The Norber Erratics

A ramble up to these unusual rock formations from Austwick, around 4 to 6 miles (9.5 kilometres), you can roam. August, cloudy and warm. With family and silly dog.

TL;DR We find weird rocks and give them unsuitable names

Show me someone who doesn’t yearn to walk up to rocks named the Norber Erratics and I’ll show you someone who doesn’t understand life at all.

Erratics are basically rocks where they have no business being. On the foothills of Ingleborough mountain near the village of Austwick sit some very unusual rock formations. They are giant Silurian boulders which have been carried on ice sheets, around 15,000 years ago, and dumped on top of limestone at the end of the last ice age. These erratics are probably the best you will see in Britain, and if you can take a geologist with you they will explain far better than I can what on earth they are doing there. Balancing on limestone plinths, many of them.

We began in Austwick village and walked up a very steep and unexciting hill called Crummack Lane before we reached the fields above and made our way over the Pennine Bridleway and up into the foothills. We followed the drystone wall and before too long the landscape becomes rather peculiar.

It appears that a giant baby has tipped all his bricks out of the box and thrown them around in an enormous tantrum. Some of these giant bricks are balancing on smaller limestone plinths giving them an animal like shape, headless elephants comes to mind, limestone being more porous and gradually eroding away.

The 1970s Wombat

Now as far as a walking route goes, this post doesn’t have one. From here on you are grazing about the hillside like the sheep, you are off-roading, you are rambling free. It’s possible to continue to Crummack and have a circular walk along the dale, but I don’t insist upon it. Sometimes it is better just to explore.

The Herd of Mammoths
The Hawthorn Sandwich
The Praying Rabbit
The Dog on a Toadstool

When you have finished clambering around the hillside and had a picnic, you can make your way back down, either the way you came or on Crummack Lane if you’ve wandered east. There’s a lovely pub in Austwick called the Game Cock Inn, which even has its own bakery so don’t forget to put some money into the local economy and show thanks for the rock festival.

Other walks in this area

Walk info

There’s no map or GPX necessary for this, it barely qualifies as a hike but nevertheless it was an absolute highlight of a walk this year, so don’t miss it if you are in the Ingleborough area. You can see the way up on OS maps app, it’s even on google maps.

6 responses to “The Norber Erratics”

  1. This post rocks. I love these kind of landscapes. Shovell clearly is the star of the show, however. He’s a rock star.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ha, thanks, he would be proud to hear you say it. He likes to stand on high things, it must be a great perspective on the world when you’re so little.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Thanks for sharing this. These rocks caught my attention. I am happy I am following your blog. Anita

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m glad you stopped by Anita


  3. A very special landscape, it must have been a great walk for you and your dog. Have a nice day and many greets.

    Liked by 1 person

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