Walking in the Yorkshire Dales

Walk 6:
Gaping Gill Circular

Route overview:

  • Eurospeleo (140m)
  • Austwick
  • Trow Gill
  • Gaping Gill
  • Trow Gill
  • Ingleborough Show Cave
  • Clapham
  • Austwick
  • Eurospeleo

For those wishing to walk only as far as Gaping Gill, to see (or descend on) the famous winch into Gaping Gill main chamber, this is the best route to walk. You take a slightly different route to and from Trow Gill for some added variety.

Approximate time: 5 hrs (assuming a long stop up at Gaping Gill)

Approximate distance: 16 km

Difficulty: 1½ / 5

Navigation Overview:
From Eurospeleo, cross the main road and walk into Austwick. About 250m after the pub (The Game Cock) turn left onto Townhead Lane and follow this out of the village for about 300m. A cross roads is then met with a track on the right and left. Go left towards Clapham (Thwaite Lane).

After about one mile turn right and follow the track (Long Lane) until near to Trow Gill.

Near Trow Gill, a small path cuts down the hill on the left to join the lower footpath. Follow this lower path up Trow Gill itself (a steep limestone gorge) and for a further several minutes. The path goes over a double stile/gate on the left and then towards Gaping Gill, where an encampment of cavers will be found operating the famous Gaping Gill winch.

For the downward journey, return the way you came. However, after Trow Gill, stay on the lower path down to Ingleborough Show Cave (where a discounted entry fee is available for Eurospeleo delegates). The follow the Nature Trail footpath south all the way down to Clapham.

Upon arrival in the village, follow the road straight ahead along the river and turn left after 50m over the bridge. Follow this road for 200m and immediately after you pass the village car park, turn left along a track which leads to the footpath out of the village. This path crosses several fields before arriving into Austwick, only a five minute walk from Eurospeleo.