Conveniently living on the join between two National Parks,
it’s as easy for me to venture over to the Dales as to the Lakes.
A forecast for cloud on high fells encouraged a trip to the lower rolling hills of Ribblesdale.
South from Settle and up,
the only real pull of the day towards Victoria Cave.
Warrendale Knotts and Attermire Scar
But first a coffee stop on Sugar Loaf Hill looking south over the almost iridescent green.
View from Sugar Loaf Hill
While we ate akestrel hovered. Completely still. Held by an invisible thread. Dropping like a stone when it breaks. Taking its prey away, then repositioning in the sky. Better entertainment than National Geographic.
Victoria Cave lacked the excitement of Son Doong, but I only went as far as the entrance. We managed to miss Jubilee Cave altogether, whether that was due to its size or our chatter is a debatable point.
The slight detour we took was definitely due to intense, concentrated debate and the desire to add a few extra hundred metres to our planned route. Unfortunately the GPS records detours as well as plans.
Then that lovely ‘missle’ of a clammy summer which, if wearing waterproofs, renders you as wet on the inside as the out.
After the rain came the mist. Soft white clouds wrapping round and reducing vision to a twenty metre periphery.
Woods, walls and distinctive rocks and a quick glance at the compass keepings us going in the right direction until we lost height and left the white stuff behind.
Summer may have been miserable this year but it has kept the grass bright and the limestone walls stretched across the moors in distinctive lines and swelled the rivers to almost winter capacity.
Catrigg Force roared. Its narrow course squeezing the water to agitated frenzy of white and brown before it eventually tumbled over the falls and a more languid course through Stainforth and into the Ribble
Stainforth stepping stones
With the mist still sitting overhead we crossed the river and followed the valley.
Peat streaked froth of Stainforth Force the only angry interruption to a laconic stroll back to Settle,
Settle – River Ribble
With its classic mill houses and flower pots.
Map of route. Just over 10 miles.