On Saturday I travelled via Leeds City Station to Ribblehead leaving the shopping hordes behind in Leeds. I was joining my second walk organised by the Friends of the Settle-Carlisle Line :
Sat 21 Dec Ribblehead to Horton via Selside 6m M(oderate)
Ribblehead station – Colt Park – Selside – Borrins – Sulber Nick.
Alight Ribblehead (10.06), return Horton-in-Ribblesdale. (DW/BH) (Alias Duncan and Brenda)
As we travelled along the line from Leeds the dark clouds gathered and I was glad to have a set of waterproofs as rain was forecast for the Settle area.
Brenda, Peter and Duncan at Ribblehead Station
Five hardy ‘wanderers’ assembled on the platform at Ribblehead just as the heavens opened and fierce horizontal rain blew like needles in our faces. We set off though; leaving the station behind and passing through Ingleborough National Nature Reserve.
After about 20 minutes the rains blew over and we only had to cope with what seemed to me gale force wind. Our path followed relatively easy, grassy tracks across fields. And later stony, slippery limestone paths through limestone pavement but all very clearly marked. According to Duncan our leader it’s a wet area all year and in places, especially where we finally descended into Horton-in-Ribblesdale, we had to step across many little rivulets and some rather boggy areas. The area is very popular with pot-holers and we passed very near to the famous cave system of Alum Pot.
We even saw some snow!
This way to Alum Pot … no fear!!
Eventually, after a brief lunch stop sheltering under a dry stone wall the sun came out and we saw some blue sky. As we turned to follow the final two miles of path down towards Horton the wind became more favourable to us battering us to the side rather than head on.
At some point near the end of the walk we had all three of the famous Three Peaks in sight : Ingleborough, Whernside and Pen-Y-Ghent.
Pen-Y-Ghent enjoying a little blue sky and sunshine
The sheep match the background landscape
Finally we arrived at our destination in the light. Saturday was the shortest day but we managed our hike in the daylight which hadn’t seemed possible when we started.
Thanks to Duncan and Brenda, our indomitable volunteer leaders, for taking us out today and despite the stormy start I wouldn’t have swopped my day for a day’s shopping for anything!
Ribblehead (top LH corner) to Horton (bottom middle) via paths to the west of the railway line