Ribblehead Viaduct Walk

An easy and mostly level walk

About 4¾ miles, 100m ascent, allow 2 hours

The optional alternative out to Blea Moor tunnel and Force Gill waerfall adds another 2 miles of mostly level walking

The most obvious feature in the view from Broadrake is the Ribblehead (Batty Moss) Viaduct constructed between 1870 and 1875 by the Midland Railway Company. The Settle Carlisle line became their route to Scotland, as their alternative to the east and west coast main lines owned by rival railway companies.It is a short easy walk from Broadrake to the viaduct.

From the door turn left taking the path across several fields to the next farm, Ivescar. Continue through the farmyard in the same direction as before for about 1/3 mile along a tarmac farm road until another road joins from the right, just before Winterscales farm. Take this right hand road, then turn left over the beck to Gunnerfleet Farm. Follow the obvious track from Gunnerfleet under the viaduct and up to meet the B6255 at the Station Inn. Jut beyond the Inn is a track up to the station itself which has a small visitor centre where you can learn more about the construction of the railway.
Retrace your steps towards the viaduct but instead of passing underneath take the track to the right of the railway. This is the route of the 3 Peaks walk to Whernside. Just before you reach Blea Moor signal box turn left under the railway on a track leading back to Winterscales then carry on along the farm road to join your outward route. Retrace your steps back past Ivescar to Broadrake.

As a slightly longer alternative with hardly any climbing head on to see Force Gill waterfall and aqueduct. Instead of turning left under the railway before the signal box continue along the track beside the railway to where it crosses the line. This is Force Gill aqueduct, an impressive piece of Victorian railway engineering built to carry the stream over the railway. On your right you can see the entrance to Blea Moor tunnel, the longest on the Settle - Carlisle line. Force Gill waterfall is on the left just beyond the aqueduct.

Return the same way until you reach the bridge under the railway just beyond the signal box and rejoin the route to Winterscales from here.


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