Norber Erratics above Austwick

One man and his dog don’t go up Ingleborough

Over the last couple of years, I have been heading off in the campervan when I can, for a weekend of walking with the hound. Anita fully endorses these trips, she gets a break from hyper hound and husband, to then have a relaxed weekend (usually focused on her mid-century vintage business on Etsy).

For one such recent jaunt away, I had planned to walk from the campsite I’d booked into at Dalesbridge, along to Clapham and then up to Ingleborough for around a 10-mile circular. I have visited the summit of Ingleborough three times now on Yorkshire 3 Peaks Challenge Days but those stops had been relatively short, so this time around I thought I could spend a bit longer mooching around the iron age fort remnants (albeit not a lot to see).

But that’s not what I ended up doing as the Saturday walk.  A walk from the campsite on the Friday afternoon through Austwick and up to the Norber Erratics ‘did for’ my already sore Achilles. I had some physio and ultrasound treatment about four years ago that really helped with tendinosis. And other than the occasional grumble all has been fine since then.

But a couple of off-piste walks on Marsden Moor (fossil bothering in my backyard) at the end of last year and then the recent trip to Ennerdale had caused the issue to flare up. So I should have known better than to walk up to and around the erratics before a big planned walk the next day to Ingleborough summit.

My Saturday plans were revised during a quiet but enjoyable eveing in the campsite bar (only a few folks were staying over at this time of year, mostly in campervans). Revised not because I drank too much, but because my ankle hurt all evening and I had to hobble back to the van at the end of the night .. a ten-mile circular hike up Ingleborough was definitely off the table it seemed.

I plumped  instead for what I thought would be a genteel, easy walk on the ‘Ingleton Falls Trail’ (around 4 miles circular walk). There was though a fair bit of elevation and step climbing to get those great waterfall views, and the ankle still ached.  But it was an enjoyable change of plan nonetheless.

Here are few photos from the weekend – firstly the Friday walk up to the Norber erratics and then Saturday’s waterfall trail.

Norber Erratics and the Dalesbridge campsite

The erratics are a lovely bit of geology in action. Erratics are up there with Ox Bow Lakes and Roche Moutonnees in my O level geography Top Ten. Actually I’m not sure I know ten Geology / Geography features as covered at O-level, answers on a postcard please.

Below Norber Erratics
Just below Norber Erratics, looking down to Austwick. I liked how the wall had been constructed with an outcrop of rock incorporated in to it.
Norber Erratics
On to the erratics field proper. There was just the occasional sheep to keep a wary eye on the (tethered) hound and I.
Norber Erratics
The erratics are variously balanced on outcrops of softer limestone and have been in situ since the last ice age when they were abandoned by retreating glaciers (c. 12,000 years ago).
Dalesbridge campsite Alphard
When I first arrived I pretty much had the large camping field to myself, and even when some other folks arrived late on Friday for the weekend, it was still very quiet. The grass pitches had some festival matting down which was a great idea to protect them over winter. The tree above the van housed an owl at night and a crow at dawn.. both attracting Jasper’s attention and making him an annoying bed fellow in the van (standing on my chest to hear then better!) I think that is Ingleborough and Little Ingleborough in the distance.

Austwick itself is a short walk from Dalesbridge camping and is a lovely village.
I hadn’t realised until I was there and spotted the cuckoo enblem on the local shool sign that Austwick,like Marsden, is a ‘cuckoo village’ with a similar legend and also with a cuckoo festival. I should have brought a gift perhaps.

I stopped in the village on the way back from the Erratics for a coffee (not beer, very out of character) at the Game Cock Inn and cafe. And ran into old colleague Lucy who I haven’t seen for around 17 years. Lucy and her brother had been on a hike up to and back from Ingleborough. We had a great catch up but alas they were driving, otherwise that coffee would have turned into a late afternoon of pub chats.

Ingleton Falls Trail

As mentioned the original plan was to walk up Ingleborough on the Saturday, but a still sore ankle and it being a drizzly claggy low visibility day on the tops, persuaded me to do a lower level mooch with the sleep depriver / small hours owl listener.

I headed in to Ingleton just in case I might change my mind in the ten minute drive and use that as a shorter start point than Clapham for a walk up to Ingleborough summit.

But I stuck with the ‘rest that ankle’ plan and having spotted the ‘Ingleton Waterfalls Trail‘ decided to to do that instead. The trail is just over a four mile circular, up one valley on to the moor and then down another, hugging the rivers Twists and Doe and their dramatic waterfalls.

It’s great walk as well as instagram-friendly and selfie-inducing. Although (as a I realised half way round) it’s still not an easy haul if you’re nursing a tender Achilles. If you wanted to contemplate the waterfalls and woodland in quiet contemplation it is probably better to go early in the day. Although it was only mid morning when I started out, I still had to wait patiently in a couple of places whilst groups ahead stopped to get the best shot of a waterfall over their shoulders. I didn’t mind waiting though (less so the impatient the collie at my feet haha), as it gave my ankle a rest. Everyone was in good spirits despite the drizzle and some clag, that’s waterfalls for you.

Ingleton Waterfalls Trail
Selfie at Beezley Falls (okay, I helped him).
Ingleton Waterfalls Trail
Selfie at (I think) Pecca Falls.
Thornton Falls Ingleton Waterfall Trail
Thornton Force – Some folks were walking behind the falls as we stopped to take in the 14-metre drop for a few minutes.
Sheep Ingleton
These ladies were keeping an eye on Jasper (and vice versa). At the top of the Waterfall trail you come out onto moorland and farmland before descending back onto private land and the trail’s down section.
About ten minutes from this field where we stopped is a small but well-stocked takeaway cafe (part of the business that runs the trail).
Ingleton Falls with sheep
I thought this vista on our way back down the trail looked quite painterly.. a contemplative sheep above one of the falls.

The end of the trail drops you into the middle of Ingleton rather than back at the car park. Which is great as you can have a bit of a mooch around the village (or a big of a mooch, as we did, with no plans for the rest of the afternoon).

I really enjoy these weekend walks van trips with the hound, almost as much as Anita does getting rid of us both for a couple of days.  Hopefully the next one can involve some elevation, if I rest the ankle. * stop press: I haven’t rested it that well, 4 miles off piste on Marsden Moor today doesn’t really help it *

Leave a comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.