Ribblehead walk - Walks Around Britain

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Walks from Season One - Ribblehead

Discover the spectacular Ribblehead Viaduct on the famous Settle-Carlisle Railway with this 5 mile walk in the Yorkshire Dales.

This is one of the walks you can join on a Walks Around Britain Guided Walk at various times throughout the year.  Click on the Book Now button below to see when the next walk is and to book.

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A walk around the Ribblehead Viaduct on the Settle-Carlisle Railway - Walks Around Britain Shorts
Walk Info
5 miles (8km)
Minimum time
2½ hours
Total ascent
328 ft (100m)
Level of difficulty
Moorland - farm tracks & footpaths, 1 stile
Grid SD 76500 79200
Can be off lead by viaduct,
but on leads in farmland
Off B6255 and B6479
Public Transport
Rail - Ribblehead Station
from Leeds / Carlisle
None on route -
nearest The Station Inn
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Route Directions

  • From the parking place on the B6255, walk towards the viaduct.

  • If you are coming by train, exit Ribblehead station and walk down the access road to the junction with the B6255 Cross over the road with the Station Inn directly in front of you, and turn right.  Walk down the road, passing through the gate next to the cattle grid,

  • Head down the path marked with a signpost for Whernside, stopping along the way to get a photo of the classic image of the Ribblehead Viaduct with Whernside in the background.

  • When the road path starts to turn to the left, walk through the boulders placed on the side, and follow the path signposted to Whernside – which climbs up to the level of the railway on the far side.

  • Continue to walk on the path alongside the railway until it drops down slightly, and an underpass beneath it appears on the left.  Take this, and follow the path.

  • Soon, the path heads through Winterscales Farm, with the dry stone walls on either side.  Once through the farm, the mighty Whernside is directly above you on the right.

  • Continue on this path, ignoring other paths to the left.  On the left, the right-hand peak is Ingleborough – the second of the Yorkshire Three Peaks.

  • At the next farm, Ivescar, turn left after the metal barn on the left, and walk between the buildings.  A stile on the left provides an alternative route diagonally through the fields – but has several stiles on the way.  For a stile-free walk, continue down the road path with the peaks of Park Fell, Simon Fell and Ingleborough straight ahead.

  • Soon, the road path turns to the right, and another road branches off to the left.  Take this road on the left and go through the gate – remembering to leave it as you found it.

  • Follow this road path as is goes through several dry stone walls.  If you took the diagonal path across the fields, you’d join up with the road path just as Winterscale Beck nears the road on the right.

  • With a large farm on the right, a footpath branches off to the right at right angles.  Turn down this path, so the farm building are on your left.

  • The Ribblehead Viaduct is now straight head, and starts to become more imposing as the path meanders towards it.

  • Next is the great moment as you walk beneath the mighty viaduct and through one of the 24 arches which make up this outstanding piece of engineering.  Here you can touch just some of the 1.5 million bricks used in its construction between October 1879 and 1874.  It took around 1,000 navvies – the nickname for construction workers on engineering projects – to build the viaduct, and around 100 died in the process.

  • Once you’ve finished admiring the viaduct, follow the path straight ahead – and turn right at the boulders you walked straight through at the start of the walk.

  • Continue the follow the path until you reach the main road – the B6255 Low Sleights Road – again.

  • Turn right, and head along the road, through the gate at the cattle grid and cross the road outside the Station Inn to walk back up the access road to Ribblehead Station for your train back.

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Relevant Links

National Rail - Ribblehead Station
Station information for Ribblehead Railway Station from National Rail Enquiries

The Settle-Carlisle Partnership
The website from the Partnership designed to promote the railway.

The Settle and Carlisle Railway Trust  
The Trust's page on the work they've done at Ribblehead Station.

AA Guide to Yorkshire

The new third edition of the AA Guide to Yorkshire gives you everything you need to know to get the most out of your visit to this wonderful county - and written by our own Andrew White.
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