Where is this walk?

Settle and the River Ribble

July 4, 2019

There are a number of lovely villages near Settle and the River Ribble. There are also two excellent waterfalls, dramatic limestone scenery and isolated farms on the higher sections of the walk.

The Walk

There is so much to see around Settle and the River Ribble it is difficult to include all in a single walk. However this one goes close. It takes in two lovely villages (Langcliffe and Stainforth), two waterfalls (Stainforth and Catrigg Force), the remains of the 19th century cotton industry, all amongst stunning limestone scenery. I prefer starting at Settle and heading initially along the valley floor. Pass through quaint Langcliffe with its large village green and lovely church before carrying on to Stainforth. There are some well preserved lime kilns and the Settle to Carlisle railway is a constant companion. You may ever see a steam train. Stainforth owes much of its history to nearby Sawley Abbey and still retains its character today.

From Stainforth there is a steep climb to Catrigg Force, which is well worth the short detour. As you climb the views north over Pen y Ghent and Fountain’s Fell offer ample excuses to stop and stare. I particularly love the high level section past Victoria Cave and Attermire Scar. The final descent may be a bit of a relief but it is also a highlight. The views over Settle to the Forest of Bowland and beyond are wonderful.


The short climb to Victoria Cave is popular and worthy if only to daydream on its incredible past. Discovered in 1837 remains have been found of hippos, elephants and hyenas from before the last great ice age (130,000 years ago) whereas brown bears and reindeer remains have been found from more recent times.

Navigation Tips on the Settle walk

On arriving at the road beyond Winskill Farm, turn right over the cattle grid. From here leave the road and take the green path uphill. This is not very well marked on the map but follow it over a stile to the track near Victoria Cave.

  • Richard Jackson says:

    Hi Jonathan. looking for advise regarding difficulty in climbing over the many different distances between the stone steps on stiles, with two replacment knees and a hip replacement, flexibility has become a problem, tried the internet but not come up with anything yet, (only industrial types) thought a two step alumimium kitchen step might suffice but probably not too suitable or stable. Have you any ideas as a lot of people on walks do seem to strugle ?

    Kind Regards

    • Jonathan says:

      Hi Richard. The best way is to look for walks that use bridlepaths not footpaths . These are shown by the longer green dashes on the Ordnance Survey maps and any bridlepath have gates, no stiles. There is no pattern to the type of stiles on a walk, they change although generally the larger ladder stiles are being phased out. Te stone ones do dominate this walk along the river section and may be challenging to get over. By advice is look for bridlepaths!.

  • Karen says:

    We would love to walk this, would we need a compass or is it easy walking with just a map? Though we do lots of walking we are not very confident using a compass and tend to walk with guide books as well as maps.
    Many thanks, excellent walks that you put on here.

  • Muriel says:

    Thank you for your grand site. It’s lovely to look at the great walks and the text is wonderfully informative.
    I want to walk the Historic villages near Settle ((7 miles)
    I wondered how ardious the hill clime is, last week I walked around the lead mines of Gunnerside (8 miles) I can average about 7/8 miles easily and wondered what comparison I could use if I undertook the hillclime with this pretty walk.
    I also wanted to download a map

    • Jonathan says:

      Hi Muriel, the Settle walk, aside from one steep section is not arduous and no more effort than the Gunnerside Gill walk. Enjoy it

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