31st July 2023
The Settle to Clapham Loop Cycle Route is an alternative to the original Settle to Clapham there and back ride.
It takes quiet roads from Settle via Austwick to Clapham. The return route is by Clapham Station, Eldroth and Giggleswick.
Distance: 18 miles/
Time: 1h30 plus stops
The Plotaroute map above shows the Settle Clapham Loop cycle route. You can download a navigation file from Plotaroute.
The ride starts from Whitefriars car park in Settle.
Head out of Settle on Mains View, go over the river Ribble, then turn right on Stackhouse Lane. Pass Stackhouse and continue to Little Stainforth.
Here, you're close to Stainforth Force.
Climb away from Little Stainforth. The top of the hill is just before Dry Rigg Quarry. Turn left at a T-junction near the quarry and continue on a rolling road to Austwick.
The pub at Austwick is also a bakery, as is the village shop.
Continue to Clapham.
Clapham has a pub, the New Inn, and cafés including the Croft Café, the Lake House Café Bar, and the Old Sawmill Café. There are WCs at the car park.
The GPS route sends you on a little tour of Clapham, just for fun. At the top of the village is the start of the Reginald Farrer Nature Trail. It leads towards Ingleborough Cave and Gaping Gill. Tickets are available in the Old Sawmill.
The village loop brings you back to the main (B6480) road, near the Village Store.
Head south from Clapham, cross the A65, and continue to Clapham Station.
Go under the railway and turn left. You're on a country lane through farmland, which shadows the railway. It isn't flat, though, it's constantly up and down.
According to my GPS I was on the intriguingly-named Fummerber Lane at one point.
There are some short but steep hills, for example climbing away from Kettles Beck.
Pass the hamlet of Eldroth. Continue to Giggleswick Station. Cross back over the A65 and follow the GPS route through Giggleswick to Settle.
Settle Flowerpot Festival runs from mid-July to early September. Characters made out of flowerpots are displayed all around the town.
It's free, but you can buy a Flowerpot Trail & Quiz leaflet.
There are also Flowerpot Workshops for children (must be pre-booked).
The Flowerpot Festival is fun for families.
The Settle to Clapham Loop ride is covered by the 1:50,000 OS Landranger map number 98, Wensleydale and Upper Wharfedale.
New in 2023, Bike Rides in the Yorkshire Dales is available in colour paperback.
Bike Rides In and Around York features a historical city tour, plus family rides, road rides, and mountain bike rides.
Bike Rides in Harrogate and Nidderdale is a book of family, mountain and road bike rides.
Settle is a market town in the Craven district of North Yorkshire. The population of Settle is 3,835 (2020 estimate).
It is thought to have been founded by the Angles in the 600s, as Settle is the Anglian word for settlement. Settle's Royal Charter for a market was granted to Henry de Percy, Baron of Topcliffe, in 1249.
Settle was quite isolated for many years, but industry did develop in the 1700s and 1800s, mostly textile mills.
The river Ribble provided power for Settle's cotton mills, and now it is used for Settle Hydro, a micro hydroelectric scheme.
There are caves in the area around Settle where prehistoric remains have been found, including Victoria Cave (north east of Settle, and east of Langcliffe), discovered in 1837, the year of Queen Victoria's Coronation. It contained animal bones including those of mammoths, hippos, rhinos, elephants, and spotted hyenas. There were also items from the Roman period, including coins, brooches, and pottery.
The railway reached Giggleswick in 1847, and in 1875 the Settle to Carlisle railway was built.
Settle is a tourist town today, popular as a centre for walking and cycling. A number of hotels, pubs, and cafés serve visitors to the town.
The Folly was built in 1679 by wealthy lawyer Richard Preston. It houses the Museum of North Craven Life.
It is a grand house.
The Gallery on the Green is an art gallery in a phone box.
The 3 Peaks Bike Shop is located in Market Place Settle.
Clapham sits at the foot of Ingleborough, one of Yorkshire's 3 Peaks. The church was founded before 1160 (Wikipedia).
Much of the land around Clapham belongs to the Farrer family's Ingleborough estate.
Clapham Beck runs through the village. Higher up, it is known as Fell Beck, a stream which flows into Gaping Gill, a cave on the southern slopes of Ingleborough, and re-emerges at Ingleborough Cave.
Clapham Beck is dammed just above Clapham, to form an artificial lake ('The Lake').
The Cave Rescue Organisation is based in Clapham.