SOUTH of Skipton lies an area of moors that are rarely visited. It is an interesting area to explore and this walk does just that. The second half of the walk has some lovely views across Airedale, particularly near Lund’s Tower.

Start on the road outside the church in Sutton-in-Craven and pick my way through the village towards the obvious wooded dell under the moors. There is an impressive gate house before leaving the village, probably the entrance to Sutton Hall. It was the first of many surprises. The wooded dell next to Lumb Cleugh Beck is lovely, the bridleway broad and easy to follow (stick to the east side). There is some threatening signage which may have the best intentions, but it hardly encourages people to venture out and about.

After 500 metres take the left fork and zig zag up hill to your left until reaching the road to Keighley. Turn right and head uphill. There are some great views over Airedale from the lane 100 metres further on to the left, but having taken a photo carry on for another 300 metres to a farmer’s track in to a farmyard on your right. Go through the farmyard and enter open countryside. For the first half mile this is straightforward to follow, it is after the path reaches Gill Top Farm that route finding is a little more challenging. I passed through the farmyard and picked up a path heading south west and then west across open fields towards Starr Farm. The views compensate for the lack of signage, look for the stiles in the walls which mark the correct path. From Starr Farm I took the easiest option and followed the driveway south to a moorland road. Turn right and follow this quiet road north west for one mile as it undulates through the open moors.

Just past a bend in the road as it heads more westerly a track heads off to the left towards Lund’s Tower, a monument you will have seen on the skyline for the past one mile. This is the pepper for the well-known ‘salt and pepper pots’. This folly was commissioned by James Lund, either as a commemorative building for Queen Victoria or as a gift to his daughter Ethel. A delightful half a mile then follows between the pepper and the salt of Wainman’s Pinnacle. Some large sandstone boulders make up the scar to your right, reminiscent of the Wainstones in the North York Moors. The walking and views across Lothersdale and further afield make this one of the best short stretches of walking for miles around. Wainman’s Pinnacle is placed upon the rocks and is another folly with only legends indicating its origins in 1898, but it may have been to do with the Napoleonic wars.

Return towards ‘the pepper’ for 150m, then turn sharp left and follow the track under the rocks till it passes through a wall. From here turn right and drop steeply down a faint path to a road, cross the road and continue down the signposted path to Crag End. The views ahead along Airedale are still good. Yellow painted arrows indicate the path which heads north east through several tight stiles to High Malsis Farm. From here go east alongside a wall, past another farm till the path enters the western fringes of Sutton in Craven.

Fact box

Distance: Roughly 6 miles.

Height to climb: 285m (940 feet).

Start: SE 007442. I parked near the church in the centre of Sutton, there was plenty of room when I visited.

Difficulty: Moderate. The path through the farms above Sutton can be difficult to follow but the remainder is well signed on good terrain.

Refreshments: There is a choice of pubs near the church in Sutton-in-Craven.

Be Prepared: The route description and sketch map only provide a guide to the walk. You must take out and be able to read a map (O/S Explorer OL21) and in cloudy/misty conditions a compass. You must also wear the correct clothing and footwear for the outdoors. Whilst every effort is made to provide accurate information, walkers head out at their own risk. Please observe the Countryside Code and park sensibly.

Jonathan Smith runs Where2walk, a walking company based in the Yorkshire Dales:

• He has published 2 books on walks in the Dales, ‘The Yorkshire 3 Peaks’ and ‘The Dales 30’ mountains. Available direct from the Where2walk website.

• Book a Navigation Training day (Beginners or Intermediates). All dates and information on the website. Next available date June 5th.

• Leisurely guided walks up Pen-y-Ghent, Ingleborough and Whernside. Next dates are in July

Jonathan’s popular website, also features 100’s of walks across Yorkshire and beyond, from easy strolls to harder climbs.