OUR latest railway walk offers splendid views across North Craven.
Following a 9.4-mile linear route from Clapham Station, it also takes in the industrial heritage of limestone quarrying before finishing in Giggleswick with its famous public school.
It is one of 12 self-guided "rail to trail" walks, which have been put together by the Leeds-Morecambe Community Rail Partnership (CRP) and the Lancaster and Skipton Rail User Group (LASRUG).
Other walks can be downloaded from communityraillancashire/co.uk/walks/self-guided-walks.
Step by step
Leave station through car park. Cross road towards post box. Follow pavement and road around to left, signed Clapham.
Just before reaching main road (A65), cross road and go through gate on right, signed Underpass to Clapham Village. Do not attempt to cross the A65. (The Way of the Roses Cycle Route passes through this underpass). Exit underpass by gate, turn right, and right again over footbridge, and turn left up track. Clapham Beck is on the left. Cross road leading to beck bridge (L) pass New Inn and Cave Rescue Organisation (R).
Turn right at National Park Car Park and Toilets sign and footpath sign Austwick. Keep to right hand side of car park and leave at bottom right corner, signed Austwick, through a bridle gate into farm yard. Keep straight ahead down farm track. At right-hand bend, keep straight on and pass through kissing gate. Pass through several more kissing gates and stiles as you cross hillside more or less on the contour, towards Austwick. Path widens. Keep close to wall (R). On entering large field veer slightly left and head for stile across field in line with a clump of trees behind it.
At this clump of trees the track descends towards Austwick and passes close by a seat in the middle of the field. At main road turn left along pavement. Pass bus shelter (L) and Church of the Epiphany (R). Follow road around to right, signed Settle. Pass The Weaving Shed (L) on the corner and Pant Lane (R). Leaving the village cross Austwick Beck bridge and immediately turn left up an enclosed track (Wood Lane), signed Woodhouse Farm. Follow this track around to left and take the first right turn (where four paths meet) signed Feizor, and pass Wood House (L). This enclosed lane goes all the way to Feizor. Cross clapper bridge and pass derelict buildings and track to right by veering left (Hale Lane). At end of track, at farm, turn left along tarmac road signed Little Stainforth. Just before ford and several water troughs turn right up hill, signed Stackhouse. (However, if you fancy refreshments, cross the ford to the tearooms, first building on left.)
Go through gate and follow track uphill close to wall (L). At end of wall, at lone tree, continue ahead on middle (widest) track. Pass water-trough (L). At signpost take right track signed Buck Haw Brow and go through field gate and across several fields (keeping a straight line). Go through bridle gate at top of hill. Stop to enjoy the surrounding views before descending. Pass through a bridle gate that leads into a gill (R), veer left and continue on the level for a short distance. (Do not turn right down the bridleway by the wall and down the gill to Buck Haw Brow and Scar Top Garage on the main road into Settle.)
Pass through a narrow limestone pavement, taking extra care, especially if it is wet. Arrive at Giggleswick Scar and cave (L) where path branches into high road and low road, take either path to gated step-stile in wall.
Descend into dry gill which drops steeply (R), and climb out up steep path directly ahead. (Ignore path that climbs gently to right). Pass two more caves (L). At cairn (R) go straight ahead and keep to left at footpath sign, which is on right. See another cairn and Schoolboys Tower cairn (far right). Pass another cairn (R) at top edge of disused quarry, and go down path around the quarry, always keeping the quarry to the right, and always keeping to
the path nearest to the quarry fence with the warning signs. This fence eventually becomes a wall. (Do not go down any path to the left that goes down towards a track and a wood).
Follow the path around close to the side of the quarry wall (R) and descend steeply towards the quarry entrance (ahead in the trees). Just before reaching the trees go sharp right through a large metal-railed gate and make a short steep descent over limestone rocks with wooden handrail (R). Take extra care, especially if it is wet. Follow path around to left and descend a flight of stone steps. Follow path around to right and continue to end of path by quarry entrance gate (R). Cross main road and go down road that turns sharp left, signed Giggleswick School. Keep on this road, passing through the school complex. Turn left at T-junction, and then first right down Raines Road on right hand pavement, signed Rathmell.
Pass Castleberg Hospital (R). At cross-roads with mini-roundabout, turn right up Brackenber Lane, signed Giggleswick Station. At pub (R), turn right on
pavement to face oncoming traffic, and cross A65 at end of pavement to go up through station car park for trains.
Start: Clapham Station.
Finish: Giggleswick Station.
Duration: Four hours 40 minutes.
Distance: 9.4 miles (15 kilometres).
Total Ascent: 293 metres.
Walk Grade: Strenuous.
Refreshments: Clapham, Austwick, Feizor and Giggleswick.
OS map: Explorer OL2.