we turned right and walked along the footway beside the road for about 200m. Here we turned left off the main road on to a narrow lane called Dog Hill Brow.

We entered the village along a short narrow cul-de-sac between the cottages. We made our way through the village streets over the bridge across Stainforth Beck and out to the main road where there is a public 'Pay & Display' car park and toilets.

Crossing the road bridge over Stainforth Beck in the village
Crossing the road bridge over Stainforth Beck in the village

We turned right to walk along the B6479
We turned right to walk along the B6479

Turning off the B6479 on to Dog Hill Brow
Turning off the B6479 on to Dog Hill Brow


Road bridge over the Settle to Carlisle railway

Turning right to cross the road bridge over the River Ribble
Turning right to cross the road bridge over the River Ribble

The bridge itself was not much wider than an old pack horse bridge but it was open to traffic provided the vehicle was narrow enough to squeeze across! Just over the bridge we turned left off the lane on to a footpath next to the River Ribble.

A few metres along Dog Hill Brow we crossed the bridge over the famous Settle to Carlisle railway line. We followed the lane down to the River Ribble and next to the river the lane made a sharp right hand bend to cross a stone arch bridge over the river.

Settle to Carlisle railway seen from Dog Hill Brow
Settle to Carlisle railway seen from Dog Hill Brow

Very narrow road bridge over the River Ribble
Very narrow road bridge over the River Ribble

Turning left off the road to follow the footpath by the River Ribble
Turning left off the road to follow the footpath by the River Ribble

Looking back to the road bridge over the River Ribble
Looking back to the road bridge over the River Ribble

So we did not see the falls at their most impressive. From the waterfall we continued along the riverside path heading downstream. We passed a person swimming in a deep pool in the river but even on this warm day it did not seem to me like an inviting prospect.

We walked along this path heading downstream, towards Settle, for about 100m to Stainforth Force. This waterfall consists of three steps in the limestone channel of the river, each about 1.5m high and the river level was quite low.


Swimmer in the River Ribble

The three steps of Stainforth Force on the River Ribble
The three steps of Stainforth Force on the River Ribble

Riverside path following the River Ribble downstream
Riverside path following the River Ribble downstream

Path climbing up over a rocky headland
Path climbing up over a rocky headland

Part of the path‘s long descent back to the riverside
Part of the path‘s long descent back to the riverside

We walked along the riverside path past a large mill on the far side of the river used to process quarried stone I believe.

At one point the path climbed steeply up the bank away from the river to go over a rocky headland before descending back down to the river side.

Riverside path following the River Ribble downstream
Riverside path following the River Ribble downstream


Part of the path‘s long descent back to the riverside
Part of the path‘s long descent back to the riverside

Following the path along the river bank
Following the path along the river bank

About to leave the field path near the footbrige
About to leave the field path near the footbrige

Path to the footbridge
Path to the footbridge

From the field path by the river we passed through a pedestrian gate and followed the path through the trees to the footbridge. We crossed the footbridge out to a lane called Holmehead.

Just a little further downstream from the mill, we came to a weir across the river and just downstream of the weir there was a footbridge over the river.

The footbridge just downstream of the weir
The footbridge just downstream of the weir

Crossing the footbridge over the River Ribble
Crossing the footbridge over the River Ribble

Weir across the River Ribble seen from the footbridge
Weir across the River Ribble seen from the footbridge

From the footbridge we turned left to walk up Holmehead
From the footbridge we turned left to walk up Holmehead


We turned right and walked towards Langcliffe on the B6479

Walking towards the Main Street in Langcliffe
Walking towards the Main Street in Langcliffe

We turned left along the Main Street and walked back to the car park opposite the church of St. John the Evangelist, and the end of our walk. The whole route had been 7km and it had taken me about three hours to walk it.

At the lane we turned left and walked along Holmehead up the slope to the B6479. We crossed this main road and turned right to walk along the footway by the road, over the railway bridge to Langcliffe. We turned left off the B6479 and walked along a narrow road to the Main Street.

Wild rabbit sitting in the lane just waiting to be photographed
Wild rabbit sitting in the lane just waiting to be photographed

Turning left off the B6479 into Langcliffe
Turning left off the B6479 into Langcliffe

Church of St. John the Evangelist opposite the car park
Church of St. John the Evangelist opposite the car park

Back at the car park in Langcliffe at the end of our walk
Back at the car park in Langcliffe at the end of our walk

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