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Settle to Clapham cycle route

Road by Dry Rigg Quarry

Road from Settle to Clapham near Dry Rigg Quarry

This cycle route, chosen as Stage 6 of the Sustrans Slow Tour of Yorkshire, is from Settle, via Austwick, to Clapham. Sustrans says it's 10 miles one way, so 20 miles there and back. (My cycle computer measured it as 8.5 miles each way). This is the Sustrans leaflet for the ride.

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, free-wheeling sections down the other side.

Overall, this cycle route is highly recommended.

Settle to Clapham cycle route: map

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

Settle to Clapham cycle route: route notes

Settle to Austwick

Settle Market Square

Settle

I parked just north of the centre of Settle, in Whitefriars car park, by the Coop Garage (paying parking).

Head 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. There is a blue cycling sign (for Austwick) directing 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. 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. In Austwick, there's a pub, and a Post Office & Village Store.

Austwick

Austwick

Austwick to Clapham

A65 cycle path to Clapham

A65 cycle path to 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 where there's a bit of gradient, the top surface has come off to reveal the bigger stones underneath.

It seems to be the 'house style' of British cycle infrastructure that it must have defects. If it's safe, it mustn't be convenient. If it happens to be safe and convenient, it won't be complete.

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, it would be better to tarmac it. It's only about 300m. Come on.

Clapham Village Store

Clapham Village Store

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

The Village Store has a friendly message saying walkers and cyclists are welcome, and they fill up water bottles. There's a pub, the New Inn, and the Croft Café.

Clapham

Clapham

Return route

Austwick

Austwick, approaching from the south west

Return by the way you came.

All photos © Hedgehog Cycling

Settle to Clapham cycle route: comments and suggestions

I thought this was a great ride, one of the best so far in this series.

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

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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 3,659 (2011 census).

It is thought to have been founded by the Anglians 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 market place

Settle market place

Settle was quite isolated for many years, but industry did develop in the 1700s and 1800s, mostly textile mills. 

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

The river Ribble provided power for Settle's cotton mills in the past, and is now used for Settle Hydro, a micro hydroelectric scheme.

The Singing Kettle, Settle

The Singing Kettle, Settle

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. 

Settle Folly Museum

The Folly Museum, Settle

The Folly, a listed building from the 1600s, houses the Museum of North Craven Life. The Gallery on the Green is an art gallery in a phone box.

Settle Stories Festival began in 2010, and has become increasingly popular. It is held at the beginning of April.

There are a number of 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.

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.

Settle Austwick RoadClapham Village Store