Bentham to Ribblehead via Ingleborough

Walk 2 By train: Bentham to Ribblehead via Ingleborough (723m) - 10 miles - 6 hours. An excellent linear walk using the two railway lines combining a pleasant walk across the fields to Ingleton and a high level ridge walk from Ingleborough onwards to Park Fell and downhill to Ribblehead Station Back to Ribblehead

  • Ingleborough from Crina/Souther Scales Fell

From Bentham Station [Link to map of Bentham] proceed along the road into the town. Turn right at the main street and then left along a minor road (towards Ingleton). After 1/4 mile (after road junction) look for a footpath on the right. Follow path across a field and then a path across the fairways of Bentham golf course (watch out for flying golf balls!) to reach Dumb Tom's Lane. There are a few signs enroute to guide you through the golf course. Cross the lane and large open field to reach Aspland Beck situated in a dip surrounded by gorse. Descend into the small valley and look for the footbridge at the bottom. At other side of beck cross further fields, eventually reaching a stile at the rear of Fordales House farm. Pass to the left of the farm building and thence along the minor road to Ingleton (3 miles from Bentham).

  • Bentham Station

  • Distant view of Ingleborough from near Fordales Farm and Ingleton Church

At the main road turn left for a short while and then right to pass through Ingleton village centre. At the T junction at the end of the main street turn left to join the Hawes road  (towards White Scar Caverns).  The road climbs uphill for about 500m or so passing the old police station. At this point look for a well defined un-metalled vehicle track on the right (Fell Lane). The track is initially very steep but evens out to a more gentle uphill grade to reach the farmhouse at Crina Bottom. After passing with the buildings on the left the track becomes a path climbing directly to the top of Ingleborough. Considerable work has been done on the path in recent years to counter the erosion.

  • Ingleborough from Crina Bottom


From the summit start to follow path downhill towards Chapel-le Dale [Hill Inn] for a short while but after the gate bear right (across a small stream). Follow the high level grassy path across Souther Scales Fell crossing a stile in a stone wall. This is now one of the best fell walks in Yorkshire. The path now continues across open fell and rocky terrain for a time and may be difficult to spot. Eventually, the route dips downhill meeting the wall on the right and then proceeds upwards to Park Fell keeping the wall on the right. There is a stile just before reaching the grassy plateau of Park Fell. Continue with the wall still on the right and after a few twists and turns bear left near a gate [don't go through the gate] to descend steeply down towards Ribblehead with the wall on the right. Take care in wet weather as the grass can be slippy!

Whernside from Ingleborough May 02.jpg (28225 bytes)

  • Views from summit of Ingleborough

At the bottom of the slope cross a stile in the wall [with a step missing!] and bear diagonally left across the pasture eventually to meet a wall at the left hand side. Follow the wall downhill for 300m or so until a stile is reached. Climb over the stile and cross the rough pasture with the wall now on the right [this is now Access area and so there is no defined footpath]. Eventually this reaches a two large gates forming a sheep compound. Passing though these gates bear slightly to the left to pick up the new English Nature waymarked trail and pass through a new gate. Take care not to get too close to the quarry edge. The path descends to reach the quarry floor from where it is an easy walk to the quarry entrance [through the nature reserve] and the quarry access road. Upon emerging at the main road turn right and thence under the railway bridge to reach Ribblehead and the pub and railway station.

The English Nature trail is better described on their website and a leaflet. This is well worth a slight detour at this point and takes in a circuit of the quarry and emerges at the top of the quarry into the limestone karst scenery from where is is a short distance to reach on of the best examples of a Viking settlement to be found in the country. There is a group of three buildings one of these being a traditional Viking long house located on slightly elevated land just before the path returns through a new gate into the quarry enclosure

NB This walk can only be undertaken commencing from stations between Leeds and Skipton plus Hellifield as it involves going out on the Morecambe line and returning on the Carlisle line

  • View from near the top of Park Fell [just before the steep descent] and Station Inn seen through the railway bridge

Travel : Take the Leeds Morecambe line train to Bentham Station and return from Ribblehead.

From 1st January 2014 Northern Rail have agreed to permit limited interchangeabity of tickets between the Morecambe and Settle-Carlisle lines. This means that a passenger travelling from the Leeds direction will be able to purchase a Bentham return ticket and use this to return from Ribblehead or travel to Ribblehead and return from Bentham. Similarly a Clapham return ticket will permit return from Horton [or Clapham].The simple proviso is that the more expensive return ticket must be purchased this being on the Morecambe line.The existing arrangement for Settle and Giggleswick tickets remains unaltered in that these stations are interchangeable.

A shorter alternative would be to depart the train at Giggleswick and cross the road to the bus stop outside the Craven Heifer. Then catch the 581 bus to Ingleton. This would save 2.5 miles.

©John Carey 2010

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This page was last updated on 19-Dec-2014