Walk to Catrigg Force & Attermire Scar
Route Summary: A fantastic exploration of the limestone country above Settle.
A fantastic exploration of the limestone country above Settle.
|14.09 km||720 m||4.5 hours|
Calculate the time using Naismith’s Rule and factor in your own pace.
Start and Finish: Settle
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Walk to Catrigg Force & Attermire Scar Route Map and GPX Download
Summits and Places on this Route
Walk to Catrigg Force & Attermire Scar Details
The town of Settle forms the start of this walk along the Ribble valley and Attermire scar, which is dotted with interest along its entire length. It’s a great place to escape the crowds of the neighbouring Gordale and Malham. There are a handful of waterfalls along the length of this walk, all of which vary in appearance and scale. The highlight is arguably Catrigg Force, a thin ribbon of water hidden in a wooded ravine but Stainforth Force is impressive after some heavy rain. Scaleber Force is also worth seeking out but doesn’t feature on this route.
Caves are also abundant on this walk, Attermire Scar is littered with them. The largest you will encounter is Victoria Cave, an important location in Yorkshire Dales history. Both prehistoric and Roman remains have been excavated here.
Walk to Catrigg Force & Attermire Scar Route Description
1 – Settle is a fine market down on the edge of some of the popular areas of the Yorkshire Dales. There are a couple of car parks to choose from so we’ve started this description from the B6480 road bridge over the River Ribble to the north of the town. Depending on where you parked, make your way to the road bridge and cross the river. Immediately after crossing the bridge, take a right down the Dales High Way / Ribble Way (located next to a metal gate) and follow it until you reach the River Ribble once again.
2 – Bear left following the Ribble Way which follows the course of the river, crossing a few stiles on the way. Upon reaching a wall at Sickhouse Lane, bear right along the road until you reach the first house on your right (SD 81542 65558). Immediately after the house, turn right and pass through a gate to follow a path down to the riverside once again. Turn left to follow the river north once more, heading over several more stiles.
3 – After around 2km, you will reach a campsite. Head straight through the campsite and then bear right when you reach a fork. The right-hand path will follow the river, shortly leading to Stainforth Force, a narrow cascade on the River Ribble.
4 – From the falls, make your way to the packhorse bridge, cross the stile onto the road and turn right, crossing the river. Follow the road (Dog Hill Brow) as it climbs to a railway bridge (though do not cross it). Immediately before the bridge, take the path to the right which runs adjacent to the railway and then crosses beneath via a subway. The path emerges at the side of the B6479, opposite a road junction into Stainforth village.
5 – Cross the road and enter the village, passing the car park on your right (there are toilets here and is also a viable place to start the walk). At the t-junction follow the road to the right onto Main Road. Cross the bridge over Stainforth Beck then take the first left opposite the Craven Heifer and then left again. Follow this road north and then round to the right, heading east now. The road quickly becomes a more rural walled lane (Goat Scar Lane/Pennine Bridleway) as it climbs out of the village. Follow this lane for 1km until you reach a stile on your left with a fingerpost pointing to Catrigg Force (SD 83188 67005).
6 – Catrigg Force can be found by following the path downhill as it winds its way into the ravine of Catrigg Beck. Explore this area at your leisure but take care on the slippery rocks. Once you are finished, retrace your route back up to the lane. Follow the lane south and then keep left as the lane swings south-east. Keep following the lane until you reach a road.
7 – Turn right onto the road and follow it through Whinskill Stones to a cattle grid. Cross the cattle grid then bear left to leave the road onto a grass path (SD 83427 65848). Follow the path to a stile, cross it and continue along the more prominent path for 200m and then bear left to reach a gated track. Pass through the gate and immediately turn right through another gate. Follow the path south alongside the drystone wall.
8 – Victoria Cave can be visited by bearing left at small path fork (SD 83737 65071), it resides in the limestone escarpment above the main path. The path to the cave climbs parallel to the drystone wall so visiting the cave doesn’t require an out-and-back. 200m after the cave, pass through a gate and then follow the path to a wall-corner. Continue south through Attermire Scar.
9 – Turn right through a gate as you emerge at the bottom of the scar (SD 83951 64146). The Dales High Way follows the drystone wall in a westerly direction beneath Warrendale Knotts. Cross a ladder stile at SD 83746 64076 and continue westwards, keeping the wall on your left. Follow the path through the field, bearing right slightly until you reach a gate in the north-west corner (SD 82943 64072).
10 – Head through the gate and start descending, following the Dales High Way. Once you reach a wall, bear left to find a gate to a walled lane (Banks Lane). Follow the lane back into Settle.