Ribblehead to Clapham via Ingleborough
Walk 9 - By train or train/bus: Ribblehead to Clapham via Ingleborough (723m) - 8.5 miles - 4.5 hours. The walk can be accomplished in either direction however I have described the route from Ribblehead finishing at Clapham village or railway station (Morecambe line). Add 1 mile and 1/2 hour to reach the station. Back to Ribblehead
From Ribblehead Station walk down the station access road and turn immediately left to pass under the rail bridge and left again along the quarry access road on the other side of the railway line. Pass through the gate into the quarry nature reserve. Follow the quarry nature reserve waymarkers to emerge through a gate at the far side of the quarry. Now follow a track for 300m or so to pass through two large gates. Walk towards Ingleborough with the drystone wall on the left. After 1/4 mile cross a stile and then proceed alongside the wall to start with and then diagonally across the pasture to reach another stile. Cross the stile and proceed up the steep grassy slopes of Park Fell with the wall on the left. Upon reaching the top do not pass through the first stile but continue to follow the wall with a couple of twist and turns still towards Ingleborough. After a short while cross a timber stile and head slightly down hill and then rising uphill to Southerscale Fell. Follow the path across a boulder field sometimes difficult to spot in mist eventually arriving at a stone stile. After crossing the stile follow the well used path around the contour of Southercsales Fell with dramatic views. Pass through a metal gate and then follow the main path to the summit plateau of Ingleborough. Upon emerging at the top make for the wind break and trig point.
Departing from the wind break retrace steps across the stony plateau almost to the point of ascent but instead of this path bear right [due south] to take the path in he direction of Clapham. Take care with route finding as the paths can be difficult to spot in mist! The descending path first of all passes over little Ingleborough from where bear slightly right in a south westerly direction to descend the well used path to Gaping Gill. Take care around Gaping Gill as the pothole as the dangers are not immediately obvious! The water descends through a drop of some 100m or so inside the pothole.
Continue in the same direction to cross a stile. Bear right and keeping to the left hand side of the wall for 1/2 mile cross a further stile to enter the limestone ravine of Trow Gill. At the and of the ravine there are three options. The preferable option is to continue straight on into a private estate [small toll payable] passing Ingleborough show cave and the Lake, emerging in Clapham. Passing along the main street pause at either the tea room or the New Inn.
To avoid the private estate there are two public rights of way passing to either side of the estate. Turn right or left at the entrance gate. Either of these will end up in Clapham village
From 1st January 2014 Northern Rail have agreed to permit limited interchangeabity of tickets between the Morecambe and Settle-Carlisle lines. The simple proviso is that the more expensive return ticket must be purchased this being on the Morecambe line. However a Ribblehead return will be permitted from Clapham. The existing arrangement for Settle and Giggleswick tickets remains unaltered in that these stations are interchangeable.
©John Carey 2010
This page was last updated on 15-Sep-2014