Yorkshire Dales Walks
Date: 20th July 2013
Distance: 8.5 miles
Ascent: 1383 ft
Time: 2 hours 10 mins
With: Tim & Jack
Start Grid Ref: SD768683
A super horseshoe walk above Crummackdale enjoying some fantastic limestone scenery and visiting the tops of Moughton and Norber.
Route Summary: Austwick - Wood Lane - Wharfe - White Stone Lane - Studrigg Scar - Moughton - Moughton Scars - Thieves Moss - Long Scar - Norber - Norber Erratics - Robin Proctor Scar - Austwick
Photos: Click on the photos below to enlarge.
Walk Detail: During the course of one of my first walks with Tim and Jack of Bowland Walks it became apparent that Jack had an interest in geology so I recommended we get together for this walk, not only so that Jack could visit the Norber Erratics, but also introduce them both to one of my favourite areas of the Dales.
Together the limestone hills of Moughton and Norber form the flanks of the valley of Crummackdale so this route, starting from Austwick, can aptly be described as the Crummackdale Horseshoe. Whilst the early stages of the walk, along quite lanes and paths to the small hamlet of Wharfe are pleasant enough the real interest begins when you leave the rough lane called White Stone Lane and follow a path up to Studrigg Scar. Studrigg Scar looks like a former waterfall and the path alongside it provides the only real steep section of the entire walk.
From the top of Studrigg Scar we had superb views across Crummackdale towards Norber and beyond to Ingleborough. After heading north to a prominent cairn we then left the path above the valley to head for the trig point marking the summit of Moughton. Despite a fairly modest height of 427m the view from Moughton is superb especially across the limestone pavement towards Pen-y-Ghent.
From the summit we walked across the limestone and through the delightful forest of miniature juniper to arrive at Moughton Scars. The following section along the limestone edge above the head of the valley to Thieves Moss is my favourite section of the route and provides, not only great views of the Crummackdale scene, but also some fantastic limestone scenery at close hand.
At Thieves Moss we joined a wide path heading south towards Long Crag. At the point where there are options for dropping down into Crummackdale or west into Claphamdale we continued along the broad crest of Norber, once more across some excellent examples of limestone pavement. From the top of Norber we finally descended to reach the boulder field containing the celebrated Norber Erratics. These gritstone boulders rudely deposited on to the limestone by a glacier during the Ice Age are a must see for anyone seriously wanting to explore the Dales.
The walk concluded with a short drop alongside Robin Proctor Scar and a nice amble back into Austwick where we treated ourselves to some refreshment at the Game Cock Inn.