Ribblehead Tours

Ribblehead: Footsteps in Time

Free walks, trails, tours, theatre and exhibitions



The iconic Ribblehead Viaduct and shanty site is a 'must see' for visitors to the Yorkshire Dales.

 We shall be pleased to offer our FREE Ribblehead heritage walks, trails and tours for a full season April to September 2024 .  For dates see below.

RHD viaduct

Travel the spectacular Settle to Carlisle line to Ribblehead. There’s something for everyone from the photographer, theatricals, geologists, walkers, and those who prefer an easy afternoon in the comfort of the visitor centre to enjoy the landscape.

Ribblehead station has many original features and is painted in the traditional colours of the then Midland Railway. Why not start the day with coffee and cake? The café opens from 10am until 3.30.

Walk dates

We have a variety of walks to cater for everyone, no matter how far you wish to walk.


The Navvy Walk

Distance 8 miles

Leave from the station yard from the train arriving 10.38

Lunch 12.30 approximately

Arrive back in time for the trains home.

This is a hiker level walk through the Ingleborough nature reserve and Gauber High Pasture on the opposite side of the line. You have an uninterrupted view of the station buildings on our approach.


Trails and Tramways.  Footsteps in time

Distance approximately 4.5 miles.

We leave Ribblehead station yard around 11.00

Return 15.00 approximately

This trail lakes s a glimpse at history before the shanty huts were built and industry arrived and on to the last century. You’ll take a stony path with stunning views of all three peaks; Pen-y -Ghent, Ingleborough and Whernside. Theres a track which leads to the signal box and  the  entrance of Blea moor tunnel. This is a relaxed pace walk and talk trail

To bring it all to life, join in an exciting outdoor theatre production, ‘Mischief in the Navvy Hut’. All are welcome at Batty Green which is a short distance from the visitor centre.


Shanty site tours

Distance 2.5 miles

Meet at the Ribblehead visitor centre at 12.30

Arrive back in good time for trains home.

The navvies and families worked, played, fought and, often, died during the construction of the railway. Trace their footsteps, witness the remains of their existence; their homes, offices, shops and work places. 

Marvel at the imposing viaduct and walk the new trail at a relaxed pace towards the Blea Moor signal box on the approach to the tunnel entrance as it cuts into the land. Afterward a lunch break at the stone masons yard we take  you along the tramways to view the site features. The day ends with an outdoor theatre at Batty Green.



As the nature of the landscape is unsuitable for some, we have exhibits and photographs in the visitor centre where you will receive a warm welcome. Hear tales of the railways past in to the present. Take a look at the memorabilia and a nostalgic browse of our exhibits in this original and well-preserved station building.






Be prepared, it’s a harsh environment as well as a beautiful one. The weather at Ribblehead can quickly turn cold and wet. Even on a good day, warm clothing can be needed.  You will need boots & waterproofs for these events. Don’t forget  a packed lunch and plenty of water. We reserve the right to refuse anyone that is inappropriately dressed for safety reasons. We may need to cancel or amend the route in severe weather. We cannot be responsible for participants and their property. We cannot take anyone under 10 years of age on the walks and tours for safety reasons. Other children under 18 years and vulnerable people must be accompanied by a responsible adult. We are unable to take dogs out with us. They are welcome on a lead at the visitor centre and outdoor theatre.

Full details of the individual walks in 2024, with photos, will be detailed in attachments here when they have been finalised.





As we are a FoSCL volunteer group, there's no charge. We do appreciate donations to take the incredible history and heritage of the Ribblehead site into the future for others to enjoy.

Groups wishing to book a shanty site tour are welcome.

Please email ribblehead@settle­-carlisle.com

Always check train times and our website before travelling.

At time of posting these are as follows.

Carlisle 8.24, 9.48 arrives Ribblehead 9,47, 12.07

Leeds   9.20, 10.49  arrives Ribblehead 10.38 and 12.07

Ribblehead 16.47 arrives Carlisle 18.00

Ribblehead   16.14   arrives  Leeds 17.48

Walks dates for 2024 are:

April 3rd Shanty site and Viaduct Tour

April 17th Trails, Tramways & Theatre

May 1st Navvy walk & Theatre

May 15th Ribblehead Rocks & Fossil Hunt

June 5th Trail and Tramways

June 19th Shanty site and Viaduct Tour

July 3rd Ribblehead Rocks SPECIAL

July 17th  Navvy walk & Theatre

August 7th Shanty site and Viaduct Tour

August 21st Ribblehead Rocks & Fossil Hunt

September  4th Navvy walk & theatre

September 18th Shanty site and Viaduct Tour



We are looking to recruit new volunteers with a strong interest in the heritage site. If you'd like to be part of our passionate FoSCL team and assist our tours, please get in touch.  Initially you'll shadow one of our knowledgeable guides on site. If you enjoy the group experience and the history of the land, we can support you to confidently take your own part in future seasons. Please email ribblehead@settle­-carlisle.com