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

Must See

Views of Whernside, Pen-y-ghent and Ingleborough; landscape of the Dales; Ribblehead viaduct; industrial heritage
23 Jun 2005
16 Jul 2010
17.2 x 11.6 x 1.0cm
  • Overview

    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.

  • Contents

    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

  • Maps
    Explorer 286, Blackpool and Preston
    Explorer 287, West Pennine Moors
    Explorer OL41, Forest of Bowland and Ribblesdale
    Explorer OL2, Yorkshire Dales (Southern and Western areas)
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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 contact form. They will be published here following review by the author(s).

  • Reviews

    '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:

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Dennis Kelsall A

Dennis Kelsall

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.

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Jan Kelsall A

Jan 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