Strenuous Leader : Carole Rankin Distance : 10.00 miles
Once again Carole will step in at the last minute to be leader as no one else has volunteered. She has not done a reccee but she has routes in mind and the decision will be made on the day after discussing it with the group and dependent on the weather.
Moderate Leader : Dave Hatchard Distance : 8 miles
From Ingleton we head along Oddies Lane travelling for about two and a half miles to Grid 705749 (this part of the walk is a leg burner) equivalent to walking up Parbold Hill but we have plenty of time and we will do it slowly. We then turn left and continue for another one and a half mile to Grid 693759 crossing a foot bridge by the ford. During the planning this area was very boggy. We now make our way to Turbary Road about a mile over the moor Grid 684768. We then travel to Tow Scar Road Grid 676763. We continue past the radio mast to Grid 690751 Then travel 1 mile back to Ingleton. There are about 3 stiles, one a bit tricky, but there will be enough of us to help everyone over. Some of the walk involves crossing fields and depending on the weather will determine how muddy we end up. We may alter the walk.
Leisurely Leader : Joan McGlinchey Distance : 5 miles
Although this walk does not have the usual miles for a leisurely walk it is not an easy walk as it has lots of steps up and down. It can be dangerous during wet weather. People with bad knees should think twice. If you think that you can manage it, we will be taking it at a slow place so that we can enjoy the surroundings as the waterfall valleys boasts some of the most spectacular waterfall and oak woodland scenery in the UK, truly encapsulating nature at its best. As well as the toilets in town there are toilets at the start, the end of the walk and at the halfway point along with a refreshment centre. There is a cost of £6 but it is worth the money, and there might be a possibility of paying less as we are a group on a coach.
Easy Leaders : Cynthia Prescott & Hazel Anderton Distance 4 or 5 miles
We have a choice today of two walks.
The four-mile walk has been recceed. There is more climbing than usual for an easy and there are stepping stones over the river but the scenery is varied with some lovely views. After leaving town we walk a short section just above the river then make our way up past some old quarries, and then go along a short stretch of road before going onto fields. We pass the toilets and refreshment centre at the top of the waterfalls valleys and then make our way back down to town on a track and a lane.
The alternative 5-mile walk has not been recceed but would be a much flatter route over fields. We will use tracks and a small lane to avoid going over some fields as fields and walls mean stiles! Quite a few of them. We will return to town not along the river but near it and then a bit of road walking. Which walk we do with depend on who is walking and what the weather is like.
Notes On The Area
Ingleton, an attractive little Dales town under the magnificent outline of its famous mountain, and close to the spectacular waterfalls, is an excellent walking centre. It is well supplied with shops, cafes, pubs, while Ingleton Community Centre has a small Information Point. The town was a staging post on the important Leeds-Kendal packhorse way, then later on the busy Keighley-Kendal turnpike. By the late 18th century its annual fair was noted for leather and oatmeal. Industry came in the form of textiles including a huge woollen mill. Water from the River Doe powered cotton and woollen mills. In the market place, opposite the Halifax Building Society, is the ancient bullring, where the bull was tied before being baited by dogs, last used for this purpose in the 19th century. Further along the High Street on the left is an attractive, late 17th century cottage.
The road from Ingleton to Hawes passes White Scar Cave. Here the visitor may penetrate half a mile under Ingleborough. Discovered in 1923, the cave has two underground waterfalls, wonderful coloured stalagmites, stalactites, and grottoes. St Mary’s Church, at the top of the village, suffers from the threat of subsidence, as the result of having been built on a mound of glacial drift. Only the Norman tower, somewhat restored, survives from the original structure, which has been rebuilt at least three times. Inside the church is one of the finest Norman fonts in the West Riding, carved with figures of Mary, Jesus, the Three Magi and the Tree of Life, as well as scenes of Christ’s Entry into Jerusalem and the Massacre of the Innocents. The font has had a chequered history. Under Cromwell, it was at one time used for mixing whitewash and mortar.
Ingleton Glens forms part of a private estate. The footpath through them is not a right of way, and a small charge is made for entry. The entrance to the Glens is at the bottom of the village, below the huge disused railway viaduct that carried the former Ingleton-Tebay line. A walk through the waterfalls is easy to follow, but more lives have been lost here in recent years than anywhere in the Dales under or above ground. The gorges are steep and the current swift, and to fall in is to risk almost certain drowning. The paths however are well made and perfectly safe with care. A lot of work has been recently done to make the paths and steps safer.
Above Ingleborough village looms the great bulk of Ingleborough Hill, at 2373 ft the third-highest mountain in Yorkshire. It is one of the hills to be climbed in the ‘Three Peaks Race’ along with Whernside and Pen-y-Ghent. Ingleborough’s limestone mass is riddled with great caves and extensive potholes and is topped with the remains of an Iron Age fortification, possibly a Brigantian stronghold. The tiny church at Chapel-le-Dale, St Leonards, is particularly lovely. The Lakeland poet, Robert Southey, wrote in 1847 that “A hermit who might wish his grave to be as quiet as his cell, could imagine no fitter resting place”. Ironically in the 1870s, nearly 100 navvies perished from accidents, illness and disease in the building of the Ribblehead viaduct and Blea Moor tunnel on the Settle-Carlisle railway line and were buried in an extended graveyard at Chapel-de-Dale. A marble plaque in the church commemorates the deaths and a booklet tells of tales of tragic deaths.