The Ribble Way
A Northern England Trail
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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.
- Suitable all year, though winter weather may make the upper sections more challenging.
- Preston, Clitheroe, Gisburn, Sette, Stainforth, Horton in Ribblesdale
- 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
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.
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
Route finding is not a significant problem and, particularly in Lancashire, you will have little difficulty in spotting the distinctive blue RW icon waymarks periodically used to sign the path. Elsewhere the general yellow footpath arrows and occasional informal markers identify paths, and you will need to refer to the text or a map to keep yourself on the correct route. The OS map extracts accompanying the text show the corridor containing the Ribble Way, but do not give the detail found on the 1:25,000 scale Explorer maps – for example, the path in relation to field boundaries. Day walkers and those wanting to appreciate the wider countryside through which they are travelling will find the large-scale mapping invaluable. The four relevant sheets are given below.Ordnance Survey Maps
Explorer 286, Blackpool & Preston
Explorer 287, West Pennine Moors
Explorer OL41, Forest of Bowland and Ribblesdale
Explorer OL2, Yorkshire Dales (Southern & Western areas)
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'A new guide that aims to unlock the beauty of the Ribble Way has been unleashed on eager walking enthusiasts. The Walk – whose route spans from the salt marshes of the Ribble Estuary to the towering peaks of Whernside, Ingleborough and Pen y Gent – is split into seven sections to help walkers comfortably complete the 71-mile route in a week.
Although the way passes through Preston, it remains largely untouched by the noise of bustling activity. Further upstream, the walk snakes through Clitheroe and Gisburn before turning north into the breathtaking beauty of the Yorkshire Dales, passing Settle and Horton in Ribblesdale, before it reaches the source of the river.
The book – written by Lancashire natives Dennis and Jan Kelsall – is illustrated with Ordnance survey mapping and includes guidance on public transport, local facilities and accommodation along the route.'
(Westmorland Gazette, November 2005)
Check out the review on the following website:
Having followed a career in Human Resource management through industry, local government and private consultancy, Dennis Kelsall was led into outdoor writing with a Cicerone commission for a guide to the Pembrokeshire Coast Path, an area he'd loved since childhood. Inevitably, the constraints of the day job proved too onerous and, joining the Outdoor Writers Guild (as it then was), he became established as a full-time freelance writer and photographer.View Articles and Books by Dennis Kelsall
After completing a degree in psychology and sociology, Jan Kelsall embarked upon a local government career, where she met her husband Dennis. A shared passion for walking and the countryside led to a first commission with Cicerone for a guide to the Pembrokeshire Coast Path and she eventually abandoned the security of employment to concentrate on the outdoors. Although based in Lancashire, their collaborative projects have since taken them the length and breadth of Britain.View Articles and Books by Jan Kelsall
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