A lovely walk with changing landscapes and panoramas. From the quiet and scenic Crummack Dale, via limestone escarpments and limestone pavement, you will join the three peaks path to the summit of Ingleborough where you will be rewarded with excellent views on a clear day. The return leg is via the pothole of Gaping Gill and the gorge at Trow Gill before crossing back into Crummack Dale.
Calculated time is computed with the distance, the height difference, and an average speed of 2.2 mph. For an intermediate walker, this time includes small breaks.
The walk starts near to the tiny hamlet of Wharfe. There is very limited parking in this area and none in the hamlet of Wharfe itself as the roads are all private; on no account try to park on the the private roads or in Wharfe.
Instead, there is limited parking on the roadside verge in the vicinity of the turn in to Wood End farm. There is also a space further along the road in an easterly direction, just before the second barn on the left.
An alternative is to park just before (19) . From Austwick village and driving in a NE direction; turn left after the school onto Town Head Lane and follow this over a junction with a lesser track (Thwaite Lane) and onto Crummack Lane. Park on the left before the junction at (19). tuck in next to the wall. Do not go beyond (19) as this is a private road leading to the farm.
An even better alternative is to camp at Wood End Farm or Silloth House campsites, you know your car will be safe and not being an obstruction when you do the walk.
This walk is described from the verge side parking just east of the Wood End Farm turning.
(D/A) Walk in an easterly direction to the first barn on the left and one of the private roads into Wharfe. (White Stone Lane). Turn left and follow the private road up to the hamlet. The road bears to the left at a T junction
(1) Bear left and the road leads past The Manor to a working farm. You are not going this way but The Manor itself is a lovely old building and is worth the short detour. Then turn back on yourself and take the first turning on the left in front of a house called Garth Cottage. Walk up and onto a 'green lane'. Turn left along the 'green lane' and walk, always keeping an eye out on the right for a stone stile. (and at the time of writing the skull of a sheep)
(2) Go over the stone stile and then diagonally up and over the field to a gap in the wall. Turn left and walk with the wall on your left to a wooden stile. Cross the stile and enter a second field with more obvious tracks and White Stone Wood on the right. Descend diagonally to pick up a better quad bike track running up to the small col between the hillock (left) and fell-side (right); go up through the col and down to a gate and stone stile in the corner of the field on the far side of a small stream.
(3) Cross the stone stile and then cross the field, (possible livestock) to an obvious gap. Go through into the next field and across it diagonally to the bottom left hand corner where there is an obvious gate. However, look left and take the gated stile onto the 'green lane'
(It is possible to get from (2) to (4) by walking along the 'green lane' and it is worth doing this if you want to avoid the stiles or livestock. However please look at the OS map. The 'green lane' splits just before Austwick Beck and the stone footbridge, you want to take the right hand split. If you get to the beck turn back and look for the split on your left.
(4) Turn right and continue along the 'green lane' to where it bends R; just beyond here lookout for a cave where the stream emerges at Austwick Beck Head. Continue along the lane where the right hand wall is more ruined and where it may be wet. If so it is possible to avoid the wet places by crossing the wall and walking on the right. Ascend gently up to and through a gate (small springs on the right) and then up a little more steeply and through more rocky terrain to the top of the scar.
(5) Turn sharp left and walk to the obvious cairn. Follow the edge of Moughton Scars with a limestone pavement on the right. Some large cairns will lead you over the limestone pavement but it is better to stick as close the edge as possible (very steep drop) as the walking is easier and the views are better. You will come to the cairn at Beggar's Stile where the path drops into a slight depression and arrives at a wooden stile on the left where another path comes up from Crummack Dale.
(6) Do not go over the stile. Instead bear right and follow the path through the rocky landscape up to Thieves Moss. There is a wire fence on sky line, make a final short ascent to a wall and gate at Sulber Gate.
(7) Go through the gate and turn immediately right and through a second gate (or over a stile). Follow the track to a cross roads marked with a wooden signpost. This is the junction with the Three Peaks walk and there is an honesty box. (It costs £28 per meter to maintain the footpaths and mitigate the erosion caused by walkers.)
(8) Turn left and follow the heavily used track. You will find that this is paved in some places and that it can be wet underfoot in others. Sometimes you will be using stones worn smooth by the passage of boots so take care on these when they are wet.
Walk up to a gate and go through, into a shallow rocky gully bounded on the right by a wall. On the far side of the wall are Sulber Pot and Nick Pot. The shallow gully has a few steps on polished rock so take care. After the gully walk with the wall and a stream on your right, at a junction with a path on left, bear right, cross the stream and follow the track past a ruined shooting hut. Then continue with the wall on the right; the path ascends more steeply and starts to veer away from the wall. Follow it up to a gate in a wall, go through and follow the path as it contours the fell-side, ascending more gently. Pass some grit stone boulders and continue to a junction with a path from the right, then walk the final steep section to a cairn, and over the easier angled summit slopes to the top and cross shelter. Great views in all directions on a clear day.
(9) Head back over the summit slopes, aiming for Pen-y-ghent in the distance, an obvious cairn will soon come into view. At the cairn turn right and follow the path which descends across the fell side; do not try to stick to the top of the escarpment edge as a direct line to Little Ingleborough will lead over some outcrops. The path will lead down to a cairn at Little Ingleborough.
(10) From the cairn descend steeply taking the more prominent, left hand path at the bifurcation and continue down a stepped and flagged path to Gaping Gill which is in the obvious depression ahead of you.
(11) Have a look at Gaping Gill and then follow the grassy path into and through some broken limestone pavement and past some smaller potholes to a wall and double stone stile with gates.
(12) Go through the stile/gate, turn right and follow the right hand descending path down and around into a shallow gorge. You will come to a narrowing at some trees, below you is Trow Gill. Descend into Trow Gill (take care of the rock is wet) and walk through the steep limestone sided gorge to a gate at the bottom.
(13) Go through the gate and follow the track to a wooden stile on the left, go over this and diagonally up the fell-side to another obvious stile. Go over this and onto a good stoned tack (Long Lane)
(14) Turn left and walk up the track to another gate.
(This point can be also be reached from point 12 by taking the left hand track over the moors, descending gently. This way can be taken if you want to miss out Trow Gill)
(15) Go through the gate and turn right. Follow the wide grassy track over the field to a gate, heading to wards an obvious conical cairn on the horizon. Go through the gate and follow the path past the corner of the stone wall. Follow the track and when you see a wooden fingerpost look out for the split in the path and take the right hand grassy track up towards the cairn. (If you get to the post you have gone too far and will need to double back)
(16) From the cairn, continue along the track which starts to descend very gently; just before a second wooden post look out for a less obvious path on the right. which curves rightwards and heads down to Crummack Farm. (If you get to the second wooden post you have gone too far and will need to double back on yourself)
(17) The path curves rightwards and heads down to Crummack Farm. There are good views of the pretty Crummack Dale and the limestone escarpments beyond. As the track bends left above the farm and just before a hillock, take a feint path on the right, down over the field to the right of the farm. There is a wooden signpost visible at the bottom in front of a gate.
(18) At signpost turn right and walk through the field, pass through a gate then another gate on the left to pickup the farm track. This keeps you from having to walk through the farmyard itself. Follow the farm track to a junction on the left with another lane.
(19) (If you have used the alternative parking this is where you might have started and finished your walk)
Turn left onto the lane and follow it to Austwick Beck, ford and stone slab bridge.
(20) Cross the bridge, on the far side is another slab bridge. In front of this is a pool called the Wash Dubs. This is where sheep were brought to be dunked in the water to be cleaned of parasites in their wool. Continue along the 'green lane', passing a junction on the left and along to (2). From here walk back along the 'green lane' to Wharfe. Then down the private road, turn right, and back to your car.(D/A)
D/A : mi 0 - alt. 515ft - Wood End Farm
1 : mi 0.36 - alt. 600ft - The Manor
2 : mi 0.69 - alt. 719ft - Stone stile
3 : mi 1.08 - alt. 856ft - Stone stile
4 : mi 1.45 - alt. 902ft - Hunterstye
5 : mi 2.33 - alt. 1168ft - Cairn
6 : mi 3.13 - alt. 1132ft - Beggar's Stile Cairn
7 : mi 3.55 - alt. 1234ft - Sulber Gate
8 : mi 3.78 - alt. 1224ft - Heavily used track
9 : mi 6.36 - alt. 2339ft - Ingleborough
10 : mi 7.25 - alt. 2064ft - Little Ingleborough
11 : mi 8.01 - alt. 1335ft - Gaping Gill
12 : mi 8.33 - alt. 1299ft - Stile/gate
13 : mi 8.97 - alt. 991ft - Gate
14 : mi 9.06 - alt. 958ft - Gate
15 : mi 9.2 - alt. 1063ft - Gate
16 : mi 9.64 - alt. 1273ft - Cairn
17 : mi 9.77 - alt. 1250ft - Long Scar
18 : mi 10.24 - alt. 968ft - Signpost
19 : mi 10.71 - alt. 801ft - Parking
20 : mi 11 - alt. 771ft - Ford
D/A : mi 12.05 - alt. 518ft - Wood End Farm
There is a cross shelter on the top of Ingleborough and you could shelter from the wind behind the many stone walls en route, but there is no covered shelter from rain on this walk.
Similarly there is nowhere to buy refreshments en route so bring all you need with you.
It can be windy so I would recommend a wind proof as a minimum. Better still to have a waterproof, just in case. Wear boots as it can be wet underfoot in places and it is easy to turn an ankle on the limestone pavement as you cross it, a boot will give better ankle support.
The start of this walk is relatively unknown (although The Dales High Way walk follows the green lane) and you will not see a marker arrow until you come to Sulber Gate. However, shortly after this you join the main path used on the Three Peaks walk, this path needs constant maintenance so you might want to make a donation in honesty box at point 8 or using one of the websites below.
Visorando and this author cannot be held responsible in the case of accidents or problems occuring on this walk.
As a rock climber, I have spent many great days on the limestone cliffs above Crummack Dale. It is a very quiet and peaceful valley in contrast to the honey pot locations. You may see a few walkers here but that will be a few in comparison to the many you will see on Ingleborough itself. (You might also see climbers on the escarpment above point (2), at Moughton Scars or in Trow Gill)
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The GPS track and description are the property of the author.