Bentham to Ribblehead via Ingleborough
Walk 2 By train: Bentham to Ribblehead via Ingleborough (723m) - 10½ 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
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).
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.
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.
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
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
This page was last updated on 19-Dec-2014