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Explore the Ribble Way with a Cicerone guidebook

Cover of The Ribble Way
16 Jul 2010
17.2 x 11.6 x 1.0cm
No. Maps
No. Photos
1st Published
23 Jun 2005
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The Ribble Way

A Northern England Trail

by Dennis Kelsall, Jan Kelsall
Book published by Cicerone Press

This guidebook describes the Ribble Way, a 71 mile route following the Ribble valley, from the estuary mouth near Preston to the river's source on Cam Fell in the Yorkshire Dales. The book contains a full route description split into 7 convenient stages, with suggestions for day walkers.

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Cover: Paperback - Laminated
Size: 17.2 x 11.6 x 1.0cm
Weight: 180g

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The Ribble Way traces the full length of the Ribble Valley and leads walkers through some of the finest scenery in northwest England. The route described starts from the Lancashire village of Longton, near the estuary mouth, and ends at the source of the Ribble, high on Cam Fell in the Yorkshire Dales. The 70.5 mile (113km) route does not always run right beside the river but remains within the broad confines of the valley. This is definitely an advantage as it offers walkers expansive views over the surrounding countryside.

The Ribble Way is one of the country’s shorter ‘long-distance’ walks and as such, is an ideal choice for newcomers to long-distance walking. It runs through countryside for virtually its entire length, yet the path is rarely far from civilisation and only in its higher reaches does it pass through a wilder landscape. For the most part it is generally pastoral, although this does not mean that the challenge it offers should be underestimated. Countryside walking can be just as physically demanding as hillwalking, particularly after heavy rain or during the summer at the climax of vegetation growth.

For convenience the route is presented here in seven stages, but the time taken to complete the walk from end to end will depend on personal choice and ability. No stretch of the Ribble Way is overly demanding, and most reasonably fit walkers should not experience any difficulty in completing a section. However, if you are unused to walking any distance on a daily basis, it is sensible to do some training beforehand.

The Ribble Way is also very well suited to day walking, as it enjoys good public transport connections and many sections offer a wide choice of other paths from which to create a range of circular walks. Suggestions for day walkers, highlighting available transport connections and possible return routes, are given at the end of each chapter, and ‘end to enders’ might find this information useful in allowing them to extend their stay to see some of the countryside beyond the Way.


  • Seasons
    Suitable all year, though winter weather may make the upper sections more challenging.
  • Centres
    Preston, Clitheroe, Gisburn, Sette, Stainforth, Horton in Ribblesdale
  • Difficulty
    Ideal for those new to long-distance walking. Gentle terrain, more remote in its upper sections.
  • Must See
    Views of Whernside, Pen-y-ghent and Ingleborough; landscape of the Dales; Ribblehead viaduct; industrial heritage
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We are always grateful to readers for information about any discrepancies between a guidebook and the facts on the ground. If you would like to send some information to us then please use our Feedback form. They will be published here following review by the author(s).


The Ribble Way
Ordnance Survey Maps
The Ribble Way
Chapter 1 Longton to Penwortham Bridge
Chapter 2 Penwortham Bridge to Ribchester
Chapter 3 Ribchester to Brungerley Bridge
Chapter 4 Brungerley Bridge to Gisburn Bridge
Chapter 5 Gisburn Bridge to Settle
Chapter 6 Settle to Horton in Ribblesdale
Chapter 7 Horton in Ribblesdale to the Ribble's source
Appendix 1 Route Summary
Appendix 2 Useful Information
Appendix 3 Accommodation Listing
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