Settle Loop

  • Great limestone scenery throughout
  • Long distant views of Pen y Ghent & Ingleborough
  • Settle is the best market town

The Settle Loop is not planned for walkers; it is a public bridleway designed and promoted specifically for cyclists and horse riders. I did dither as to whether it should be included but a lovely, quiet walk early on a summer Sunday morning convinced me it was suitable for walkers. Not only was it suitable, the walk is the best way to explore the limestone upland scenery which lies between Settle and Malham. Although there are long stretches of bridleway in which not a lot happens, the views are always interesting; the classic Dales farm at Stockdale, the appearance of Malham Tarn and the long reaching views of Pen y Ghent and Ingleborough were my particular highlights.

There are some options throughout the walk to leave the bridleway and I have included them in the walk (softer on the feet) and a must is the detour towards the end of the walk which I took through the corridor of Attermire Scar and back under the caves above Settle. Victoria Cave is worth a visit but the whole area has been one of  my favourites for the last 10 years, myself and Bracken often taking in the mini circuit from Settle or Langcliffe. I only encountered 3 cyclists and no horses on my latest walk round here although I did meet some type of marshall who was expecting rather more and was becoming somewhat perturbed at their non-appearance. Sadly my day deteriorated as I watched England get destroyed by the Germans in the World Cup. I should have gone round again!

Recommend: Make sure there are no cycling races/rallies when you choose to do the walk.

Download GPX file

Settle Loop map


All maps are copyright of Where2Walk © 2020

OS Map: O/S 1.25,000. OL2 Yorkshire Dales South & West Buy Map
Start Point: SD 812638. There is a large car park in the centre or roadside parking 5 minutes out. Head out on the Kirkby Malham road, the route is best done anti-clockwise.
Height to Climb: 463 ms (1,519 feet)
Terrain: My suggested detours from the bridleways are on marked paths. The one parallel to Stockdale Lane is somewhat intermittent.
Eating & Drinking: A pint of Thwaites at the Golden Lion or tea at the Naked Man is the best that Settle offers.
Similar Walks Nearby: Pen Y Ghent from Horton
Historic Villages near Settle
Heart of 3 Peaks Country
Places to Stay:


Woodlands Country HouseEldon Country House, Long Preston