Giggleswick Scar

Giggleswick Scar

Giggleswick Scar is a heavily wooded limestone scar that runs for over a mile in length to the north-west of the village of Giggleswick, near Settle.

The scar was once a common sight for motorists crossing over Buck Haw Brow. The road running along the foot of the scar is not quite so busy now thanks to the Settle & Giggleswick bypass which opened in 1988.

Looking south-east along Giggleswick Scar
Looking south-east along Giggleswick Scar

Although Giggleswick Scar is of modest height and the views are in places heavily restricted by the line of trees there is still much of interest to be found along its length. Geologically it is significant because the scar marks a length of the South Craven Fault.

Looking out of the entrance to Kinsey Cave
Looking out of the entrance to Kinsey Cave

Features of interest include a number of caves including Kinsey Cave and Wall Cave. Kinsey Cave is found at the head of a small dry valley. It is named after W. Kinsey Mattinson of Austwick who spent years excavating the cave. His most famous discovery was a well preserved 14,000 year old bear skull. The skull can now be seen in the Craven museum in Skipton.

Wall Cave
Wall Cave

Wall Cave is much easier to find as it is situated within sight of the path. The cave was named due to the wall that was built across the entrance. The wall seems to have been recently removed thus rendering the cave’s name rather redundant.

The cairn, sat back from the edge, that marks the highest point of Giggleswick Scar
The cairn, sat back from the edge, that marks the highest point of Giggleswick Scar

Set back from the upper edge of the scar, behind Wall Cave, a cairn sat on grass marks the highest point of Giggleswick Scar. Although there is barely a drop in height to the north there is still a good view Smearsett Scar and Pen-y-ghent further up Ribblesdale.

On the Schoolboys Tower
On the Schoolboys Tower

Towards the south-eastern end of the scar can be found the Schoolboys Tower. A large squat cairn the Schoolboys Tower is so named from the tradition of pupils from Giggleswick School placing a stone on the cairn on their last day at school.

Giggleswick Quarry with Settle in the distance
Giggleswick Quarry with Settle in the distance

A large section of the southern end of Giggleswick Scar has been quarried away. Sensibly Giggleswick Quarry is fenced off though in places the footpath, that circles around its upper reaches, does provide some impressive views down into the sheer sides of the quarry.

<< Back to Limestone