Clapham & Austwick
These pretty Dales villages, less than 1½ miles (2km) apart offer a perfect gateway into some of the grandest and wildest Three Peaks Country.
Clapham, the larger of the two, is a pretty linear village set alongside both sides of the village stream. Ingleborough Hall, now a school outdoor centre, was once the home of Reginald Farrer, the great Edwardian botanist and plant collector and many of his specimens are still to be found on the estate around the lake which still provides hydro-electric power for the estate woodyard.
There’s a fine walk through the estate (honesty box payment required) to Ingleborough Cave (website opens in new window), one of the finest of the Dales Show Caves, or onwards up Trow Gill to the shoulders of Ingleborough itself, where strong walkers can continue past the terrifying chasm of Gaping Gill to ascend the summit of the most famous of the Three Peaks. From here you have the option of returning, on weekdays at least, from Ingleton on the 581 bus for Clapham and Settle. The Pennine Bridleway also passes through the village, as does the Yorkshire Dales Cycle Way.
Clapham station is 1¼ miles from the village but for cyclists the station lies on the edge of a network of quiet country lanes which lead into the Wenning Valley towards Bentham and Wennington and offer splendid views of Bowland and Ingleborough. There are also more strenuous moorland routes over to Slaidburn in the Forest of Bowland.
There’s a popular pub, and a choice of cafes in the village.
It’s an easy walk from Clapham to Austwick, also on the 581 bus route, which is the gateway into Crummackdale. This is one of the quietest but grandest of the Yorkshire Dales, with a network of narrow enclosed tracks and paths leading onto the high limestone pavements above Sulber on the shoulder of Ingleborough. Austwick has two village pubs - the Traddock and the Gamecock Inn.
Public Transport Links:
Bus and train times can be checked at the Transport Direct website (link opens in new window).
Local services: accommodation, café, pub, toilets