Stainforth Circular via Catrigg Force
Stainforth Car Park BD24 9PF
- Steep slopes.
- A number of stiles to cross.
- Uneven ground and tracks.
- Steep stone steps up through the wood can be slippery in wet weather.
- No seating.
Toilets in Stainforth Car Park.
Pub in Stainforth Village.
Shops and cafes in Settle (approx. 2 miles)
2 miles (3km) circular walk.
- Leave the car park from the main entrance and turn right and then right again. Follow the road, over the bridge to reach the pub on your right hand side.
- Opposite the pub take the narrow road to the left, signposted PBW (Public Bridleway). At the top head round to the right and then take the footpath off to the left in between the cottages, follow through open fields to the woodland.
- The path climbs up a limestone stairway through the woods above Stainforth Scar (cliff).
- At the top enjoy the fantastic views of Ribblesdale. After leaving the woods take the left hand path through to Upper Winskill Farm.
- Go through the farmyard and follow the driveway. Where the main gravel track turns right carry straight ahead next to a wall, following the bridleway marked with a signpost saying Stainforth 1 3/4.
- Continue along the path through a gate signposted Pennine Bridleway, Stainforth. Enjoy the panoramic views of the Three Peaks. Pen-y-ghent closest to the right, Ingleborough to the left and Whernside to the far right.
- The track leads you to the top of Goatscar Lane. Head through the gate onto the lane. Immediately on the right is a path leading down to Catrigg Force waterfall. Be careful down the slope and near to the edge! Retrace your steps back up to the lane.
- Continue down the lane to return to Stainforth village green.
- Either follow the road round to the left, back to the bridge and the car park, or continue ahead crossing Stainforth Beck via the stepping stones and follow the road back to the car park.
What to look for
- Stainforth Village itself is situated on a terrace away from the river, on the banks of Stainforth Beck (stream). The seventeenth century packhorse bridge over the main River Ribble (reached over the main road and down to Little Stainforth) shows the village’s former importance as a stopping point on the packhorse route through the dales between Lancaster and York. A few metres downstream lies Stainforth Force, a smaller waterfall and wonderful place to watch salmon leap in autumn as they migrate upstream to spawn.
- This walk enables you to enjoy views of all of Yorkshire’s Three Peaks – Ingleborough (723 metres high), Pen-y-Ghent (694 metres high) and Whernside (just the highest at 736 metres high). People often undertake the 3 peaks challenge to walk and climbs all three in one go, just over 23 miles! People try to complete in under 12 hours.
- Catrigg Force (waterfall) – water from Catrigg Beck squeezes through a narrow gap in the limestone rocks and plunges around 20 feet down two levels into a pool below. A further 20 metres away is a second waterfall which is somewhat harder to see as the beck drops considerably further. Take care around the waterfall as there are steep drops and the paths are steep and can be slippery.
The water in Stainforth Beck eventually reaches the village below and flows into the River Ribble, one of the Yorkshire Dales’ larger rivers.
- Goatscar Lane – this historic lane was once part of a vital trade link between Lancaster and York.