Clapham, North Yorkshire Sunday 20th August 2017

Today’s Walk

Strenuous Leader : Carole Rankin   Distance : 9.00 miles

From Clapham along Old Road, Laithbutts Lane and Henbusk Lane to Newby Cote to join the footpath to Ingleborough. We cross Newby Fell to Little Ingleborough and on to the summit of Ingleborough (723m, 2372ft) for lunch with amazing views. Now all downhill. First back to Little Ingleborough then descending via Gaping Gill, Trow Gill and Ingleborough Cave (drinks and ice cream available here). Returning to Clapham along the Ingleborough Estates Nature Trail (Entry charge of £1)

Moderate Leader : Pam & Malcolm Chamberlain   Distance : 7.50 miles

We will take an amble through the village and begin our climb and descent onto the path to Cave. We will climb again to a cairn on Long Scar where we will rest and take lunch before ambling along a bridleway, path and road, join the Pennine Bridleway again, and back to Clapham. Some rocky descending and climbs which may be slippery underfoot if wet. Climb approx 700ft. Would recommend those who have poles to bring them.

Leisurely Leader : Dave Hatchard   Distance 6.5miles

From the car park, we turn right and pass front of St James Church then head uphill towards Ingleborough Caves. The terrain consists of tarmac paths uneven, ground and grassy slopes. During walk some fantastic views of limestone outcrops. There are some stiles but most have a gate to open next to them.

Easy Leader : Derek Lee   Distance 4.50 miles

We leave Clapham past the church and through the tunnels, then climb 300 ft past Ingleborough Hall up to the woods and follow Thwaite Lane track to Austwick Hall. The return walk is all via field paths but in the event of very wet weather there is a slightly longer road alternative.

Notes On The Area

The idyllic village of Clapham straddles either side of Clapham Beck, one half linked to the other by three bridges including an ancient footbridge of arching limestone. The church is at the top end of the village and the pub at the bottom and in between is the large car park and information centre of the National Park. The large house on the west side of Clapham is Ingleborough Hall, home of the Farrar family for many years. Originally the building was a farmhouse, converted first into a shooting lodge and then into the Hall between 1820 and 1830. It is now an outdoor activity centre. The most celebrated member of the family was Sir Reginald John Farrar, the famous plant hunter, and the man who more than anyone else made rock gardens so immensely popular. His alpine garden at the Hall was world famous with plants brought from China, Tibet and Japan as well as the Alps before he died in Burma in 1920 aged 40. After the Farrars built their estate they didn’t want a common right of way through their ‘back garden’ so they built tunnels through which the path plunges giving access from the village to Thwaite Lane. You could do that sort of thing in those days if you were Lord of the Manor!

There is access to the grounds of Ingleborough Hall (small charge) along a wide carriageway called Clapdale Drive, that runs by the side of an artificial lake created by the Farrars in the 1830’s. All round the lake, and some way beyond, are the trees planted by the Farrars – beech, larch, yew and silver fir, and in season bluebells and wild garlic carpet the ground between the trees.

Ingleborough was once thought to be the highest mountain in England. This is not really surprising because it does dominate its immediate surroundings, and can be seen from miles away, especially in the west. It is isolated by deep and wide valleys from its fellow mountains and it has a distinctive shape. Of course, far from being the highest mountain in England, it is not even the highest in the Dales – the adjacent Whernside is 13 metres higher.

The large boulders covering the hillside above Nappa Scars on the western side of Crummack Dale are the famous Norber Erratics. Angular in shape and composed of dark grey Silurian gritstone, they are obviously alien to the hillside as the predominant rock here is white limestone. They originated at a lower level, about half a mile away in Crummack Dale where the Silurian rock bed reaches the surface, and were transported to their present location by a glacier during the last ice age. The limestone bed on which they were deposited has been considerably dissolved away so that some of the boulders now stand on short pedestals of rock. Boulders such as these, which have been moved by glaciers and then left behind are called erratics.