A short walk along the Ribble

On the last day of our little holiday in Settle, the weather forecast was predicting rain in the afternoon – the first proper rain we’d experienced during the week. However, it was sunny when I got up in the morning, so I decided on a last walk – a short walk around the Ribble to Langcliffe and back.

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Just a short distance to the bridge over the Ribble – this is the view looking upstream towards the weir.
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I took the path on the right bank of the river, heading upstream. This shot shows the back of the former Watershed Mill and the row of cottages where we were staying.
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Walking along the riverside path
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Looking across the fields towards Giggleswick scar
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The path turns away from the river, through the fields towards the small hamlet of Stackhouse
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There was a short stretch on the tarmac of a quiet, minor road to reach Stackhouse
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Some nice stone cottages in the small hamlet
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Former workers’ cottages in the main – I bet they cost a packet these days.
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I took the path leading back towards the river and Langcliffe
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There’s the weir – a couple of men are doing some maintenance work by the looks. They’ll be getting wet!
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I crossed the footbridge – this is the view downstream
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There’s a large paper mill a short distance downstream of the weir. It’s been there a long time but is still operational. This row of cottages were no doubt were originally occupied by mill workers. Amazingly, there’s a caravan site adjacent to the mill.
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There’s the mill ahead/ the water you can see is the mill lodge which stores and supplies water for the paper making process.

I passed the mill and then took a quiet minor road which led up to the B6479 just a short distance north of our holiday cottage. A few minutes later and I was back inside heading for the kettle! The weather had remained reasonably fine – overcast but interspersed with some periods of sunshine. A nice final walk of about 3 miles.

In the afternoon we wandered into Settle and did a little mooching and shopping. The rain arrived a little later than forecast and we were back indoors before it really got gong. Time to relax and do a little reading before a final meal.

A longer Settle Loop

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Sunday morning I was up early and greeted by what promised to be a fine day. After a leisurely breakfast I mad up some sandwiches and a flask of coffee and got ready for a walk up on the hills. No need to drive anywhere to start the walk as I was able to set out from the front door.

A few months ago I’d seen Alistair Campbell (not my favourite person) walking in this area on a Winter Walk on TV. Watching this had inspired me to do some walking around here and when we were thinking of where we might stay for a short break, Settle came to mind. I’d seen a circular route from Settle on the Discovering Britain Website (the downloadable booklet describing the walk includes some very interesting information by a local) and had originally thought I’d follow that. However, on the day I decided to extend the walk, heading towards Malham and then looping back towards Langcliffe on the Pendle Bridleway. I could have extended further by popping into Malham, but a quick calculation suggested I’d have trouble getting back before sunset and didn’t want to get stuck in the dark on unfamiliar moors. Going into Malham was certainly doable but I’ll have to save that for another time when longer days would allow me to linger for a while.

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The view from the front door
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The neighbours across the road

I had to walk into Settle and then head up through the streets on to the old Langcliffe Road, before turning off onto the moor.

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Looking down over Settle
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Setting off down the lane onto the moor
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Zooming in onto the row of mill houses and the old mill. I could see our holiday home and our car!
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On the moor now. An old drystone wall on my right. I’d be saying mile upon mile of them during my walk
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I turned off the Langcliffe path climbing steeply up the hill. This is the view looking back down towards settle and the Giggleswick Scar
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Nearing the top of the climb Penyghent came into view
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Close to the summit of the path now, with the Warrendale Knotts on the left
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Well into limestone country now
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The limestone cliffs are riddled with caves
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Attermire Scar came into view
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Looking back towards the Warrendale Knotts
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Attermire Scar. It’s almost hard to believe that these mighty cliffs were created from the skeletal remains of tiny sea creatures
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Looking back again
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I stopped for a brew and a croissant and took yet another photo looking back to the limestome cliffs. The terrain to the left is very different as the scars mark the change from millstone grit to limestone geology. The land to the left is very boggy and that’s the origin of the name of Attermire – “mire” is an old word for bog
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Looking over the mire I had a hazy view of Pendle Hill
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The route now took me over a stile and onto the Stockdale Lane.
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I was on tarmac for a while on the quiet lane but it turned into a rough track after the turnoff for Stockdale farm. A gradual climb now for a few miles on the path towards Malham
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A couple of miles before Malham I turned north. Malham Tarn soon came into view
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zooming in
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A large herd of Belted Galloways were grazing quiety, not paying any attention tot he walkers and cyclists passing by
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I passed a section of limestone pavement
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and this long line of sheep
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The distinctive profile of Ingleborough came into view
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and, a little further on, Penyghent
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All three of the Three Peaks came into view
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Getting closer to Langcliffe I approached more Limestone scars
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There’s Jubilee cave – I popped up to have a quick look inside.
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There wasn’t much to see – just a black hole!
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Approaching the minor road from Langcliffe to Malham
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Looking down to Langcliffe
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Rather than walk down into the village, I cut off across the fields back towards Settle and then back to our holiday home.
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About 10 minutes before I arrived I got a phone call. It was J asking how long I’d be and did I want her to make a brew for when I got back. Did I? Silly question 🤣. And that was good timing!

A week in Settle

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To help transition to my life of (hopefully) increased leisure (i.e. working part time) we decided that it would be a good idea to get away for a break. We decided to take a week’s break in Settle on the edge of the Yorkshire Dales which, although is less than 1 1/2 hours drive from home, would provide a good change of pace and scenery. We hired a former mill worker’s cottage on the edge of the small town for a week and kept our fingers crossed that the weather would be favourable and not like just a couple of weeks before when we were faced by three named storms in close succession! I’m glad to say things worked out well for us and I managed to get out for a wander from the doorstep every day only going out in the car the once, on a grey day to drive up to Ribblehead and on to Hawes . We even had a night out at a concert in the old Victoria Hall- the first time I’ve been in the audience at a show for over two years.

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The Shambles, Settle

We arrived on a bright, sunny, but cold, afternoon and parked up ready to explore the small town. It’s a small town centre, but has a number of independent shops (including a good little independent bookshop, Limestone Books) and plenty of interesting old buildings.

It’s an old town having it’s market charter granted in 1249. Historically it was a centre of the cotton industry but only on a small scale and went into decline with the growth of the industry in Lancashire. It has a railway station linking it to the industrial towns of West Yorkshire but is also the starting point for the very scenic Settle to Carlisle line. Today, with it’s proximity to the Three Peaks and some beautiful limestone country, it’s a popular tourist spot. Luckily, being out of season, it was quite quiet during or stay.

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The former Town Hall
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Georgian shop
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A grand Georgian House
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More old houses
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Quaker Meeting House
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The Folly – a large “Gentleman’s residence” built in 1649. It now houses the Museum of North Craven Life and a cafe
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Old workers’ houses in Upper Settle
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Looking over to Bridge End Mill and the weir on the Ribble which has a hydroelectric power plant generating electricity
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Kings Mill – a former cotton mill on the banks of the River Ribble – now converted into flats.
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Another view of King’s Mill – I bet those flats aren’t cheap!
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View over the churchyard towards the hills

After exploring the town and popping in to one of the local cafes for a brew, we drove over to the Booths supermarket on the edge of the town to stock up with supplies for the week. It was only a few minutes drive then over to our home for the week. We unloaded, settled in and spent an easy evening making ourselves feel at home. the weather looked promising the next day and I had a route planned out!

Bill and Ben in Settle?

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During our day trip over to the Yorkshire Dales, we called into Settle, a pleasant little town, on the way back from Pen-y-Ghent. Over the summer months they’re holding a “flowerpot festival” where local shops, businesses and even some residents have created characters from flowerpots of various sizes. There were some really imaginative creations dotted around the town centre.

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We didn’t find Bill and Ben, though. Floberdop!