Stainforth Scar

Stainforth Scar & the Hoffmann Kiln

Walk Summary

A short walk that is full of interest including Stainforth Scar, the Craven Lime Work’s Hoffmann Kiln and finishing with a visit to Stainforth Force.

Distance: 4.0 miles
Total ascent: 1150ft
Walk Rating: *****
Parking: Stainforth, car park
Route: Download Route [GPX]

Photo Gallery

Walk Report

Often while driving past on my way to or from a walk in Ribblesdale I’ve noticed the massive limestone scar between Stainforth and Langcliffe. Checking the map I noticed a path climbing up between the limestone. I thought this would be an excellent route to take in order to create a short circular walk that also visits the Craven Lime Works. The latter is a part of Ribblesdale’s industrial history and is somewhere else I’ve been meaning to visit for a while.

As it is a fairly short walk I decided to leave this one until half-term. The reason being that it is a perfect length walk to do with my daughter Rhiannon. I had the whole week off with her and I thought it only fair she came for a walk with me, especially as I was taking her for a trip to London later in the week.

“Without doubt the centrepiece is the huge Hoffmann Kiln. Built in 1873 it is a huge industrial scale lime kiln.”

From the car park in Stainforth we walked into the ‘centre’ of the village. Passing over the bridge near the pub we left the village via a path signed for Winskill and the very precise 5/8 mile. After a short enclosed section the path climbed gradually alongside a fence below the trees covering the northern end of Stainforth Scar.

After 5-10 minutes we came to a gate that led to stepped path winding its way up through the woods. I was intrigued by what this path would be like and I found the reality quite delightful. All too soon it came to an end at the first of a number of step stiles that we encountered.

The following section along the top of Stainforth Scar was more open. There were excellent views of the valley, looking back down to Stainforth and across to Smearsett Scar. After another step stile the path soon met yet another stile just above the house at Lower Winskill.

Passing between the buildings we walked a short way down the track to then take a footpath on our right. This crossed a field before descending the partially wooded slopes at the southern end of Stainforth Scar. This path, which is called Pike Lane, featured some superb views from its upper stages. There were also some fine retrospective views of Stainforth Scar once we had got lower down.

Without quite following Pike Lane all the way in to Langcliffe we double backed on a lower path. This section featured more intimate valley views including some nice autumn woods on the opposite side of the river. After crossing some more fields we dropped down alongside the Settle to Carlisle railway to enter the the site of the Craven Lime Works.

Thanks to Heritage Lottery funding a small figure of eight walk has been created around the important archaeological remains of the lime works. Without doubt the centrepiece is the huge Hoffmann Kiln. Built in 1873 it is a huge industrial scale lime kiln. I’d wanted to visit the Hoffmann Kiln after seeing pictures of it on Facebook. In ‘the flesh’ it was even more impressive. More information about the kiln and its history can be found on the Out of Oblivion website.

After recent heavy rain many of the paths around the lime works were flooded so we didn’t see everything. Other interesting features we did see were the remains of a winding house and the so-called Triple Draw Kilns. There is a small visitor car park so it may well be somewhere I pop back to in drier weather for another look around.

At the northern end of the site we picked up the public footpath again to head away across a couple more fields. After a few minutes on a footpath alongside the road we re-entered Stainforth. Here we decided to add a little detour on to the end of the walk to visit Stainforth Force.

To do this we took a path signed for ‘Stainforth Foss’ which passed below the road alongside Stainforth Beck. Having then crossed the railway an enclosed path led us to the road dropping down to Stainforth Bridge. This enclosed path is part of the recently created Pennine Bridleway. At the time of writing it does not currently show up on maps as a right of way.

After all the recent rainfall there was a lot of water coming over the falls. We may have been just a little bit too late in the year to see the salmon jumping but with the torrent of water coming down any stragglers would have had a heck of job swimming upriver. After taking a short video of the falls (see below) we retraced our steps back to Stainforth to end what had been a fascinating and hugely enjoyable little walk.

Video of Stainforth Force

A short video my daughter took of Stainforth Force.

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