The Ribblehead viaduct is one of the most impressive engineering projects in England. It is also sat in wonderful scenery and this short Ribblehead walk will do it full justice. The extension to Blea Moor tunnel only adds to it.
Most people who park up at Ribblehead do so for two reasons. They will either take a short trip to the viaduct, take a photo or two and return to the car. Alternatively they will climb Whernside, the highest mountain in Yorkshire. However there is a third alternative. Why not add enjoyment to the visit to the viaduct by extending the walk to explore some of the most interesting sights of the nearby area. As a result you will discover a little more about the history of the famous viaduct.
Although the viaduct dominates the walk it is interesting to follow the railway tracks past Blea Moor station to Blea Moor Tunnel. The tunnel is one and half miles in length and was built in 1875 as part of the famous Settle to Carlisle railway. In addition it took four years to complete with the aid of seven mine shafts from the moors above. The whole feat of engineering is extraordinary. If you get lucky you may see a steam train head in to the tunnel.
The return walk should be varied by passing under the railway and past the farms on its west side. Quiet and full of interest it may be but the best reason is to give an alternative view of the viaduct.
Rather than bring the car all the way to Ribblehead arrive by train. Enjoy the journey, enjoy the walk and then enjoy a pint at the Station Inn.
Just look for the tunnel to the south of Blea Moor sidings to vary the return. Turn immediately left and pick your way on a faint path to the track under the viaduct.
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