THIS is a gem of a walk through some of the best limestone scenery in England.

Circle Crummackdale through erratics, scars and limestone pavements before returning via an excellent Green Lane.

Park in the attractive village of Austwick before heading past the Game Cock to a road on your left heading up hill to Town Head. Take it.

On leaving the buildings ignore the first footpath sign on your left and on arrival at a lane on your left take that. A few metres further a stile crosses in to an open field.

Initially follow the farm track uphill towards the rocky slopes above but do not follow it through a gate but carry straight on to a stile tucked under a small rock face on your right. From here you enter access land which means you have the right to roam away from any path. This is useful as the path is intermittent. Head north along the path to an obvious ladder stile over a wall.

The next mile takes you through a series of boulders and exposed limestone rock. Interestingly the boulders (known as erratics - ‘rock that should not be there’) are of Silurian Slate and have been transported here by the retreating glaciers 18,000 years ago. They sit atop the softer limestone and make a spectacular feature as you cross the Norber plateau.

There is a grassy path to the east of the plateau which is the easiest way of passing through the rock with two metal sheep feeds.

Alternatively follow the wide crest to the right, as long as you aim roughly north you cannot do wrong.

After one mile the land starts to drop through some low rocky outcrops, follow this direction till meeting a wide farm track heading right and down hill. Pass through the gate near the farm of Crummack and head north along an intermittent path. Ahead is a ring of rock, part of the spectacular Moughton Scars. Three quarters of a mile across the field is a ladder stile under the scar, Climb over and emerge on to a wide plateau of exposed rock. This is part of the most spectacular limestone pavement area in England, part of the Ingleborough Nature Reserve, The views over the pavements to Penyghent are superb.

On emerging on the scar turn right and a path appears in places close to the edge. Pick your way along the edge for just over half a mile till the land falls and meets an obvious path, a Green Lane. Turn right and head downhill.

The lane meanders along the valley floor, heading south, for over a mile till it meets a second track near a river ford. Turn left on this wider farm track and soon enter the village of Wharfe. A pretty stone hamlet based around a farm has grown up here.

Turn right on entering the village, pass the farm and in to a lane surrounded by fields. Follow this lane for half a mile across a bridge over a stream until it meets a quiet road. This road leads back to Austwick.

Fact File:

Distance: Roughly eight miles

Height Climbed: 340m (1,115 feet)

Start: SE 767684. There is parking roadside in the village but be considerate.

Difficulty: Medium/Hard. Limestone rock can be slippy in the wet, particularly over Maughton Scars. In the dry it is all very straightforward.

Refreshments: The Game Cock is a fine pub in Austwick, perfect for an after walk pint (or coffee).

Be Prepared: The route description and sketch map only provide a guide to the walk. You must take out and be able to read a map (O/S Explorer 2) and in cloudy/misty conditions a compass (essential on this walk).

You must also wear the correct clothing and footwear for the outdoors. Whilst every effort is made to provide accurate information, walkers head out at their own risk.