Ribblehead can be best described as a railway hamlet by a crossroads. It sits underneath what is probably England’s most famous railway viaduct, the iconic Ribblehead Viaduct, with its 24 arches.
Whether you come here to see the viaduct or to take a walk in the heart of the Three Peaks Country, your walk will be dominated by the magnificent viaduct.
Apart from the popular and welcoming inn and the little wind-swept station with its welcoming Settle-Carlisle Railway Heritage Centre, there are no other visitor facilities here. Indeed apart from a couple of cottages and farms at Gearstones a mile away there is no other human habitation. Be prepared for a wild location.
This is one of the grandest, loneliest, and at certain times of the day or year, most desolate places in the Yorkshire Dales National Park. It’s a virtually treeless landscape of bare, brown sculptured hills, dominated by the Three Peaks.
This is fell walking country at its best, with Whernside as the prime magnet straight ahead and Pen-y-Ghent and Ingleborough to the south. Many walkers also follow the Craven Way into Dentdale, or continue along the line of the Blea Moor tunnel over Blea Moor itself into Dentdale, with Dent Station as a prime destination for return transport.
Both the Dales Way and Pennine Way, are accessible from the station by road and field path, and though the actual source of the Ribble is hard to locate, you can follow paths from below Gearstones to the beautiful little Thorns Gill where a 17th century packhorse bridge crosses a deep, primrose hung ravine.
It is also possible to explore the Ingleborough National Nature Reserve from Ribblehead, but some areas require a visitor’s permit (available from English Nature (website opens in new window)).
Public Transport Links:
Local services: Pub, toilets, accommodation, Park Information Point (PIP)