Stainforth to Feizor (approx 6½ miles)

Map: Sheet OL2 Yorkshire Dales: Southern and Western Areas.
View Stainforth in a larger map
Start: SD821673 Stainforth car park, just off the B6479 about 2½ miles north of Settle.
Route: click here to view the route superimposed on GoogleEarth (GoogleEarth must be installed on your computer in order to view - click here to download GoogleEarth).

There is plenty of variety in this walk which takes in typical karst scenery along with a short length of the Ribble Way long distance path. Sections of the path are not clear on the ground, especially through the access land on the return from Feizor to Stackhouse.
More info: Stainforth village website;
The Ribble Way Wikipedia.
Refreshments: Elaine's Tearooms in Feizor provided us with a welcome cup of tea. At the end of the walk there is the Craven Heifer in Stainforth or lots of choice in nearby Settle.
Route profile: route profile
17th century packorse bridge over the Ribble at Stainforth Turn left out of the car park entrance and then right on to the road. After less than 200 yards turn left to follow narrow road (unsuitable for caravans) over railway bridge and down to the packhorse bridge pictured. Cross the bridge and follow the road up...

Little Stainforth Little Stainforth. Walk straight ahead at cross roads.
leaving Little Stainforth After passing farm buildings on the right, go through gateway and follow stone track ahead. The track leads to a wooden gate – look for the gated stile a few yards to the left of the gate. Cross the stile and continue to follow the track uphill. Do turn to admire the view of Pen-y-Ghent and also notice the evidence of medieval strip farming on the slopes north of Stainforth.
west of Little Stainforth The track fades - but continue to walk ahead in the same direction, heading for the dip on the horizon. To the right of the dip there's a limestone outcrop with a lone tree. You also pass a large shakehole on your right. Ahead there is a stone wall - climb the ladder stile to the right of an aluminum gate (the original stone stile can still be used - this is the first of a number of walls on the walk where the original stile can be seen next to a more modern version).
below Smearsett Scar The route now takes you down the centre of a classic dry valley, with the trig point above Smearsett Scar clearly visible on the right.
below Smearsett Scar Climb the ladder stile on left, just before the far left corner of the field. Follow the clear path downhill, in the direction indicated by a wooden signpost.
east of Feizor The path leads slightly uphill, crossing the remains of a stone wall. Follow the fence on left for a few yards and then cross the ladder stile (again there is the original stone stile in the wall - but this can no longer be used as the wall is topped with a wire fence).
east of Feizor After crossing the stile, the path remains easy to follow...
east of Feizor ... and leads to yet another ladder stile in the wall on the right. By now you can see some of the buildings at Feizor. Once across the stile, turn to the left to follow the path close to the wall.
east of Feizor The last part of this path becomes a stone-strewn track and leads to a wooden fence. Go though the metal gate in the fence and then walk between farm buildings...
Elaine's Tearooms, Feizor ... to emerge onto the road outside Elaine's Tea Room (we enjoyed a cup of tea sat out in the sun before we continued). Turn left to walk a short distance along the road.
Feizor Turn left up the track immediately before the ford. The fingerpost reads, "Bridleway Scar Top 1 1/3, FP Stackhouse 1." My map shows that Stackhouse (the direction in which we are walking) is further from here that Scar Top! Not only that, my mapping software says that it's nearly 2 miles between Feizor and Stackhouse!
walking southeast from Feizor Pass through the wooden gate and continue ahead in the same direction, staying closer to the wall on left than the one on the right.
southeast of Feizor At the end of the wall on left (pictured above) carry on walking ahead in the same direction. Just over the brow of the slope you will see the fingerpost which marks the divergence of the footpath and bridleway. This one has more accurate distances! Follow the direction of the path to Stackhouse.
southeast of Feizor Climb the ladder stile to the right of a metal gate. Note the view of Pendle Hill to the right.
southeast of Feizor There's a gentle downhill walk to the gate at the far right corner of this field. The next gate to pass through is wooden. Here we diverged from the footpath marked on the OS map - we followed a clearer path leading to a gap between areas of limestone.
southeast of Feizor This path lead us to another wooden gate. Once through the gate there is an area of limestone pavement with a single tree on the left (this is pictured on the cover).
between Feizor and Stackhouse Continue ahead until a stone wall blocks the way. Turn left to follow the wall downhill. Go through gap in wall, just before the slope becomes steeper.
between Feizor and Stackhouse Once through the gap the clear path leads past more limestone outcrops before bearing left...
northwest of Stackhouse a gap in the wall at the far left corner of the field. Go through the gap and cross the field heading for...
northwest of Stackhouse ... yet another ladder stile. Once across this stile there is no clear path on the ground, but bear slightly left, walking down to join another path by a finger post. Turn right, signposted to Stackhouse Lane.
near Stackhouse This is quite a wide track which leads to a metal gate. Go through the gate and turn left onto road. Follow the road until you come to a sign on the right indicating, "Ribble Way, Stainforth 1¼." Follow this track through a gate and down to the river.
the weir and fish ladder at Langcliffe The path meets the river opposite the weir and fish ladder at Langcliffe. Turn left through a narrow wooden gate.
the Ribble Way between Langcliffe and Stainforth The path continues along close to the river. When we last walked along this section of path there was a working paper mill on the opposite bank. On this occasion the mill was partially demolished. Cross a narrow stream emerging from a spring below limestone outcrop on left.
Stainforth Force and packhorse bridge After about a mile you reach Stainforth Force - the only waterfall of any note on the Ribble. At the stages of a river where waterfalls are most common, the tributary streams of the Ribble flow underground - so waterfalls occur where the streams flow into potholes.
After passing the waterfall, turn right to re-cross the packhorse bridge and re-trace your steps to return to the car park at Stainforth.

Other walks near here: