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The Ingleborough Estate Nature Trail is the gateway to some of the U.K’s most stunning limestone scenery including Trow Gill gorge, Gaping Gill pothole, limestone pavements, the Norber Erratics and ultimately the summit of Ingleborough, one of the famous Yorkshire Three Peaks. Alfred Wainwright, the esteemed guidebook author and illustrator, considered this the standout walk in the Yorkshire Dales and described this route up Ingleborough as “the finest of all, a classic”.
The trail wends it way through the woodland, past a picturesque lake and along a steep river valley before emerging at the imposing entrance to Ingleborough Cave. It was established in 1970 to mark European Conservation Year, which coincided with the 50th anniversary of the death of one of Clapham’s most famous sons, the plantsman, plant collector and writer Reginald John Farrer (1880-1920). The trail provided a stunning backdrop for Reginald to discover his love for the limestone landscapes and the fells that surrounded them, and upon leaving Oxford University, he travelled to the mountainous areas of Europe and Asia in search of new Alpine species. Interpretation panels tell the story of Reginald’s adventures, including a rather bizarre tale where he once used a shotgun in an attempt to find a successful resting place for some of this precious seeds that he had collected abroad. His lasting legacy is a collection of quite stunning rhododendrons that he brought back and planted in the pockets of acidic soil above the craven fault. These beautiful flowers rear their heads in early spring.