Ribblehead to Horton via Selside

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

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.

Ingleborough NNR

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!

To Alum Pot

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

Sheep match landscape

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.

Horton Station

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


12 comments on “Ribblehead to Horton via Selside

  1. My mum used to travel from Liverpool to the Yorkshire dales for the annual holiday at a place called Countersett. Counting the arches on the Ribblehead viaduct was her favourite occupation and it was one of the places my dad took her back to when old memories were becoming more real than new ones, so it always strikes a lovely chord with me.

    • Have heard of Countersett, Lynne, but have never been there. Love the Yorkshire Dales and am enjoying this new way of getting to visit the further from home parts. Lovely and special memories of your mum. May your Christmas filled with happiness, although I know it will also be tinged with some sadness. xx

  2. Writing from Tasmania in summertime I really enjoyed this little excursion. I love Yorkshire and loved the walk I felt I enjoyed with you though from the comfort of my bed. Night time here. Thanks for sharing your day.

  3. nilly says:

    Ah Pen-Y-Ghent! It seems unbelievable now, but in the early 1970’s the Leeds school where my ex-husband taught had access to two wonderful properties in Horton-in-Ribblesdale, a pub and a farmhouse – possibly owned by the local education authority. School walking trips were frequent, sometimes with several classes, sometimes with small groups of children with problems. Spouses & babies were welcome too – we even took our new kitten on one occasion.
    Times change!

    • Not sure about taking a kitten on a school trip! We did in fact see a cat far from habitations which was quite a surprise. We spent over an hour in the pub (The Crown) as the trains are few and far between.

      • nilly says:

        The kitten stayed in the farmhouse while we were out walking, though we did take a cat lead so we could taker her on short walks without losing her.

  4. Julie Stivers says:

    I think I may have told you (probably more than once) of my adventure (misadventure) with the Lancaster Potholing Club in that district. It is a lovely area — I actually would love to go back and see it again.

    • You ‘may’ have told me, Julie, as I told the tale to the group on Saturday. We all agreed we wouldn’t go down those caves either. Our house would make a good base for such a trip!

  5. Julie Stivers says:

    Yes it would. Didn’t we spot hikers setting out for remote spots when we took that train to Carlisle that time?

  6. […] two walks from or to Horton-in-Ribblesdale station on the Leeds-Settle-Carlisle line here and here. And now I’m adding a third. Being ‘easy’ we kept pretty low level but […]

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