Date - 17th February 2015 Distance - 7.25 miles
Ascent -
800ft (approx)
Map - OL2 Start point - Ribblehead (SD 7657 7929)


Summits Achieved

No summits were reached on this walk



Southey and Allen were chatting, while Tetley was quietly reading the Cumbria magazine.

"It was good to walk with Uncle Eric last week", said Allen. "I have had a look at the pictures Dad took and think there is plenty of scope for a story."

"Good", replied Southey, "but it may be a while before Dad is able to type it for us as he has a lot of other commitments and soon he and Uncle Brian will be off again to Armathwaite Hall. Fletcher and Polly have told me that they are looking forward to it and of course some of our other pals will be going along too."

Meanwhile Tetley had picked the iPad up and said, "according to the diary there is a walk day down with Uncle Eric for the forthcoming Tuesday."

"Let's hope the weather is OK then", replied Southey.

"It has been cold of late and the winter seems to go on and on. Let's hope we get a decent spring and summer so that we can walk in the Lake District again", said Allen.

Shaun, Grizzly and Little Eric came trotting in with the flasks and cake tin. "Ooh great", said Southey, "I was getting hungry."

"You are just like Allen", laughed Tetley as he went off to get the mugs and plates then passing them round and assisting Shaun in filling the mugs.

"We have chocolate coconut slice made by Grizzly and I have made some mincemeat slice", said Little Eric.

"Lovely", cried Allen, helping himself to a piece of each.

"The cakes are quite delicious", said Southey. "Thanks so much pals as always for making them."

"You are welcome", replied Grizzly. "I have been talking to Dad about the walk date with Uncle Eric next Tuesday. Provided the weather is OK of course, Dad is going to say we will do the walk Uncle Eric has been suggesting from Ribblehead to Chapel-le- Dale and back. It is a walk that was published in the Yorkshire Post."

"Well that saves us a job", replied Tetley. "I think that it may well be similar to the walk we have in the binders, but probably in the opposite direction. That was done back in 2003, when only Shaun and I were walking, so it will be new to the rest of you."

"It will just be good to be out and in Yorkshire, where you and I come from", replied Shaun.


The Walk

We awoke to a day that was to be mostly cloudy with a couple of light showers, and very cold in the biting westerly wind. As a result the decision had been taken not to have a picnic on the walk. We packed one for afterwards while Uncle Eric and Dad went to a cafe. At least it saved Allen from having to carry it in his rucksack for once.

The plan was to start at 10:00 so Dad made sure we set off in good time. A familiar journey from the days when we used to meet Uncle Bob for walks in the Yorkshire Dales, the start point was the lay-by at Ribblehead by the junction of the Ingleton to Hawes and Horton in Ribblesdale roads. We were there first and Dad got ready while we surveyed the the view to the mighty viaduct and Whernside, whose upper slopes were to be stubbornly lost in the cloud all day.

We called, "good morning", when Uncle Eric arrived, and he replied, "nice to see you Lads."

Both soon ready, we snuggled as deeply as possible in Dad's rucksack out of the bitingly cold wind.

Crossing the road we took the surfaced track heading for Bleamoor Sidings.

"It's not all that long ago that this path was just a trudge over rough boggy ground", said Shaun.

"It is good that a proper surfaced one has been made so that the route is more accessible for less able people", replied Allen.

The path soon joined a wider track that ran beside Ribblehead Viaduct. This carries the Settle-Carlisle railway line over Batty Moss. Construction took place between 1870 and 1875 using limestone taken from the lineside quarry between Selside signal box and Ribblehead Station. The piers are 6 feet thick at the spring of each arch excepting every 6th pier that is 18 feet thick. The piers are sunk 25 feet below moor level. There are 24 spans and in all it is 440 yards long and 165 feet high. An incredible monument to Victorian engineering.

Ignoring the track under the viaduct our route climbed on towards Bleamoor Signal Box. "Wouldn't it be nice to see a train cross the viaduct", said Southey.

Just a minute later Little Eric called out, "your wish has been granted pal."

As we approached the signal box, Shaun said, "our route is the bridleway left under the tracks."

A stop was made to photograph the bridge, and if you look closely you will note that this had been widened on either side and rather crudely, to accommodate the sidings. Later Uncle Eric told us this was in 1941 to allow for more traffic on the line to help the war effort.

The clear way led towards Winterscales Farm. "That is a nice shot of Winterscales Beck and Bleamoor Signal Box", suggested Tetley.

Winterscales Farm was soon reached, entering via a gate and then crossing the small bridge, to then walk the tarmac access track and so on to Ivescar Farm.

Approaching the yard Southey commented, "those two sheep are wisely sheltering from the bitter wind.

Through the yard a waymarked gate led us on to a grassy track across a field to a gate.

"We should now drift just slightly right to that next gate in the wall", instructed Shaun.

This then took the path to another gate and by a wall on the right to and through a further gate. Onwards then to Broadrake, where the barn was in the process of being converted to a bunk barn with 20 beds. The way kept on ahead to cross more fields and finally come to a rough track by a barn and so along this to Bruntscar. Here the original farm house is dated 1689 and partly ruined, with the new farmhouse just a few yards further on.

Keeping on along the track we then came to Ellerbeck Farm the last part of the way winding left right and left to a gate into the yard. Now it was through a gateway past the buildings to follow the access road that soon turned left.

"We should go with the access road", said Shaun.

Strolling the surfaced way we passed some limestone pavement. Further on Allen called out, "just look at that odd modern art statue."

We will leave it to the plaque below to illuminate the reader.

Onwards again this way eventually became a narrow road at Chapel-le-Dale, with its church dedicated to St Leonard. The church yard was very neat with the snowdrops flowering.

The building mostly dates to the late 17th century although some parts may be older. There are 18th century alterations and it was restored in 1869. It is built from squared limestone rubble coated with ‘slobbered’ (thickly applied) lime mortar and has a stone slate roof. Inside a white marble memorial on the west wall of the nave reads: “To the memory of those who through accidents lost their lives, in constructing the railway works, between Settle, and Dent Head. This tablet was erected at the joint expense, of their fellow workmen and the Midland Railway Company 1869 to 1876”. The burial register contains the names of over two hundred people from the railway construction camps, many of them women and children. The churchyard apparently had to be extended when smallpox broke out in the camps. (Source: Mitchell, W R (1988) Shanty Life on the Settle-Carlisle Railway. Settle: Castleberg)

"Dad, will you take our picture sitting on the seat by the entrance?", asked Grizzly.

"For sure lads."

"We go left at the junction and walk up to the main B6255 and then turn left", instructed Shaun.

As we reached the road Tetley said, "Ingleborough is being shy today hiding its summit in the clouds."

Shortly on the left we passed the building of the former Chapel-le-Dale school that was converted to a bunkhouse in 1989.

Shaun called out, "we take the next left, Philpin Lane that leads to the farm of the same name."

We crossed a cattle grid to the farm, then immediately before the next cattle grid, Shaun said, it is right here."

Very rough and stony, there was at one point a deep pool blocking the way and the path climbed up behind a tree and down the other side. Uncle Eric can be seen negotiating this section.

Beyond the path came to a gate into a field, which was crossed to another gate. Then after a few steps by a wall on the left, it was through yet another gate. Now the way was half right the path soon climbing past some trees.

It continued ahead by the wall on the right, to pass through another gate and on down to the narrow tarmac lane.

"Wow!. exclaimed Southey, "just look how smooth the surface is."

"If only the avenue we live on and so many other roads in Morecambe were so smooth", said Dad. "A pipe dream though!"

"The same can be said about Kendal too", added Uncle Eric.

Coming to a gate we went right, by this signpost. We had been to two of the locations earlier on our walk, but now with the viaduct in the distance to route was clearly to Ribblehead.

Further on Winterscales Beck ran just over the wall to the right and we came to Gunnerfleet Farm, crossing the beck right to follow the bridleway through the farm and on to towards Ribblehead Viaduct, where a train was crossing heading south.

Southey said, "that looks like the same train we saw going north this morning."

"It probably is", agreed Uncle Eric.

It was now just a matter of walking beneath the viaduct and along the path to the lay-by.

"Thanks Uncle Eric for suggesting this walk", said Southey. "I have really enjoyed it despite the cold wind."

"You are welcome", he replied.

"Refreshment time?", mused Tetley.

"Yes lad, and Uncle Eric and I are going to Country Harvest at Ingleton", Dad replied.

Uncle Eric had a toasted teacake with butter and jam and hot chocolate, while Dad had parsnip and butternut squash soup, followed by a fruit scone with butter and jam and tea.

We sat in the car enjoying our sandwiches and cake washed down with warming mugs of tea.

A nice day.


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