It was the ECR’s first coach trip since 2019 and the implementation of Covid restrictions and what a great day we had! Thirty Five members of East Cheshire ramblers set out from Macclesfield and Wilmslow by coach for a day in Settle. Despite drizzle and then a heavy shower the skies were clearing by the time we reached Settle just before 10am. The group divided in to three walking groups, short, medium and long and each leader has kindly written about their walk.
As the rain was due to clear the short walkers decided to take a coffee break before setting off on their walk at 11.00am. Our walk took us down a quiet country lane to Langcliffe, a pretty village which was razed to the ground by marauding Scots after the Battle of Bannockburn in 1314. This pretty village boasts several lovely stone cottages from the 17th and 18th century set around the village green.
From there we climbed to Catrigg Force, in Old Norse, where Stainforth Beck plunges 60ft in two leaps down the fellside above the village. It is reputed to be composer Elgar’s favourite spot. We had our lunch, accompanied by the sound of the waterfall, under the shade of the trees. On route we had spectacular views of key landmarks; Smearsett Scar289º, 314º – Ingleborough, 331º Whernside (highest of the three peaks), 10º Pen-y-Ghent and 49º Fountains Fell.
After lunch we walked down a stony path to the village of Stainforth. The name means “Stoney ford” and refers to the original Ribble crossing on the drovers’ road from Lancaster to York. Our walk took us under the busy main road and down to the river Ribble which we followed, in glorious sunshine, all the way back to Settle for a cup of tea and slice of cake!
The medium group set off up the Ribble as far as Stainforth, viewing the weir en route for Stainforth waterfall. We appreciated the buildings of Stainforth village, as well as the toilets, before rising to Catrigg force to picnic by the falls. We then stayed high with excellent views even as far as the Lake District. Two cave entrances were explored, the smaller Jubilee cave and the larger Victoria cave before skirting Sugar Loaf hill to descend into Higher Skipton. As we descended along what was once, in medieval times, the main road we could enjoy many of the historic buildings of Settle before reaching the marketplace, the new main road 1753, and the Naked man café.
On a day that threatened rain but turned out perfect for walking, 11 long walkers, including two ramblers from Whalley and Kathryn from Skipton enjoyed a delightful Ribblesdale circuit from Settle. The walk headed North West along the Ribble Way to Feizor, the group decided not to partake of the delightful cakes and coffee at Elaine’s café through fear of missing the bus!
The walk turned due east from Feizor along the Dales High Way and headed towards Stainforth where the group enjoyed a delightful lunch sitting by Stainforth Force Waterfall. From here the walk headed south east along the Pennine bridleway and a diversion was taken to look at Catrigg Force.
A gentle climb in a southerly direction took the high road with fabulous views along the Settle loop back to a well-earned cup of tea and cake at the Olde Naked Man café in Settle.
Thanks go to the leaders without whom we could not have had such a very pleasant day out and a special thanks to Ann Thompson for organising the day.