Yorkshire Dales Walks
Clapdale & Ingleborough Cave
Date: 25th October 2015
Distance: 3.5 miles
Ascent: 600 feet
Time: 2 hours 30 mins
With: Lisa and Rhiannon
Start Grid Ref: SD746692
A beautiful there and back walk along Clapdale Drive and through Clapdale Woods to visit the wonders of Ingleborough Cave.
Route Summary: No directions necessary, simply follow the Ingleborough Estate Nature Trail along Clapdale Drive to the cave.
Photos: Click on the photos below to enlarge.
Walk Detail: I think it is fair to day that I don't have much luck convincing my daughter to go out for a walk with me. Just mentioning the word 'walk' is often enough to put her off. On this occasion though I came up with a cunning plan. This time I told her we weren't going for a walk, we were going on an adventure into Ingleborough Cave. I didn't mention it would be a round trip of just over three miles.
So it was that for the first time since August I was able to enjoy a walk with both my wife and daughter. It was also, somewhat surprisingly, the first time I had been to Clapham since 2007. It really is a lovely little village with the beck flowing right through the centre and with its waterfall just beyond the church.
Just past the viewing platform for the waterfall we came to the entrance to the Ingleboroughh Estate where a coin machine charges just 65p for the pleasure of walking along Clapdale Drive to the cave. It is definitely worth the money, not only to avoid the longer route on rights of way but also because the walk along Clapdale, passing the lake, is an absolute delight. On this occasion it was all the more beautiful thanks to the stunning array of autumn colours.
We also picked up a leaflet for an 'Ingleborough Estate Trail' and keeping her eye out for each numbered post on the trail kept Rhiannon interested. She was also fascinated by the 'money tree' we passed that had hundreds of coins pressed into the bark, many of which must be decades old.
Eventually we arrived at the entrance to Ingleborough Cave and, having paid our admission fee, we joined a tour led by a guide called John. The tour takes visitors about 500m into the cave. Apart from one extended passageway where it was necessary to walk at a crouch it was easy enough and would even be suitable for pushchairs.
John was an informative and entertaining guide pointing out numerous rock features such as the 'Elephant', 'Sword of Damocles', the 'Witches Fingers', the 'Skittles', and 'Queen Victoria's Bloomers'. Just as impressive as the natural rock formations were the two fossils he showed us one of which was over 100 million years old. The tour lasted about 45 minutes and afterwards Rhiannon went into the small shop to buy a piece of calcite, one of the minerals, they had on sale.
I'd originally planned a more circular walk by crossing over Clapham Beck and returning to Clapham via Long Lane. However, as we'd all enjoyed the walk
up Clapdale Drive so much we decided to return that way. A superb day out was topped off by having lunch at the Clapham Bunk.