A short haul for a long Dales view

dalesFor a hill whose summit is just under 1,200ft above sea level, Smearsett Scar offers the kind of 360 degree view of the Dales usually reserved for walkers venturing a thousand feet higher. All the Three Peaks, Fountains Fell, Pendle Hill, the Bowland Fells and much more are visible. On very clear days you can probably make out the west coast.

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Top picture shows views over Moughton Scar and Crummckdale towards Ingleborough. Above, the view south west over Pot Scar.
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Looking up Ribblesdale to Penyghent; below the view of Warrendale Knotts.

The intricate limestone pavement of Moughton Scar stands out, and the green valleys of Crummack, Wenning and Ribble look gentle and welcoming. This small Ribblesdale peak, part of a short limestone ridge including Pot Scar, provided me with my only real exercise this week. A friend tells me he once spent a wonderful, clear, summer’s night at the top – it certainly wasn’t during this year’s brief summer.

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Smearsett Scar seen from the back road between Helwith Bridge and Stainforth. Below, gulls enjoying refreshments in fields below the scar.

More Dales churches

As I trundle around the Dales I often stop off to photograph local churches. I’m not a religious person but enjoy church architecture and history. And during several decades of delving into my family’s past I’ve spent many an hour tramping through graveyards looking for clues.
This week I briefly crossed into Lancashire from the western Dales to visit St Peter’s at Leck, where there’s been a church since the early 1600s.

Today’s building (above) is a relatively modern affair, having been rebuilt in 1913 following a fire, but it is still a grand sight in this quiet backwater off the main road to and from the Lakes. Leck Fell and nearby Gragareth are two hills I’ve never ascended but I seem to recall potholing trips around the area as a more adventurous youth.


Just a couple of miles away, switching from the Diocese of Blackburn to that of Leeds – both sounding incongruous for this part of the country – is St Oswald’s at Thornton-in-Lonsdale. Like at Leck’s church (and dozens more around the North) it seems to have links with the Brontes. There’s been a church here since pre-Norman times, but also similarly to St Peter’s it was gutted by fire (in 1933). The church was rebuilt in a Gothic style and looks splendid set in a well-kept churchyard. Sitting here I imagined this (and the neighbouring pub of course) being welcome sanctuary for those who travelled the lonely high pass from Dent through Kingsdale.

Not moonshine


I didn’t manage to snatch a shot of the Harvest Moon – we’ve had some cloudy nights in our part of the Dales this week – but I did capture some lovely evening sunlight around Ribblesdale.

5 thoughts on “A short haul for a long Dales view”

  1. Paul,

    I don’t know how many ‘comments’ you get but if experience with our Blog is anything to go by I suspect it may not be many. I once asked a BBC Radio 4 journalist friend how much response he got to his items on You and Yours, Farming Today and elsewhere. “Usually, nothing” was his rather surprising reply.

    Please be assured that we, and I suspect many more than you know, appreciate your modestly entitled Scribbles by the Ribble. You take us to less well known parts of this magnificent part of England as well as the more well trodden paths.

    Beautiful pictures from a wise wordsmith. What more could your followers want?

  2. That’s very kind of you Mark. My blog, Twitter, Facebook and Linkedin views number into the thousands but feedback is rare – not that it bothers me. I publish stuff for my own satisfaction and if others enjoy it then that’s a bonus. Unlike your good self most people seem to use the internet to moan or further a cause. During too many years in publishing I learned that some of the most mundane of topics, or simplest of throwaway lines, can cause the biggest out pouring of anger! Thanks for reading the blog.

  3. Wonderful images again. It’s great to feel that youre transported to the Dales. I especially liked the sunset photo of the sheep on the hill with the setting sun behind.
    I do try to leave a comment here to show my appreciation of this blog. I read it every Sunday having a pot of tea and look forward to it’s arrival, though i don’t know if it’s an all year round thing.

    On one occasion I tried to leave a comment and I got a message saying I had already left a similar comment once before on one of the other blogs. So I was prevented from posting it…
    I had tried to say how much I enjoyed seeing the great photos each week.

    Best Wishes, David.

    1. Many thanks David – I appreciate your feedback. I tend to use Facebook mainly for family and close friends, and Twitter (@paulinribb) for more public posts – mainly photos. It’s very gratifying to hear that folk living outside the Dales, or those who are unable to venture out much, feel they’re being transported to this lovely part of the country through the blog.

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