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Discover a key part of North Yorkshire’s history on this circular Ribblehead Viaduct walk, developed in collaboration with Walks Around Britain. This scenic walk starts and ends at Ribblehead Station and passes two of Yorkshire’s famous three peaks – Whernside and Ingleborough.

Ribblehead Viaduct Walk Details:

  • Walking distance – 3.6 miles / 5.8 km.
  • Minimum time – 2 hours.
  • Grade – Medium – Some uneven paths and challenging climbs.
  • Map – OS Landranger 98 / Explorer OL2.
  • Dog walk friendliness – Mostly kept on leads – see signs.
  • Nearest train station – Ribblehead train station.

On mobile? Download the condensed Ribblehead Viaduct Walk PDF guide.

Download the Ribblehead walking guide (PDF)

This walk has been designed by Walks Around Britain writer and presenter Andrew White.

Ribblehead Viaduct Walk Details & Map

A map of the Ribblehead Viaduct Walk in North Yorkshire.

Step 1

Exit Ribblehead train station and walk down the access road to the junction with the B6255 Low Sleights Road. 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, until a road path on the left – marked with a signpost for Whernside. Walk down this path, stopping along the way to get a photo of the classic image of the Ribblehead Viaduct with Whernside in the background.

Ribblehead Viaduct with Whernside in the background

Step 2

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.

Railway tracks with yellow train and wooden shack

Step 3

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

Winterscales Farm and countryside

Step 4

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.

Long track up leading up a hill

Step 5

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. You are now roughly halfway through the Ribblehead Viaduct walk!

Wooden gate and tree in  background

Step 6

With a large farm on the right, a footpath branches off to the right at right angles. Turn down this path, so the farm buildings are on your left. At this stage of the Ribblehead Viaduct walk, you should begin to see the viaduct in the distance is now straight ahead and as It starts to become more imposing as the path meanders towards it.

Ribblehead Viaduct in background, walkers in foreground

Step 7

Next is the great moment as you walk beneath the mighty Ribblehead 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.

Ribblehead Viaduct Walk and blue skies

Step 8

Once you’ve finished admiring Ribblehead Viaduct, walk the path straight ahead and turn right at the boulders you walked straight through at the start of the walk. Continue walking the path until you reach the main road – the B6255 Low Sleights Road – again. Congratulations, you’ve completed the North Yorkshire Ribblehead Viaduct Walk!

Yorkshire Ribblehead Viaduct Walk

Step 9

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 train station for your train back.

Ribblehead train station

We hope you enjoyed the Ribblehead Viaduct Walk in North Yorkshire! Looking for more walks in Northern England? See them here.

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