29 September 2020

Settle Loop - Winskill Stones and Catrigg Force


Catrigg Force is a well-hidden spectacular waterfall in the Yorkshire Dales. There are two routes to reach it – a walk from nearby village Stainforth, or you can walk from Settle although it’s a little bit further and neither route is very well signposted until you’re already upon the waterfall.

We walked the path from Settle which takes you through the little picturesque village of Langcliffe and past Winskill Stones – a 74-acre nature reserve known for its limestone pavement. The path up from Langcliffe is quite steep and it was so windy at this point but the views make up for it once you reach the top.


Because of its secluded setting, there was nobody else at Catrigg Force when we arrived, so I was able to climb out over the rocks to get a better view. Set in a secluded little woodland, Catrigg was one of my favourites from the trip.


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25 September 2020

Walking the Settle Loop - Scaleber Force and Victoria Caves


We started our little trip in Settle and decided to walk the Settle loop which is a walk you can find the map for online, that takes you past two waterfalls and a number of caves near Settle. The entire walk is about 9 miles.

After climbing over a stile, we headed through Scaleber Wood where the trees were just beginning to turn. You don’t have to walk far before you can hear the noise from the waterfall, and you can see it if you peer over the edge. Not being great with heights, I was pleased that you could walk to down some steps to the foot of the waterfall where you are greeted with a much better, spectacular view. 

With Scalebar only being a short walk from the roadside where you could park, there were a few people already there (including the usual massive-camera people), but we still had chance to admire the 40ft waterfall.


Leaving Scaleber we headed back along the road and turned right onto the footpath. Taking the next left, the path takes you through a field of cows before the first caves come into view. We stopped for a picnic on some of the rocks overlooking the caves.


Inside the several caves along the walk, prehistoric remains have been found. The earliest fossils are 130,000 years old and include mammoths, straight-tusked elephants, cave bears and hyenas. The one that we climbed up to was called Victoria Cave, which was named as such because the inner chamber of the cave was discovered on the day of Queen Victoria’s accession to the throne in 1837. Venturing inside, you can see water trickling down the walls. 


Jubilee cave is tiny in comparison – so small that we nearly missed it! From here you can turn left to walk to Catrigg Force and complete the loop, or head back into the town. We walked back to Settle, and from the path back down you have a view of pretty much the entire town, including the trains going past from the station.


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22 September 2020

Settle


Settle is a market town in North Yorkshire (historically West Yorkshire), and is somewhere I hadn’t visited before, only passed through by train on the famous Settle to Carlisle line. The River Ribble runs along the edge of the town and Settle is home to The Naked Man Café which is the oldest café in the country.

Market day in Settle is a Tuesday so we’d missed that, but there was the annual ‘Plant Pot Festival’ taking place whilst we were there. Most of the houses and businesses in the town had got involved in creating some brilliant plant pot sculptures and I’ve included a couple of my favourites below. 

There was even a plant pot climber climbing up Castleberg – a 300ft limestone crag which overlooks the town. You can actually walk up to the crag by following the Tot Lord Trail, although we didn’t have time on this visit, I’m sure the views are amazing.


Other places to look out for include Victoria Theatre, which was built in 1853, the 17th century Folly which now houses the Museum of North Craven Life, and the Quaker Meeting House which is one of the oldest in the country, dating back to 1678.


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8 September 2020

Afternoon Tea at Solberge Hall


I was given vouchers for afternoon tea at Solberge Hall as a Christmas present last year, but due to the current situation, we were only just able to use them. It was a lovely drive out to Solberge Hall, which you can find in Newby Wiske just outside of Northallerton.


We wore our masks in the entrance but obviously not at our table which was well spaced out away from other guests. We got a window seat and had a great view over the hills. We got to choose our tea and two sandwiches from an option of four – we chose a different two so we could have one of each. The food was lovely, we had a scone each and a selection of cakes. After tea, we had a quick wander round the grounds; the hall is used as a wedding venue and I bet it’s lovely to stay here. 


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