Attermire Scar

We are just home from one of the best bank holiday weekends we’ve had in a long time. We spent three nights in Austwick on the North Yorkshire/Lancashire border, aiming to spend the weekend exploring the Forest of Bowland, after finding it almost completely deserted last August bank holiday. On our final morning, rather than heading in the opposite direction to home, we did our last walk in the far reaches of the Yorkshire Dales a ten minute drive from where we were staying. Attermire Scar is somewhere we’ve both wanted to explore for a long time but being on the opposite edge of the Dales has made it tricky to find the time. We therefore seized the opportunity to tick it off the list on our way home!

We had a bit of a panic on our final night trying to decide where to go for a walk on our way home before Sam finally suggested Attermire Scar. There are so many possible routes: longer walks which incorporate Victoria Cave, Catrigg Force or Malham Cove, or shorter walks which just visit the Scar. As we were on our way home after a busy weekend we decided on a shorter walk this time, and a quick google resulted in this route on Craven and Valley Life Magazine.

The route is a circular walk of around four miles, starting in Settle, although we decided to start further up the hill in Langcliffe where there is a reasonably sized car park with an honesty box.

Although this is a relatively short walk it is tough. It’s hilly, with plenty of steep ups and downs, and the paths are uneven and narrow in places. While it’s easy enough to keep your feet for the most part, I did fall over after missing my footing on one section of path with a bit of a drop to one side. So watch where you put your feet!

The views on this walk are more than worth the effort required to drag yourself up and down the hills. The landscape around you is constantly changing with some incredibly dramatic rocky outcrops, and on a clear day, views of the Yorkshire Three Peaks on the horizon.

Navigation on this walk is pretty easy if you have a map (we use the OS Maps app). Many of the footpaths are clearly signed with finger posts and follow defined paths, however, there are so many footpaths around here that you need a map to make sure you’re taking the right one!

Plotting your route and making sure you know where you’re going, on a basic level, is part of using the countryside responsibly. Heading out without any idea makes you a prime candidate for needing to call out Mountain Rescue. As we came down to the car park, we encountered a couple of walkers who asked us if this was the path to Victoria Cave. We said yes, it was, and did they have a map so we could show them? No, they replied, they didn’t have a map, and set off up the hill looking vaguely lost already. They also walked through the gate we’d just closed and left it wide open… Sigh.

Dog friendly rating – 2/5. This walk is fantastic for views, but less great if you’ve got four legs, as the proximity of livestock means dogs should be on leads all the way around. We saw plenty of both sheep and cows – the cows were all very chilled which was a relief!!

There were a few stiles to navigate but both of the dogs managed to clamber over with some assistance from us. We took water for the dogs which was a good thing as there were no streams or places for them to stop to drink. The bonus of this walk was that by starting in Langcliffe it was entirely off road – which is always a nice thing on a walk!

Where we Stayed

We stayed at the absolutely wonderful Game Cock Inn in the village of Austwick. We’d booked a larger room so we had a bit more space, what with having two dogs, and it was definitely the right decision – even sprawled on the floor after a long walk, Coal takes up a lot of space! The food was good and the staff were wonderful. Everyone we spoke to was so welcoming and friendly, from check in to check out and everything in-between. The pub is also ideally located for getting out exploring all that the Yorkshire Dales and Forest of Bowland has to offer.

Dog friendly rating – 5/5. The dogs were made so welcome – even Coal, who has a tendency to bark at anyone who looks him in the eye for too long! For our meals, we were given a quiet, out of the way table, and reassured that if another dog came in and set Coal off barking, we’d be able to finish our meal and the other people would be the ones who’d need to move. I think the dog’s favourite part was being given a little box of Sunday dinner offcuts at our meal on the Sunday!

We also found a lovely little circular walk to do at the end of each day, following enclosed lanes on a loop of around a mile. This was a great walk to finish off the day and take the dogs out for a last wee. We were also able to let them off their leads for a change as the lanes were enclosed with no danger of turning a corner to find a sheep or cow waiting for us! I’d definitely recommend the Game Cock Inn for anyone looking for somewhere to stay with their dog.

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