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Settle Walk (Settle Caves and Waterfalls Walk) – Ultimate Guide

Settle Walk (Settle Caves and Waterfalls Walk) – Ultimate Guide

The Settle Walk, which has become known as the Settle Caves and Waterfalls Walk, is one of the best walks in the Yorkshire Dales National Park. Starting in the charming town of Settle, the circular walk explores brilliant caves, waterfalls and scars. The highlights of the walk include visiting Catrigg Force, Jubilee Cave, Victoria Cave, Attermire Scar and Scaleber Force. In this guide, we’re going to tell you everything you need to know about the Settle Caves and Waterfalls Walk.

Settle Walk (Settle Caves and Waterfalls Walk) Overview

Also known as the Settle Circular Walk and Settle Loop Walk, this walk involves seeing numerous caves and waterfalls in Settle. Well, technically, the caves and waterfalls are located near Settle; but, indeed, the walk starts from this town.

By doing the Settle Caves and Waterfalls Walk, you’ll get to scope out some of the best caves and waterfalls in the Yorkshire Dales. When it comes to caves, Jubilee Cave and Victoria Cave are some of the best and most accessible caves to see in the area. In terms of waterfalls, Catrigg Force is a splendid double-tier drop. Whilst, Scaleber Force is becoming an increasingly popular waterfall to visit. Perhaps above all, is the superb limestone landscape on display at Attermire Scar. This scar doesn’t get the plaudits that Gordale Scar receives; but, is impressive in its own right.

So, without further ado, let’s talk about the Settle Caves and Waterfalls Walk in a bit more detail. First, let’s have a look at the trail specs, a map and elevation profile.

Read our guides about Malham Cove, Simon’s Seat and Bolton Abbey Waterfall

Dan at Jubilee Cave on the Settle Caves and Waterfalls Walk, next to Victoria Cave and Attermire Scar and Scaleber Force
Jubilee Cave

Settle Walk Route Details

  • Type: Loop
  • Distance: 14.9km
  • Time: 4–6 hours
  • Accumulated elevation gain: 505m
  • Difficulty: Moderate
  • Trailhead: Settle

Settle Walk Map

Below, you’ll find a map of the Settle Caves and Waterfalls Walk. Feel free to click on the image below to access a GPS-guided map.

A map of the Settle Caves and Waterfalls Walk

Elevation Profile

Here’s the elevation profile for the Settle Caves and Waterfalls Walk. Throughout the walk, you’ll gain an accumulated elevation gain of approx. 505 metres. Certainly, that’s one of the reasons why we’ve classed this walk as moderate difficulty. You’ll have your work cut out! But, it’s absolutely worth it.

FYI – you’ll reach a maximum elevation of around 420 metres above sea level. You’ll reach this height when exploring Jubilee and Victoria Caves.

Elevation profile of the Settle Caves and Waterfalls Walk

Settle Walk: Trail Highlights

In this trail highlights section, you can find out about the best sections of the Settle Caves and Waterfalls Walk. Of course, the best sections include Catrigg Force, Jubilee Cave, Victoria Cave, Attermire Scar and Scaleber Force.

Below, you won’t find an exhaustive in-depth trail description. Rather, you’ll find an overview of the best sections of the Settle Caves and Waterfalls Walk. We hope this inspires you to do this awesome walk. If you combine reading this, with using our GPS-guided map, you’ll be right as rain to crack on with doing this brilliant walk.

Beck is heading in the direction of Catrigg Force during the Settle Caves and Waterfalls Walk
Heading in the direction of Catrigg Force from Settle

Where to Start the Settle Walk

You can start the walk from anywhere in Settle. Basically, wherever you can find parking will do. Personally, Beck and I found free street-side parking here on School Hill. From there, we walked through the beautiful town of Settle, before joining Banks Lane and beginning the steep uphill climb. As you pass the initial farms, keep an eye out for rabbits!

A rabbit jumps and another rabbit sits

As you gain elevation, the town of Settle will appear to your left. The views are fantastic. You’ll soon reach a wooden gate. Simply proceed with the stone wall to your left, keeping to the bottom of the hillside. Eventually, you’ll take a trail, leading you away from the hillside. You’ll then briefly pass through the village of Langcliffe, turning right to continue north towards Catrigg Force.

Catrigg Force

The slender two-tiered Catrigg Force is a superb waterfall. At the base of Catrigg Force, expect to see people taking a dip in the natural pool. Especially in summer, it’s a popular place for a swim.

Other than exploring the base of Catrigg Force, we recommend heading to the top of the falls. Take care as you walk up the cliff-side of Catrigg Force, nearing the top tier of the waterfall. By exploring the top of the falls, you’ll enjoy a unique perspective of Catrigg Force along the way. Of course, you’ll lose sight of Catrigg Force at the top of the falls. But, it’s certainly worth following the stream of the falls, flowing from Stainforth Beck.

Catrigg Force, seen on the Settle Caves and Waterfalls Walk, which is taller than Scaleber Force
Catrigg Force

Jubilee Cave

After scoping out Catrigg Force, you’ll briefly retrace your steps, heading south. You’ll soon turn left, following a dirt trail, before turning right onto a country lane. This will soon lead you onto a trail, leading into an increasingly limestone landscape. The next major attractions along the Settle Caves and Waterfalls Walk are Jubilee and Victoria Caves.

First, you’ll explore Jubilee Cave, which has a ruggedly-shaped opening. From this cave, you’ll enjoy splendid views of Attermire Scar and its surrounding limestone landforms.

After seeing Catrigg Force, Dan explores Jubilee Cave on the Settle Caves and Waterfalls Walk, next to Victoria Cave and Attermire Scar and Scaleber Force
Jubilee Cave

Victoria Cave

Near Jubilee Cave, you’ll find the equally impressive Victoria Cave. Unlike Jubilee Cave, there are a few more cave structures to explore at Victoria Cave. Similar to Jubilee Cave, you’ll need to walk up a steep trail to access these caves, which are embedded into the limestone walls. Remember to pack a headtorch, so you can properly see inside the awesome Victoria Cave. There are many small crevasses and cracks to check out at Victoria Cave. Personally, when we explored Victoria Cave, we really liked the thin opening, which looked like a fissure.

After exploring both Jubilee and Victoria Caves, which are adjacent to an area called the Clay Pits, you’ll head towards Attermire Scar.

After seeing Catrigg Force, Dan explores Victoria Cave on the Settle Caves and Waterfalls Walk, next to Attermire Scar and near Scaleber Force
Victoria Cave

Attermire Scar

Attermire Scar is a breathtaking series of limestone scars, crags, scree slopes and caves. Indeed, there’s an Attermire Cave, which is difficult to access. Personally, we didn’t access this cave. We just simply admired walking through Attermire Scar. In particular, the Warrendale Knotts is a prominent limestone section of Attermire Scar.

After scoping out Attermire Scar, you’ll continue south towards Sugar Loaf Hill. Admittedly, Sugar Loaf Hill was a great place to shoot up the drone to enjoy an aerial view of Attermire Scar.

Attermire Scar, near Scaleber Force

DJI Air 2S

DJI Air 2S

Capture breathtaking aerial photography and videography with the DJI Air 2S. The DJI Air 2S Fly More Combo comes with all of the necessary accessories such as the remote controller, spare batteries and battery charger.

Scaleber Force

From Attermire Scar, you’ll then walk over to Sugar Loaf Hill and beyond. Soon, you’ll reach High Hill Lane. From there, it’s possible to turn right and head back to Settle. But, there’s one more waterfall to see on the Settle Caves and Waterfalls Walk. That’s Scaleber Force, which is also known as Scaleber Force Waterfall. But, it’ll involve some less inspiring road walking. To be exact, you’ll walk around 1km on the road to reach Scaleber Force. Despite this less exciting stretch of the walk, seeing Scaleber Force is absolutely worth it.

When you arrive at Scaleber Force, don’t just settle on your initial view of the waterfall. Make sure to walk around the top of the waterfall and descend to its base. Certainly, you’ll enjoy the best view of Scaleber Force at the foot of the natural pool. At this point, you’ll enjoy a fantastic view of the multi-tiered cascade of Scaleber Force.

FYI – it’s also possible to visit Scaleber Force as a standalone return walk from Settle (i.e. the Scaleber Force Waterfall Walk). We’ve also seen a slight trail variation called the Scaleber Force Circular Walk from Settle. You can see a map of this circular walk here.

Scaleber Force, near Attermire Scar and Victoria Cave
Scaleber Force

Walk Back to Settle

From Scaleber Force, you’ll now retrace your steps along High Hill Lane and return to Settle. You’ve now completed the Settle Caves and Waterfalls Walk!

Settle Walk: Things We Liked and Disliked

Beck and I thoroughly enjoyed the Settle Caves and Waterfalls Walk. Doing this walk is a great way to see many of the best caves and waterfalls in the Yorkshire Dales. The walk is really jam-packed with worthwhile natural attractions to explore. Of course, the road walking near the end of the walk wasn’t exceptional. But, to be honest, with Attermire Scar in the background, the road walking certainly isn’t void of nice views.

To that end, we highly recommend the Settle Caves and Waterfalls Walk.

How to Get to Settle: Parking and Transport

The easiest and quickest way to get to Settle is to drive there yourself. If you don’t have your own set of wheels, we recommend hiring a car.

Car Hire

If you don’t have your own car, you should hire one using Discover Cars. Personally, we use Discover Cars and highly recommend them for finding your ideal car hire at an affordable price. Booking online is super easy and the free cancellation policy is great.

To find out more about renting a car with Discover Cars, read our Discover Cars review and Discover Cars Insurance review.

It’s also possible to use public transport to get to Settle. You can get a direct train to Settle from Leeds. Feel free to check the train times and prices here. We recommend using Trainline and Google Maps to plan your journey.

Booking Trains


Trainline is one of the best online platforms for booking trains. By using Trainline, you can easily find the best available prices and times for your journey. We always use Trainline to book our train journeys in the UK and in Europe.

Personally, we don’t recommend using public transport to get to Settle as you’ll likely have a long-winded journey to get there from elsewhere in the UK. Certainly, it’s best to drive to Settle yourself. That way, you’ll have more freedom and flexibility with your trip.

Parking Prices

Thankfully, there’s a decent amount of free street-side parking in Settle. But, of course, during busy periods, there may be no more street-side parking available. If this is the case for you, then head to either Whitefriars Car and Coach Car Park, Greenfoot Car Park or Ashfield Car Park. These are all pay and display car parks with plenty of spaces available (usually). Below, you’ll find prices for parking, which, of course, are subject to change.

The pricing at Whitefriars Car and Coach Car Park and Ashfield Car Park are the following.

  • Under 1 hour: £1.10
  • Under 2 hours: £2
  • Under 3 hours: £2.60
  • Under 4 hours: £3.20
  • Over 4 hours: £3.90

You’ll find the pricing at Greenfoot Car Park is slightly cheaper.

  • Under 1 hour: £0.90
  • Under 2 hours: £1.70
  • Over 2 hours: £2.30

Facilities and Amenities

In terms of facilities and amenities, you’ll find everything you need in the town of Settle. Whilst, during the walk, you’ll pass through Langcliffe, where there are limited facilities and amenities. Otherwise, you’ll be exploring nature, so pack what you need.

Other Waterfall Walks in the Yorkshire Dales

Below, we’ve listed some of the other best waterfalls in the Yorkshire Dales National Park.

Other lesser-known waterfalls worth visiting in the Yorkshire Dales include Buckden Beck Waterfalls, Cow Close Gill Waterfall, Gastack Beck Waterfall and the Askrigg Waterfalls.

What to Wear and Take

These are our hiking gear essentials for this walk.

Osprey Skarab 30
Osprey Skarab 30

The Osprey Skarab 30 is our go-to hiking backpack for day hikes. This well-designed unisex backpack is comfortable and spacious, so you’ll have plenty of space to pack everything without feeling the strain on your upper back.

Osprey Ultralight Raincover
Osprey Ultralight Raincover

A waterproof backpack cover is an absolute must when you’re adventuring outdoors. The Osprey Ultralight Raincover Medium is a high-quality waterproof cover that’ll keep your backpack bone dry.

GRAYL Reusable Water Bottle
GRAYL Reusable Water Bottle

The GRAYL GeoPress is the best water filter bottle that allows you to purify 710mL (12 ounces) of water. This bottle will make water safe to drink wherever you’re hiking.

BUFF Original Ecostretch
BUFF Original Ecostretch

The BUFF Original Ecostretch is a great option when it comes to multifunctional headwear. We use the Ecostretch as a neck gaiter to keep the sun off our necks and it helps us keep warm in cooler climates.

Sony Cybershot RX100 VII
Sony Cybershot RX100 VII

Capture epic photos and videos with the Sony Cybershot RX100 VII. This is hands-down the best compact camera. We love using this simple point-and-shoot camera when we’re hiking as it’s lightweight and durable.

To find out more about all of the gear that we use and recommend, read our guides about our favourite hiking gear, travel gear and camera gear. Otherwise, read our comprehensive travel packing checklist.

Other Yorkshire Dales Guides

Hardraw Force

For more information about the best things to do in the Yorkshire Dales, click the button below. Otherwise, to help you get started, read our 42 Best Yorkshire Dales Walks or 48 Best Yorkshire Dales Waterfalls guides.

Best Villages to See in the Yorkshire Dales

Bonus Tips For the Settle Caves and Waterfalls Walk

  • Other Settle walks: feel free to explore more of Settle by doing another walk in the area. In terms of easy walks around Settle, you could choose from a few different shorter circuit walks. These include just exploring Jubilee and Victoria Caves or choosing a walk to see the River Ribble.
  • Arrive early: your chances of getting free street-side parking are much better if you arrive in Settle early. This is especially true during summer, school holidays and on weekends.
  • Explore other nearby national parks: don’t just stop at the Yorkshire Dales in the northwest of England. Head to the beautiful Lake District (guides coming soon), North York Moors, Peak District and Northumberland National Parks. Otherwise, if you’re down south, you’ll have to check out Cornwall, the New Forest and South Downs National Park.

Please leave us a comment below.

Daniel Piggott

Dan is a travel blogger, physiotherapist, hiker, natural wonder seeker and world traveller. He loves writing travel guides to help his readers explore the most beautiful destinations in the world.

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