High above the village of Grassington lies Grassington Moor, a vast plateau of moorland which was the location for a large and well preserved lead mining industry. The walk carries on to the open moors with good views.
The industrial past of the Dales has left a major legacy on the landscape. Nowhere (outside Swaledale) is this more obvious than Grassington Moor. I was aware there was a the chimney, flue and reservoir but completely unaware of the large spoil heaps, debris and pot holes. Fortunately a short, signposted tour helps. There is a lot more to see than I anticipated and therefore spent longer than intended pottering around. However higher moorlands beckoned.
Having walked to Mossdale over the higher moors I arrived at the limestone cliff face of Mossdale Scar. Here the stream disappears underground (a regular feature of this part of the Dales). More notably it is the entrance to some of the best caving in the country. Sadly it is also the site of a disaster in 1967 when 6 cavers became trapped by rising water and died.The return from Mossdale Scar is more typically Dales, a fine tramp over the moors with great views south to Simon’s Seat and Embsay Moor. End the walk on a farmers track.
Beyond Mossdale is the most Remote Spot in England, high up on the moors.
There is a small well signposted tour around the mine remains with excellent information on the lead mining of the area and its workings. 1820 to 1870 marked the height of production and very busy it was too. Take the detour!
The old lead mines offer some good tracks across the first part of the walk. However much of the latter part of the walk is on less distinct paths. Keep heading south, look for stiles and gates and you will not go far wrong.
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