Photo location guide: Twisleton Scar End
With limestone pavements, gnarly trees and dry stone walls, this Yorkshire location has plenty to offer the keen landscape photographer, says Jeremy Walker
In my opinion, Twisleton (which is how it’s spelled on my OS map) Scar End is one of the finest limestone pavements in Yorkshire, offering great views across the Dales.
Extreme care must be taken when shooting on the rock formations, as this is prime ankle-twisting territory. The gaps in between the rocks can be deep and the rocks can move and wobble, despite their size. Particular care should be taken in winter, when snow and ice can add to the hazards. Don’t let this put you off though, as the picture-taking possibilities are numerous. Dry stone walls and gnarled, stubby trees dot the landscape, and even the cracks in the limestone can provide lens fodder for close-up photographers.
To find Twisleton Scar End you first need to locate the town of Ingleton, which is on the western side of the Pennines, 19 miles south of Kendal. Ingleton is a pleasant little town with shops, tearooms and accommodation. Also nearby is the Ingleton Falls Walk, which follows a series of waterfalls through the glen.
Having located Ingleton, drive through the hamlet of Thornton in Lonsdale, passing the church and heading north. After about a mile, you will find a track on your right and parking by the side of the road. The track is a public right of way, which you follow for about half a mile, crossing the footbridge until the path doubles back on itself and heads uphill.
Twisleton Scar End – Shooting advice
Twisleton Scar End is what I would call a year-round location, potentially as good in the middle of the summer as it can be in midwinter. In the summer, the few gnarled trees here will have foliage and you can add a splash of colour with a blue sky for a background, but in winter the location can look moody and dramatic, with stormy skies and snow on the ground – perfect for black & white.
At any given time of the year, it’s essential to check the weather forecast. It’s handy to know the sunrise and sunset times, too, and it’s a good idea to carry a head torch for the early morning or late evening walk in or out. More importantly, you don’t want to get caught in a storm while out on the limestone pavement. The landscape is bleak and open, with little protection from wind or rain, so be prepared and wear appropriate warm, waterproof clothing.
Food and lodging
The small town of Ingleton and the surrounding Dales are very much on the tourist trail, so there are plenty of cafes, tearooms and restaurants in the area.
I have not used any of the facilities in Ingleton personally but the Country Harvest on New Road has positive reviews. If you are unfamiliar with an area, look for a cafe with plenty of people in it. It’s usually a good sign!
If you are looking for somewhere special to stay, and an excellent meal, book into The Traddock Hotel in Austwick, six miles away. It’s a family-run country house hotel in a quiet location. I guarantee you’ll want to stay more than just one night.
Jeremy Walker is an award-winning photographer and Nikon Ambassador. He has years of experience in landscape and location photography
To save space in your kitbag leave your longer lenses at home. This is a wide-angle lens location with plenty of foreground interest. The rock patterns can look extremely dramatic when shot by a wide-angle lens.
A tripod is advisable to get the most out of the location, but there are still plenty of shots to be had from working handheld. If you want to shoot close-up details, then a tripod with a short or reversible centre column is preferable.
This is classic ankle-twisting territory and, as a result, good strong walking boots are a must. This is not the sort of terrain in which you want to be wandering around in flimsy trainers or open-toe sandals.