Settle to Clapham Cycle Route

Last updated 14th September 2022

Road by Dry Rigg Quarry, near Settle
Road from Settle to Clapham, near Dry Rigg Quarry

The Settle to Clapham cycle route is Stage 6 of the Sustrans Slow Tour of Yorkshire. It starts in Settle and goes via Austwick to Clapham.

I thoroughly enjoyed this ride, which is on genuinely quiet roads. There is some hill-age, but nothing too steep or sustained - just enough to give you some fast, freewheeling sections down the other side.

Overall, this cycle route is highly recommended.

Distance: 8.5 miles each way, so 17 miles there and back
Time: 1h30 there and back


Settle to Clapham Cycle Route: Map

The Google map above shows the route from Settle to Clapham in yellow.

This is the ride on Plotaroute; you can download a navigation file from there.

Settle to Clapham Cycle Route: Sustrans Leaflet

This is the Sustrans leaflet for the ride.

Settle to Clapham Cycle Route: Route Notes

Settle to Austwick

Settle Town Hall, Market Square
Settle Town Hall, Market Place

Start from Market Place, Settle.

As well as the imposing Town Hall (above) there's an intriguing building called The Shambles, with an arcade and shops on the lower floor. The residences on the upper level feature a large shared balcony and dormer windows. (Do you think one day I might make it as an estate agent?)

The Shambles, Settle Market Place
The Shambles, Settle Market Place

If you arrive by car, Whitefriars car park (paying parking) is close to the centre of Settle, by the Coop Garage.

Ride north out of Settle on the B6480, under the arch of the railway bridge then over the river Ribble.

River Ribble, Settle
River Ribble, Settle

Take the first right after the bridge over the river. A blue cycling sign for Austwick directs you that way, and the road is called Stackhouse Lane.

Stackhouse Lane, Settle
Stackhouse Lane, Settle

This quiet road takes you past two small settlements, Stackhouse and Little Stainforth. The start height is around 160m, and just past Little Stainforth, you reach 229m.

There's a good view north to Ribblesdale and Pen-y-ghent.

View towards Pen-y-ghent
View towards Ribblesdale and Pen-y-ghent

Continue to the junction by Dry Rigg Quarry, where you turn left towards Austwick.

Austwick Road
Austwick Road, by Dry Rigg Quarry

It's another 4km or so of pleasant cycling to Austwick.

Austwick
Austwick

In Austwick, there's a pub (the Game Cock) and a Post Office & Village Store.

Austwick Village Store
Austwick Village Store

Austwick to Clapham

A65 cycle path to Clapham
A65 cycle path towards Clapham

Leaving Austwick, you soon reach the very busy A65. Fortunately, there's a cycle and footpath; unfortunately, the surface isn't as good as it could be. It's crushed limestone (I think), but it's lumpy.

Unsealed surfaces deteriorate much more quickly than tarmac. It seems to be the 'house style' of British cycle infrastructure that it must have defects.

Many of the people using this path will be on road bikes. It's not awful the way it is, but rather than bodging it with an inferior surface that might lead to punctures, why not just do it properly? It's only about 300m. Come on.

Fork right off the A65 onto the B6480, and it's a couple of kilometres to Clapham.

Clapham Community Shop
Clapham Village Store

Clapham has a Village Store, a pub called the New Inn, and cafés including the Croft Café, the Lake House, and the Old Sawmill Café.

There are WCs at the main car park.

Return Route

Austwick
Austwick, approaching from the south west

Return by the way you came.

When you get to Little Stainforth, you might consider a short diversion to see Stainforth Force.

Stainforth Force
Stainforth Force

The water is a peculiar brown colour, as though someone upstream had rinsed out a thousand Marmite pots. In October, salmon heading up river to spawn leap the force.

Alternative Return Route

To make a loop, return via Clapham Station, Eldroth and Giggleswick. See the ride with an alternative return route here.

Settle to Clapham Cycle Route: Comments and Suggestions

I enjoyed this ride. The one improvement I would suggest is to provide a sealed surface on the path by the A65.

It would be easy to extend your ride, going on to Ingleton and up to Chapel-le-Dale or up Kingsdale.

OS Landranger Map 98

OS Landranger 98

The Settle to Clapham ride is covered by the 1:50,000 OS Landranger map number 98, Wensleydale and Upper Wharfedale.

OS Landranger 98 on Amazon.

Hedgehog Cycling Guides

Bike Rides in the Yorkshire Dales
Bike Rides in the Yorkshire Dales

New in 2023, Bike Rides in the Yorkshire Dales is available in colour paperback.

Find out more about Bike Rides in the Yorkshire Dales or buy a copy.

Bike Rides In and Around York front cover
Bike Rides In and Around York

Bike Rides In and Around York features a historical city tour, plus family rides, road rides, and mountain bike rides.

Find out more about Bike Rides In and Around York or buy a copy.

Bike Rides in Harrogate and Nidderdale

Bike Rides in Harrogate and Nidderdale is a book of family, mountain and road bike rides.

Find out more about Bike Rides in Harrogate and Nidderdale or buy a copy.

Settle

Signpost for Settle, North Yorkshire
Settle signpost

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.

Settle station
Settle station bridge

The railway reached Giggleswick in 1847, and in 1875 the Settle to Carlisle railway was built.

Settle Carlisle railway sign
Settle to Carlisle railway sign

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 Singing Kettle, Settle
The Singing Kettle, Settle

The Folly was built in 1679 by wealthy lawyer Richard Preston. It houses the Museum of North Craven Life.

Settle Folly Museum
The Folly Museum, Settle

It is a grand house.

The Folly, Settle
The Folly, Settle

The Gallery on the Green is an art gallery in a phone box.

Settle Stories runs the Yorkshire Festival of Story. It began in 2010, and has become increasingly popular.

The 3 Peaks Bike Shop is located in Market Place Settle.

3 Peaks Bike Shop, Settle
3 Peaks Bike Shop, Settle

Clapham

Clapham, North Yorkshire
Bridge over Clapham Beck

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.



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