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Yorkshire Dales Walks

Scaleber Force & Hunter Bark

Date: 26th September 2015
Distance: 8.7 miles
Ascent: 1090 feet
Time: 3 hours 55 mins
With: Tim
Start Grid Ref: SD833581

Walk Summary:
A nice easy walk, mostly on good tracks, from Long Preston to Scaleber Force returning via the trig point on Hunter Bark.

Route Summary: Long Preston - Newhouse Lane - Long Preston Beck - Langber Lane - Scaleber Force - High Hill Lane - Lambert Lane - Mitchell Lane - Hunter Bark - Edge Lane - Green Gate Lane - Long Preston.

Photos: Click on the photos below to enlarge.

St Mary's Church, Long Preston
Long Preston Beck from Holme Bridge
The cows we passed as we left the path alongside Long Preston Beck
Looking down at Bookil Gill Beck
A memorial plaque on a gate on Langber Lane
Heading along Langber Lane with Warrendale Knotts in the distance
My first view of Scaleber Force
Scaleber Force
Another shot of Scaleber Force
Tim below Scaleber Force
Lambert Lane
The Pennine Bridleway sign at the junction of Lambert Lane and Mitchell Lane
The transition from pasture to moorland on Hunter Bark
Looking back along Mitchell Lane towards Langcliffe Scar
Scaleber Wood which contains the waterfall
The trig point on Hunter Bark looking towards the Three Peaks
Looking across the Ribble valley towards the Bowland fells
Ingleborough from Hunter Bark
Pen-y-ghent above Warrendale Knotts
The sun lighting up the distant trig point on Moughton
An old Settle / Long Preston sign on Edge Lane
Edge Lane
Some Devil's Bit Scabious I spotted growing alongside Edge Lane
A particularly looping section of the River Ribble
Green Gate Lane leading back into Long Preston

Walk Detail: Ever since bagging the trig point on Witton Fell back in February I've only had two trig points in the Yorkshire Dales National Park left to visit, Hunter Bark and Calton. This straightforward walk from Long Preston gave me the opportunity to bag the trig point on Hunter Bark whilst also taking in Scaleber Force, one of the finest waterfalls in the Yorkshire Dales. Handily placed midway between us Long Preston was also a convenient place for me to meet up with Tim from Bowland Walks for a welcome first walk together for a couple of months.

Parking in Long Preston is quite limited but fortunately we managed to find a couple of spaces alongside the large green just behind the Rohan shop. Setting off east along the main street we turned up Church Street and, after passing St Mary's Church, left the village on the enclosed New House Lane. Soon enough we reached Holme Bridge to commence a pleasant three quarters of a mile following Long Preston Beck upstream.

After nervously navigating our way through a field of cows we then took a grassy path climbing gradually north-east through a series of pastures before swinging down to Bookil Gill Beck. After fording the stream we joined Langber Lane for a very easy section of just under two miles to reach High Hill Lane and Scaleber Bridge.

From the bridge we took the signposted diversion to view Scaleber Force, our first view of which was down through the trees from the path high above. After dropping down to the stream I then clambered over a couple of ledges to get a better view of what has to be one of the most attractive and atmospheric waterfalls in the Yorkshire Dales.

After taking numerous photos we eventually left Scaleber Force behind, retracing our steps back up the steep path to the road. Walking a short way along High Hill Lane we then turned off on Lambert Lane, passing the ruins of Preston's Barn, to reach the end of the metalled road on Mitchell Lane. Turning left we followed the track for another easy mile of walking to reach Hunter Bark.

The modest moorland height of Hunter Bark consists of two bumps, one covered in heather and the other in grass and reeds. The latter is the one featuring the trig point. To reach the trig point we first passed through the gate where a footpath is signed for Mearbeck. Then, instead of following this path, we immediately left it to climb up simple grassy slopes to the trig point.

Despite a height of only 315m the panorama from the top of Hunter Bark was extensive and included all of the Three Peaks with Ingleborough particularly well seen above the limestone heights of Giggleswick Scar, Smearsett Scar and Moughton. Across the Ribble valley to the south-west there was also a good view of the Bowland Fells while further round to the left Pendle Hill looked quite majestic.

After stopping by the trig point to enjoy some of my wife's delicious homemade flapjack we retraced our steps back to the track. Continuing south this turned once again into a metalled road, this time called Edge Lane. Further along this turned into Green Gate Lane for the final drop down back into Long Preston.

This was a supremely easy walk on good tracks and minor roads for the most part. While there are spaces to park a car just down the road from Scaleber Force it was much more satisfying to visit it as part of a proper walk. The top of Hunter Bark was also well worth the detour, not just so that I could bag the trig point, but also because it is a very good viewpoint in its own right.

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