WHELP STONE CRAG – Gisburn Forest.

                            Distant view of Whelp Stone Crag peeping out of vast acres of Gisburn Forest.

I parked in Tosside; a church, a village hall, a war memorial in the middle of the road and an inn that is closed.

St. Bartholomew.

War memorial and ‘pub’


On the map the track leading to Whelp Stone Crag looked straightforward, a lane to a farm and then a footath alongside Gisburn Forest. As far as the farm the lane was good but the path onwards diabolical, difficult to follow on the ground, encroaching trees and waterlogged for most of its length. Why do I always seem to find these horrors?  I could hear the mountain bikers on the Gisburn Forest trails whooping with delight, I hope they could not hear my cursing. I would not recommend this approach, there are probably better traks within the forest.

The crag in sight over more rough ground.


Anyhow I arrived at the trig point, 371m, on top of a fragmented gritstone edge. Ravens were cavorting about in the updrafts. There must be some good bouldering on these rocks. From here I could look down on the bikers speeding along the trails. There were 360 degree views over Pendle, Bowland and into Yorkshire although the higher peaks were cloud covered. I was the only person up here.

After a snack as I was preparing to leave a couple arrived on the summit. ” That was the worst path we have ever been on” was their opening conversation. I had no idea what they meant.

The ongoing ridge was a delight before trackless slopes took me down to squelshy fields where farmers were rounding up their sheep. Across the valley, A65, were the limestone hills of the Settle area.

The unmarked footpath just about navigated me through or around, I was never sure which, several farms called Brayshaw. They all had a well worn look to them and were undoubtably of vintage.

Passing a smarter residence I reached some tarmac on a minor road. I threw in the towel and followed it back to Tosside. I think I was in Lancashire most of the afternoon but the oulook was Yorkshire Dales country.


6 thoughts on “WHELP STONE CRAG – Gisburn Forest.

    1. bowlandclimber

      No laughing matter.
      I remember the football situation from that post, It would have been better if I had taken heed of the rest.
      I don’t think I was ever on your tracks but the whole area is a nightmare for walkers.
      Buy a mountain bike and go with the flow.
      Probably my worst path where I expected one. I may have been on worse knowing there was rough ground to traverse and then it is satisfying to come through unscathed.

    1. bowlandclimber

      Sorry I was rather dismissive of Tosside I didnt know of The Old Vicarage.
      Friends of mine took on the pub a while back but it didn’t work out well.
      Don’t try to follow my walk – it was horrendous on the edge of Gisburn Forest.

  1. Michael Graeme

    Warning duly heeded. An interesting area, though I was glad to be following you virtually rather than getting my feet wet.


Leave a Reply