Hyndburn Ramblers Walk - Arncliffe
PUBLISHED: 01:15 14 April 2010 | UPDATED: 20:17 30 April 2016
A twelve mile walk over Arncliffe, beginning at Malham Tarn. Words and photos by Phil Bedson
Thirteen members of Hyndburn Ramblers arrived at Malham Tarn fully prepared for a twelve mile walk over to Arncliffe and back again. The beautiful March sunshine and blue skies were just the tonic although the zero degree temperature wasn’t!
Nevertheless the group started out from the car park behind stand-in leader Phil Bedson (unfortunately the nominated leader had suffered car trouble) who, having done the walk previously, was quite sure he knew the route to be taken.
A short stretch of road walking to a crossroads of paths at Street Gate saw us through a gate and heading North East to another gate and an extremely wide ford which, whilst only a couple of inches deep, was quite a few metres wide.
The clear short grass path led away up over the moor and was a pleasing surface to walk on even with all the residual snow in places. Indeed the higher fells and peaks all around us, like Fountains and Buckden, were still snow-capped.
Passing through a few gates, or climbing the ones snowed in, we continued on to pass the entertainingly named Hawkswick Clowder at the highest point of the walk. It was just after here a drink stop was called and the opportunity to remove layers was also taken as our efforts in walking and the unexpected heat from the sun, even though the ambient temperature was only just above freezing, conspired.
The green field path was still clear as we descended down towards Arncliffe Cote although the effort to walk slightly off the track along the edge of Cote Gill was worth it for the view. Eventually though we had to resume walking on the path and down we went past the buildings at Arncliffe Cote to join the road.
We turned right and followed the road round the bend to take the next narrow lane off to the left. As we neared the bottom of this lane we ignored the exceptionally large steel footbridge over the River Skirfare to take the riverside path towards the village of Arncliffe. It was also here we met a large group of walkers from Liverpool who also seemed to be in more of hurry than us.
Although it was lunchtime and murmurs abounded about tummy noises the riverside path through the fields was enjoyed in the wonderful sunshine and, as we arrived at Arncliffe, we walked straight past the other Group who were having lunch near the church. We stopped for our lunch in the sun on the village green which was, whether by chance or design, immediately outside the Falcon Inn which a number of us took advantage of.
Having finished our food and quaffed a few ales the group were ready for setting off although there was a slight delay whilst one of our number replaced the contents of their rucksack after having seemingly packed everything except the sink.
We took the track just to the side of the Falcon Inn and kept within the walls until we arrived at a stile and a signpost pointing up to the right. The height gain is quite something and whilst you know you’re going uphill the route is a pretty easy climb. We were on the Monk’s Road and indeed we would follow this to virtually the edge of Malham Tarn but in the meantime our view was back to Arncliffe as it shrank away from us.
The path forward was indistinct but easy to follow as you basically followed the valley to our right and the limestone outcrops, or clowders, to the left. Eventually though the path turned away from the valley and we went past Flask before finally stopping for a break just to the south.
With the winter sun still shining the last leg of the route took us past the ruin of Middle House nestled in a narrow valley under High Midge Hills. We headed on to the crest of the hill before us before following the track left then right to a gate with a view of Middle House Farm before us.
It was just one more field path off to the right which was followed up the rise and there it was – a quite spectacular view of Malham Tarn complete with low winter sun and frozen surface. Everybody stopped to look at the scene before them and all agreed it had been well worth the effort.
There was just the obligatory group photo to take before the group dropped downhill to the track at the edge of the Tarn. There were quite a few people dotted around the area and comments were made in that if it was busy now imagine the area during the summer on a hot day.
It was pretty easy going from here on in and before anyone realised the car park was before us. Everyone expressed how much they had enjoyed the walk which in the end had been exactly as originally intended.
Date : 7th March 2010
Leader : Phil Bedson
Report and photos by : Phil Bedson
OS LEISURE 2 YORKSHIRE DALES
START POINT SD 896 657
WALK LENGTH 12.25 mls / 19.7 km
TIME 5 hrs
MAX HEIGHT 507.96 mtrs
MIN HEIGHT 201.07 mtrs
HEIGHT ASCENDED 532.60 mtrs
HEIGHT DESCENDED 532.60 mtrs
The Hyndburn Group of the Ramblers is based in North East Lancashire and comprises of the townships of Accrington, Oswaldtwistle, Church, Great Harwood, Clayton-le-Moors, Rishton and Altham.
The Group organises guided walks most weekends and these are mainly within an hours drive of Hyndburn, ranging from 5 to 20 miles in length, and take place over either a full day or on an afternoon. We also have a thriving Wednesday Walking Group and there are also some short summer evening strolls.
If you would like Yorkshire Life to feature your walk email firstname.lastname@example.org for details