These pretty Dales villages, less than one and a half miles apart offer a perfect gateway into some of the grandest and wildest Three Peaks country.
Clapham, the larger of the two, is a pretty linear village set alongside both sides of the village stream. Ingleborough Hall, now a school outdoor centre, was once the home of Reginald Farrer, the great Edwardian botanist and plant collector and many of his specimens are still to be found on the estate around the lake which still provides hydro-electric power for the estate woodyard.
There’s a fine walk through the estate (fee applies) to Ingleborough Cave, one of the finest of the Dales’ show caves, or onwards up Trow Gill to the shoulders of Ingleborough itself, where strong walkers can continue past the terrifying chasm of Gaping Gill to ascend the summit of the most famous of the Three Peaks.
It’s an easy walk from Clapham to Austwick, which is the gateway into Crummackdale. This is one of the quietest but grandest of the Yorkshire Dales, with a network of narrow enclosed tracks and paths leading onto the high limestone pavements above Sulber on the shoulder of Ingleborough.
Clapham: toilets, shops, cafes, pub, accomodation
Austwick: shop, pub, accommodation