The Ribble Way

The Ribble Way

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The Ribble way is a long distance walk between the Lancashire coast and the Yorkshire Dales National Park largely following the course of the River Ribble.

The route begins in Longton and ends at the source of the River Ribble at Gayle Moor near Ribblehead, it is around 118km/73 miles in length.

The route passes through a variety of landscapes including tidal marsh, open moorland and limestone gorges. It begins to the south of the Ribble estuary, the route then runs through Preston (passing by Walton le Dale) and on to the historic town of Clitheroe. Next it heads up into the Pennines to reach its source on remote Cam Fell.

The idea of opening a walk along the River Ribble called the Ribble Way was first suggested back in 1967 at the inaugural meeting of the Preston and Fylde branch of the Ramblers’ Association. The idea eventually attracted official support and was opened in 1985.

Ribble way Connections

The Ribble way connects with several other long distance walks, including; the Dales Way, the Pennine Way, the Pennine Bridleway and Thirlmere Way.

The Ribble Way Book

The Ribble Way by Dennis and Jan Kelsall. The route is described from the Lancashire village of Longton, near the estuary mouth, to the source of the Ribble high on Cam Fell in the Yorkshire Dales. The Way uses riverside paths for much of the distance, but often takes a course on higher ground. This full colour guide breaks the route into seven convenient stages with clear instructions supported by Ordnance Survey Landranger mapping showing the route highlighted. There is plenty of additional information on points of interest along the route together with numerous colour photographs. This information is contained in separate panels to easily distinguish it from route finding instructions. Details of public transport, local facilities and accommodation are also included. This comprehensive guide is an indispensable planning aid and companion to the walk.

Walking the Ribble Way

The Ribble Way follows the River Ribble from the sea near Preston to its source high in the fells of the Yorkshire Dales through seventy miles of walking through an ever varied landscape. The route passes through Preston (Walton le Dale), Ribchester, Stonyhurst, Clitheroe, Settle and Horton to finish on Gayle Moor close to the Pennine Way. The Way uses riverside paths for much of the distance, but often takes a course on higher ground where splendid views include Pendle Hill.

The guide detailed on this page divides the Way into seven stages, each of which can be completed in a day. For those who do not wish to walk the whole route, it is possible to use public transport to reach some sections or devise circular routes to make a single day’s walk. Suggestions for day walks are given in the guide. The Ribble Way is therefore flexible in how it may be tackled. The Way starts close to the River Ribble’s mouth and, having joined the marsh banks follows them and then the river embankment to Penwortham Bridge. It then skirts the town of Preston through Broadgate, Miller and Avenham Parks, passes through Walton le Dale and follows the banks of the river to Brockholes Bridge. Here the Way leaves the river banks and cuts across country well above river level to the outskirts of Ribchester, from which it uses the road to Ribchester Bridge. From here it follows the river for about a mile and then climbs up to cut off a large bend and comes back to it at Dinckley footbridge. After a brief diversion inland the way again follows the river to its confluence with the Hodder. After Great Mitton the route continues, more or less on the river bank, to Clitheroe. Between Clitheroe and Gisburn the Way follows the river through a superb wooded gorge and then goes across country, only occasionally regaining the banks of the Ribble, to Settle. The route climbs high over the moor to reach Helwith Bridge and then follows the banks of the river to Horton in Ribblesdale. Then follows the last leg of the journey to the source. A return to Horton in Ribblesdale via the Pennine Way is suggested.

Ribble Way Maps

Ribble Way route maps – (PDF file, size 10.5MB)

OS Maps: Explorerâ„¢ OL2, OL41, 286, 287

  • From Longton [SD457255]
  • To Gayle Moor [SD812831 ]
  • Distance 112 km

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