Our Easter fortnight started rather soggily. On my Birthday we lunched at Catch 23 (very handy for Junction 35 off the M6 and the food is terrific). The view over the fishing ponds showed heavy drizzle alternating with driving rain, but I was determined to get a walk in of some description and, fully water-proofed up, was dropped in Warton on the way home. My Mum was the only one daft enough to join me. As luck would have it, it stopped raining as we disembarked from the cars, and from that point on continued to brighten up. We had a smashing walk home via Warton Crag, Quaker’s Stang, Jack Scout and finally visited the Primrose Garden in the Limestone Pavement in Pointer Wood. Sadly, I didn’t take any photos, because I’d left my camera behind, anticipating continued rain.
Fortunately, the weather didn’t continue that way. In fact we had just over a week of absolutely corking weather. We took the boys to Blackpool Pleasure Beach and managed to get sunburned.
We drove to Settle to do a little exploring. And the sun shone…
Looking back down on Settle.
Settle was bustling with a small street market. We picked up some unusual cheeses to supplement the picnic we’d packed and the boys each chose a pasty too.
Climbing towards Warrendale Knotts
Climbing uphill on a hot day wasn’t universally popular, and the consensus was that we should stop for our picnic sooner rather than later. TBH is brandishing the Norwegian caramelised cheese we’d bought. It was sweet, rather toffee like and not to our taste. Fortunately, everything else was very tasty, especially the Isle of Mull cheese.
Brother’s in arms: “I think that’s Warrendale Knotts”
First cave of the day.
Warrendale Knotts and Attermire Scar.
Looking back at Warrendale Knotts.
The rusted lumps of scrap in the foreground here are the remains of a shooting range. Towards the right-hand end of the scar you should be able to make out a tall, dark vertical fissure in the cliff. It’s Attermire Cave.
Through the magic of the little Olympus’s super-zoom, here’s a close-up:
And here it is again, from below…
I hope, but I’m not sure, that this conveys just how steep the ascent to the cave is. But it’s manageable, even with small ones, and the ledge which has to be traversed at the end is reasonably wide.
On the ascent, looking back to Warrendale Knotts.
Arriving on the ledge.
The entrance to Attermire Cave.
The cave is quite long, we explored it a little. It has interesting physical features and a fascinating history (see Further Reading below). We did okay with our simple head-torches, but I struggled to get decent photos of the interior.
When the cave got low, we turned back.
Rather than retracing our steps, we took a contouring path below the cliffs. I suppose I’m inured to the vertigo which steep ground brings on. I was a bit surprised to find that the kids were all a bit freaked out by this path, felt dizzy and wanted to take rests and sit down.
I suppose it was a bit exposed. B wasn’t so intimidated that he didn’t point out to me the abundance of these colourful banded snails….
Eventually we reached the end of the ‘awkward’ section….
And soon the boys has spotted something ahead which had rekindled their interest….
What they could see, was the entrance to Victoria Cave…
We had a lengthy pause here, to do a little more exploring. Again, Victoria Cave has amazing features and finds which show that it was occupied by bears, hyaenas, elephants and rhinoceros.
There are several other caves nearby.
Here are the boys breaking-out their kit for Wet Cave…..
Which was quite, well, wet…..
The view from Wet Cave…
Looking back along the scar….
A’s feet were bothering her, so she and TBH headed back down to Settle, but the boys and I had one final appointment with another set of Caves. Jubilee Caves….
There are four small caves all connected. Or perhaps one cave with four entrances. As far as the boys were concerned this was the highlight of the day. (I would plump for Attermire Cave).
They loved exploring, waving to me through narrow gaps in the rock….
…wandering from cave to cave….
And, most of all, the fact that two of the entrances were tight wriggly holes, much too small for me…
But just right for adventurous ankle-biters…
From Jubilee Caves we could see yet another cave mouth, which the boys were eager to check out. I also know that we missed Horseshoe Cave and Look-Out Cave. This is an area which we shall definitely explore again.
Even without the caves, the scenery is stunning and I’m amazed that I haven’t been here before, especially given the huge number of times I’ve driven past Settle on the A65.
When we do come back, hopefully we’ll find time for a visit to The Folly….
…which is Settle’s museum, and which last year had an exhibition on the finds from Victoria Cave – if only I’d known!
The Genesis of this walk deserves a little explanation. I’ve wanted to visit Victoria Cave since reading about it on the Teddy Tea Tours blog.
Then my memory was jogged when I was sent a copy of Wainwright’s…
…to review. I’ll do a fuller review soon, but here’s the edited version: it’s fantastic. So much so, that I’ve become a bit Dales obsessed. This is Walk 30 from the book. We’ve tried several other walks since then, so expect more posts, some with caves, to follow.
Having hit upon the idea of taking the kids to maybe poke around in the caves a bit, I wanted some up to date info on the safety and sanity, or otherwise, of that enterprise and discovered the fascinating and informative blog A Three Peaks Up and Under.
Fuller posts can be found there about:
Well worth a read.