A walk in limestone country - March 1999
Walks with a Camera © Geoff’s Pages 2011
Tim had a "significant" birthday looming, and the question arose
"what shall we do to celebrate?". Last time, we had drunk
champagne (from plastic cups) on the summit of Scafell Pike. This
time, we decided to return to our Yorkshire roots, and have a walk
up that county's finest mountain.
Our route began in Clapham, where, tripping over Alan Bennett
(not "literally") in the village shop, we stocked up with provisions
for the day. Paying the nominal toll for the private path through
the grounds of Ingleborough Hall, we headed up the wooded path
above Clapham Beck, past Ingleborough Cave and into Trow Gill, a
magnificent limestone gorge.
From Trow Gill, the path winds up a narrow dry valley. A stile over
the wall takes the path past the hole which marks Bar Pot, and on
to Gaping Gill, that amazing hole which swallows Fell Beck, in the
highest (but not often seen) waterfall in the country*. The route
to the summit is now plain to all, climbing up to Little
Ingleborough (time for lunch) and on to the main summit.
The view from the summit is extensive, particularly on a clear day
such as this one. I looked down to Ribblehead, hoping for a
photograph of the viaduct, but for what seemed an age, a band of
cloud put it in the shade, until for just a few minutes, the cloud
shifted away from the land immediately beyond, presenting the
arches as a clear silhouette.
We were now descending, and heading in an
easterly direction on the path which, ultimately,
could take us to Horton in Ribblesdale. Limestone
Pavements and Pen-y-GhentWe had followed this
route up Ingleborough on a four day
circular route a few years
previously. Today, we turned right off the main
path to head towards Norber, crossing extensive
limestone pavements on the way. Ingleborough was
now in cloud, but some fine
views opened up towards
Pen-y-Ghent, another of
Yorkshire's "Three Peaks".
We soon arrive at Norber, home of the
famous "erratics". Huge blocks of stone
were carried to the area by glaciers in the last ice age, dumped
there when the ice melted. In the years following, the limestone
base of the moor has been eroded, except under some of these
blocks, leaving them in some cases perched
precariously on small pedestals. The one
depicted here is a particularly fine example
- hard to believe it wasn't placed there
Lastly we descended from the moor towards
Thwaite Lane, which took us back to Clapham, entering the village
through a short tunnel under the grounds of Ingleborough Hall.
What a great day it had been - ideal conditions for both walking
and photography - as good as it gets!
* In August 1999, we took advantage of the annual winch meet of
the Craven Pothole Club, and descended into Gaping Gill - a truly