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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 (113 km) 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.
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
Dennis and Jan Kelsall are professional outdoor writers and photographers, contributing to various magazines and producing a weekly walking feature for the Lancashire Evening Post. They have a keen interest in the environment, its geology, flora and wildlife. Other titles produced by Dennis and Jan Kelsall and published by Cicerone are The Pembrokeshire Coastal Path and Walking in Pembrokeshire.