Cost: £35.00

  • ROUTE – Out and back
  • DISTANCE – 8 miles
  • TIME – 5-6 hours
  • ASCENT – 467m
  • GUIDED – Walk with experienced Mountain Leaders
  • DIFFICULTY – Easy to Moderate

This walk starts at the lovely village of Clapham. We begin by following the Ingleborough Estate Nature Trail, taking us past a beautiful lake on our way to Ingleborough Cave, where we take our time to explore this famous show cave in the heart of the Yorkshire Dales National Park.

 Discovered in 1837, this magnificent show cave treats us to a fossil gallery of stalagmitic formations stretching some 500m.

After the unforgettable Ingleborough Cave, we make our way to Trow Gill which is a spectacular limestone gorge, with cliffs over 200ft high.Trow Gill is an example of a meltwater gorge that was formed over the course of thousands of years by melting ice trying to find a route of escape from the plateau above.

Next we reach Gaping Gill which is one of the most famous caves in the  Yorkshire Dales, and one of the largest underground chambers in Britain.  The main chamber measures 129m long, 31m high, and 25m wide. Fell Beck pours over a lip of rock above and crashes 100m to the floor of the cavern before draining through to Ingleborough Cave.

The Gaping Gill cave system is one of longest and most complex in the UK, in fact, it wasn’t until 1983 that members of the Cave Diving Group made the connection between this cavern and Ingleborough Cave.

Settle man John Birbeck, who also made the first descent of Alum Pot, attempted the first descent in 1842, having first diverted the beck. He was lowered on a rope by farm labourers but he only reached a ledge 58m (190ft) down. It is known today as Birbeck’s Ledge.

In 1895 Frenchman Edouard Martel made the first descent to the bottom using a rope ladder and a candle. He kept in contact with the surface by telephone.

Leaving Gaping gill we head over to explore the impressive ‘Pile of Stones’, a huge cairn, before heading back to Clapham.