One Way walks using Public Transport

May 21, 2021

One of the best ways of enjoying a walk is to hop on a train (or bus) for a stop or two and walk back. It opens up many more walking possibilities simply because you cover more new ground. Try it.

One Way Walks in the Yorkshire Dales

I am very fortunate to live on the Settle to Carlisle railway line. Recently I completed an excellent crossing of Ingleborough by boarding the train at Horton, getting off at Ribblehead and walking back via Ingleborough. This allowed me to climb Ingleborough by one route and return by another. Using the same train journey there is a excellent lower level route under the flanks of Pen-y-Ghent.

With the Settle to Carlisle railway the possibilities are endless, almost every station creates an opportunity to walk to another. From Garsdale to Kirkby Stephen via Mallerstang is another classic that springs to mind with opportunities to go high or low.

In the Dales trains and buses open up other areas. The Wensleydale train line only presently reaches Redmire but there are hopes this may be extended. The bus services up Swaledale, Wensleydale and Wharfedale also offer some excellent opportunities to cover more ground and enjoy different, out of the way walks. They are run in the main by Dales Bus so check any updates with them.

For my full list of One Way walks in the Dales follow this link

One Way Walks in the North York Moors and Coast

Steam Train at Grosmont

The North York Moors and Coast also have some excellent services. The, largely voluntary, bus service is the Moors Bus which runs at weekends. There is also an excellent and regular bus service that runs along the Yorkshire Coast. In particular a one way walk along the coast is not just desirable but essential. Try constructing a circular route along any coastline. The sea gets in the way.

However it is the wonderful Pickering to Whitby railway that offers the best one way walking options. Like the Settle to Carlisle railway it cuts through the heart of the Moors providing excellent walks from stations such as Goathland, Grosmont and Pickering itself. The fact that you travel on a steam trains helps.

For the full list of One Way walks in the North York Moors and Coast follow this link

One Way Walks in the Lake District

At Honister Pass

The Lake District is somewhat different. There is no train service but an excellent and frequent bus service that whips around the major valleys and towns. The Honister Rambler is typical. It heads up Borrowdale, crosses to Buttermere via Honister Pass before returning via Whinlatter back to Keswick. Walks down Borrowdale, from Buttermere to Keswick become possible and much more interesting. Like the Dales there are options to choose a lowland route or take to the higher fells.

The south of the Lake District is not ignored. Coniston, Ambleside, Grasmere and Windermere are well linked but so is Langdale via the aptly names Langdale Rambler. It runs every couple of hours and once again provides endless walking options.

For the full list of One Way walks in the Lake District follow this link

Find out more

I have featured many of my favourite one way walks using public transport on this page. Have a look at the detailed walk description for my favourites but also look to devise your own. Each of the walks described on this page have details of the route but also a link to the most up to date bus timetable. Do check them as the timetables often change.

Top Tip: I would always take the bus or train at the start of the day and then walk back. If nothing else it relieves the stress of trying to catch a ‘last train/bus’ whilst walking. Missing it may involve a long walk back or an expensive taxi ride.

Approaching Pickering

The Benefits of a One Way Walk

  • One way walking means there is no repetition like many circular walks.
  • You will cover more ground and can see more things.
  • Parking is less of an issue. There is likely to be more parking at a train/bus station so park there, take the bus/train and walk back.
  • There may be a saving on parking charges. Anyone who has parked in the Langdale valley will know that!
  • The pleasures of actually travelling by bus/train through the countryside. It offers a different perspective, usually enjoyable and removes the stress of driving on narrow , country roads.

The inevitable long term trend

However it is more than just these ‘reasons of today’. Using public transport is becoming more and more of a neccessity. Driving around the narrow roads of the Lake District or Yorkshire Dales can be purgatory, particularly on a summer’s weekend. Not only is it slow and unpleasant it is an environmental nightmare.

The congestion on the roads and the car fumes which result will continue to drive climate change at an ever increasing rate. At some stage cars will end up being tolled, restricted and at a future date banned from areas of the countryside. Electric buses will start to run walkers around the area and a cleaner and greener countryside it will be. We may as well start getting used to it.

Heading out on a walk using public transport is enjoyable for so many reasons. Try it.

Enjoy your walking


PS. Have a browse through my “Best of…..” walks

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