Our second day, and free from the shackles of the Bank Holiday we felt safe to venture out into the wide world beyond Silverdale. Mark had posted last Easter about a fine walk in the dales involving caves (you can read his post here) and the mix of walking and adventure seemed ideal to keep the kids amused.
After a aimless wander about Settle looking for toilets we were off. The start of the walk is brutally steep with some grumbles and dragged heels.
We were looking for somewhere to picnic in that classic British style when it really is too cold to do so. After rejecting many potential sites on account of the fact they were too windy or too swarthed in nettles. I was accused of doing it deliberately just to delay lunch and wind everyone up. As if! As we climbed the eminence of Pen y Ghent revealed istself
We eventually found a fine albeit slightly inclined spot and feasted. In the other British tradition we’d brought far too much food including a mountain of cheese. It was even sunny while we ate although for reasons unknown I hardly took any photos. Surprising as the views across to Warrendale Knotts and Attermire Scar were fantastic. I’d never been up this way before and its a fabulous and dramatic little corner full of crags, caves and hidden valleys. We saw a few people but nothing like the numbers you see in other better known spots in the Dales.
On to our next objective, Attermire Cave. If you look at the photo below, its the dark mark at the right of the line of crags with a green terrace to it’s left
It looks hard to get at an indeed it is. It involves a very steep scrabble up the grassy slopes and short scramble onto that green ledge which is fairly narrow and quite exposed. It had my pulse racing primarily on account of the fact that I was in the presence of the dangerous brothers who have a dangerous lack of a sense of, well, danger and who had to be restrained from running around on the ridge and giving me a coronary.
The entrance to the cave involved an awkward little step but once in its free from danger. It’s a narrow cave with a very high ceiling and is full of quartz crystals and other interesting stuff (including some large black spiders much to TJF distress)
We had a grand time exploring but it was over all too soon
Luckily there was more fun to be had. A narrow trod traverses high above the slopes below, itself a superb walk with wide ranging views and into a nameless valley to the north.
I really liked this spot with it’s limestone cliffs and green grassy paths.
A mile or so on and you reach more caves. At the bottom is Wet Cave, which was well named and quite unpleasant but above is Victoria Cave. It’s an old show cave with an artificially enlarged, and what looks like is now a largely unsafe, entrance. Ignoring the signs and barriers (I’m a rebel) I ventured in and wandered a few hundred meters into a long narrow passage before it got too narrow. You can see the entrance in the photo below just up on the left but strangely I took no other photos here either
On again to our final adventure at Jubilee Caves. These were not as interesting as Attermire but were a lot more fun. They had several passages and entrances all linked together, some very small.
The kids, big and small had a great time squirming in and out and some adults with arms in bandages who should have known better also joined in. Trouble is I like caves (and I’m a big kid at heart) and couldn’t stand not getting involved. Trying to scramble and squeeze my middle aged spread through a small hole, one handed was a cause of much amusement for the assembled posse
The weather was really rather splendid now, albeit with the cold theme that would dominate the week. We had to turn for home now with our trogladytic appetites quenched.
The walk back to Settle along the Pennine Bridleway was magnificent with great views along the Ribble valley and down over Settle
A fantastic day out and a superb walk always enhanced when you discover something new.
The Dales really are a special place and I’ve really missed them since I moved away from the area back in the mid-90s. The trips to Silverdale and the days out we’ve spent there have been superb. More please 🙂