A circular walk from Clapham, visiting Ingleborough Cave, Trow Gill and the Norber erratics (approx 6 miles)

Map: Sheet OL2 Yorkshire Dales: Southern and Western Areas
Start: Clapham car park. (SD746692)
Route: This walk provides the opportunity to visit a show cave, walk through an impressive gorge, cross an are of limestone pavement and view the Norber erratics. It uses clear paths and tracks, but also crosses open access land where there are no clear paths, and one or two short scrambles.
More info. Clapham village website
Wikipedia entry for Clapham
Ingleborough Show Cave
Information on the Norber erratics from Ingleborough Hall website
Refreshments: Pub, shop and two cafes in Clapham. Also drinks & ice creams, etc from Ingleborough Cave shop.
walk profile
Clapham Falls Turn right out of the car park, and walk along the road until you come to the footbridge on left. Walk over the footbridge and turn right. Continue straight ahead at road junction. Notice that the river bank has been cleared to provide a good view of the falls. There are steps down to the bank and seating by Clapham Beck.

Immediately after the road turns sharp left there are two alternative routes: paying the princely sum of 20 pence to walk through the Ingleborough Estate along the Reginald Farrer Nature Trail. (marked as Clapdale Drive on the OS map) We have done this in the past - so on this occasion we took the alternative public bridlepath. Go to the estate office on right if you wish to follow the nature trail, or continue walking along the road until you come to the public bridlepath sign on the right.

The are no problems with route finding whichever route you take. If you follow the bridlepath, you will reach the farm at Clapdale after walking for about a mile. Walk between farm buildings, then turn right to walk down the dry river valley. When you meet the main track, turn left.
Ingleborough Show Cave entrance The entrance to Ingeborough Show Cave is on your left - if you wish to visit the cave, try to time your journey so that you don't have long to wait for the guided tours.

The track continues, passing over a bridge from which you can view the active cave entrance. From here the path continues up the dry river valley. The valley becoming narrower and steeper sided...
Looking back down Trow Gill ...until it becomes the narrow gorge of Trow Gill, a well known site for rock climbers.

After leaving Trow Gill, the landscape opens out. Where there was a large boulder in the middle of the path, we turned sharp right, up the valley side to follow the stonewall above the gorge. Keep the wall on you r right hand side until it turns to the right. Keep walking in the same general direction, zig zagging down the steep side of the dry valley.

As you climb the opposite side of the valley, you can again follow a wall on the right. There are two wooden gates in the wall. At the second of these turn left on to the clear track. Follow the track through the next gate, then turn right to follow the wall as it slowly ascends Norber.
looking back towards Ingleborough We walked close to the wall, crossing areas of limestone pavement. Do look back to admire views of Ingleborough and Pen-y-ghent (we couldn't see the summits due to low cloud - hope anyone who follows our steps has better weather).

Just before a very steep descent, we bore left, away from the wall, following the edge of the outcrop, heading for a large cairn. We crossed more limestone pavement and curved round to the large cairn. Beyond this cairn we followed a series of smaller cairns before scrambling down a limestone outcrop and heading for a row of four cairns to the south. To reach these cairns cross a depression (you could turn left and follow it down - but Wainwright recommends the view form the southern line of cairns).
view from southern cairns on Norber We walked up to admire the view over Bowland to the west and Pendle in the south, then scrambled down to the left of the cairns, heading back to depression and a ladder stile over stone wall.
Norber erratic Once over the stile you enter a field with an amazing crop of huge boulders, the Norber erratics. There are various paths on the ground. We explored the erratics, and followed what we thought was the clearest path down through the field. However this brought us down to a stile further east than we wished to be. We followed the wall to the left, downhill to a gate and stile where two walls meet at an acute angle. We went through the gate and followed the path, initially alongside the wall, then continuing in the same direction towards a ladder stile. Cross the stile and turn right on to Thwaite Lane. This lane leads you back to Clapham. At the end, descend through tunnels to meet road next to church. Turn left on to the road then left to into car park. On the corner by the car park, Anne's cafe (which we visited back in 2002) had changed the sign on the door - but we must have visited on one of the Wednesdays that it was sometimes closed - so we had an afternoon tea on Croft Cafe.

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