Walking in the Yorkshire Dales

Circular walks from the Dalesbridge Centre at Eurospeleo

These are some suggested walks that can be done starting and ending at the Dalesbridge Centre (Eurospeleo), without the need for a car. We have included here suggestions for four harder, longer walks which should take a full day and four shorter/easier walks. These walks mostly revolve around the famous Three Peaks of Yorkshire (Ingleborough, Whernside and Penyghent), each approximately 700m in altitude.

We have also included a mention of the Settle to Carlisle Railway, for which there is a station at Horton-in-Ribblesdale (and Settle). This provides access to some areas that you cannot walk to from Eurospeleo, although very careful planning of train times is required. A train timetable can be found online and will also be available at the Eurospeleo event reception.

These walks require you to have a copy of the Ordnance Survey map OL2, which is available to buy from Ordnance Survey directly.

This map shows public footpaths in green dashed lines, and all of the routes described here follow these footpaths.

Copies of this map may also be available for sale at the venue and at local shops however it is STRONGLY recommended to buy your copy BEFORE coming to Eurospeleo to ensure there is no shortage in supply. You can buy either a folded paper copy for about £9 or a folded laminated copy for about £15 which is more weatherproof, but slightly larger to carry.

Walking boots are recommended for all of these walks, and of course, the famous British weather means that even in August, carrying of waterproofs, warm clothes and a mobile telephone in case of emergency is strongly recommended.

The times stated for these walks include time necessary for regular short breaks (e.g. at major landmarks or summits), and they assume an average walking speed is maintained.

 

LONG WALKS (>25 km)

Walk 1: Ingleborough and Penyghent

Route overview:
Eurospeleo > Austwick > Gaping Gill > Ingleborough summit > Sulber Nick > Horton-in-Ribblesdale > Hull Pot (optional) > Penyghent summit (optional) > Helwith Bridge > Feizor > Austwick > Eurospeleo

Summary:
This is an excellent, walk which passes plenty of caves (including the winch at Gaping Gill) and which shows some of the finest landscapes the United Kingdom has to offer. The route starts with the first major peak of Ingleborough before taking a gentle descent to Horton-in-Ribblesdale, where a beer or cup of tea/coffee and some food can be enjoyed. For those with sufficient energy, the second peak, Penyghent can then be ascended. However, for those wishing a shorter and easier walk, a flat walk down the Ribble valley to Helwith Bridge provides a gentler route back.

Approximate time:
With Penyghent: 9 hrs
Without Penyghent: 7 hrs

Approximate distances:
With Penyghent: 35 km
Without Penyghent: 28 km

Difficulty:
With Penyghent: 4 / 5
Without Penyghent: 3 / 5

Walk 1 Navigation Guide & Map

 

Walk 2: Fountains Fell and Malham Tarn

Route overview:
Eurospeleo > Austwick > Helwith Bridge (by road) > Dale Head/Rainscar > Tennant Gill > Malham Tarn > Malham Cove (top) > Langcliffe > Stackhouse > Feizor > Austwick > Eurospeleo

Summary:
This is a very long walk, but which avoids all the major peaks (and has only one uphill section at Fountains Fell). The route involves some excellent remote fells to reach the famous Malham Tarn. A short detour via the top of Malham Cove (a huge limestone gorge) then provides a fine viewpoint and a good spot for a late lunch. Finally a gentle return across the fells reaches the villages of Langcliffe then Feizor and finally Austwick before returning to Eurospeleo.

Approximate time: 11 hrs

Approximate distance: 41 km

Difficulty: 4½ / 5

Walk 2 Navigation Guide & Map

 

Walk 3: Dentdale, Whernside and Ingleborough (with some help from the train)

Route overview:
Eurospeleo > Helwith Bridge (by road) > Horton-in-Ribblesdale > Train to Dent Station > Blea Moor Tunnel > Whernside > Bruntscar > Chapel-le-Dale > Ingleborough > Gaping Gill > Clapham > Austwick > Eurospeleo

Summary:
To reach Whernside, the third of the famous Ingleborough three peaks, and get back to Eurospeleo in a day, it is helpful to use the train. An easy 2.5 hr walk to Horton in Ribblehead station should be timed for arrival to catch an early train (ideally around 10am) towards Carlisle getting off after two stops at Dent station. A walk back over the Blea Moor railway tunnel reaches the route up to the summit of Whernside. A descent to the village of Chapel-le-Dale provides a brief rest, before the next ascent of Ingleborough commences. The final section of the walk is down from Ingleborough to Gaping Gill to see the winchmeet, and then down to Austwick and back to Eurospeleo. This is an outstanding walk!

Approximate time:
Eurospeleo to Settle train station: 2.5 hrs
Dent station to Eurospeleo (via Whernside and Ingleborough): 8.5 hrs
Total duration: 11 hrs

Approximate distance:
Eurospeleo to Horton-in-Ribblesdale station: 10 km
Dent station to Eurospeleo (via Whernside and Ingleborough): 31 km
Total length: 41 km

Difficulty: 5 / 5

Walk 3 Navigation Guide & Map

 

Walk 4: The Yorkshire Three Peaks from Eurospeleo (with some help from the train)

Route overview:
Eurospeleo > Helwith Bridge (by road) > Horton-in-Ribblesdale > Hull Pot > Penyghent summit > Brackenbottom > Horton-in-Ribblesdale > Train to Ribblehead > Blea Moor Tunnel > Whernside > Bruntscar > Chapel-le-Dale > Ingleborough > Gaping Gill > Austwick > Eurospeleo.

Summary:
The Yorkshire Three Peaks is a classic and famous challenge, covering the three highest peaks of Ingleborough, Whernside and Penyghent in a single day. We have adapted this traditional route to be possible from Eurospeleo with help from the train. This is a very long, tiring walk and an early (i.e. around 7am) start is recommended, as it careful planning regarding the train times.

Approximate time: 13 hours

Approximate distance: 48 km

Difficulty: 5+ / 5

Walk 4 Navigation Guide & Map

 

SHORTER WALKS (<25 km)

Walk 5: Ingleborough via Gaping Gill

Route overview:
Eurospeleo > Austwick > Trow Gill > Gaping Gill > Ingleborough summit > The Allotment > Long Scar > Crummack Farm > Wharfe > Austwick > Eurospeleo

Summary:
This is perhaps the most must-do shorter walks of Eurospeleo, offering a tremendous amount of variety in a reasonably short distance, taking in the excellence of Gaping Gill and Ingleborough.

Approximate time: 6 hrs

Approximate distance: 23 km

Difficulty: 2½ / 5

Walk 5 Navigation Guide & Map

 

Walk 6: Gaping Gill Circular

Route overview:
Eurospeleo > Austwick > Trow Gill > Gaping Gill > Trow Gill > Ingleborough Show Cave > Clapham > Austwick > Eurospeleo

Summary:
For those wishing to walk only as far as Gaping Gill, to see (or descend on) the famous winch into Gaping Gill main chamber, this is the best route to walk. You take a slightly different route to and from Trow Gill for some added variety.

Approximate time: 5 hrs (assuming a long stop up at Gaping Gill)

Approximate distance: 16 km

Difficulty: 1½ / 5

Walk 6 Navigation Guide & Map

 

Walk 7: Settle Circular

Route overview:
Eurospeleo > Austwick > Feizor > Stackhouse > Settle > Little Stainforth > Feizor > Austwick > Eurospeleo

Summary:
A gentle walk through the pretty villages of Austwick and Feizor, ending at the market town of Settle is an excellent gentle day out with no severe gradients. There are lots of nice cafes, restaurants, shops and pubs in Settle to enjoy.

Approximate time: 6.5 hrs (assuming a long stop in Settle)

Approximate distance: 22 km

Difficulty: 2 / 5

Walk 7 Navigation Guide & Map

 

Walk 8: Austwick Circular

Route overview:
Eurospeleo > Austwick > Crummack > Wharfe > Feizor > Austwick

Summary:
This is a fine, gentle walk through the pretty villages of Austwick, Wharfe and Feizor. There are no significant gradients to deal with on this walk.

Approximate time: 3 hrs

Approximate distance: 12 km

Difficulty: 1 / 5

Walk 8 Navigation Guide & Map

 

The Settle to Carlisle Railway

Eurospeleo is walking distance to Horton-in-Ribblesdale (and Settle), where the Settle-to-Carlisle railway offers a number of possible options to reach other parts of the Yorkshire Dales:

http://www.settle-carlisle.co.uk

You can easily walk to Horton-in-Ribblesdale station (via the description below). The train tickets are quite cheap and they can be purchased on the day from the station.

To walk to Horton-in-Ribblesdale station from Eurospeleo (10km, allow 2.5hr if catching a train):
From Eurospeleo, cross over the main road and walk into Austwick and then follow the road all the way to Helwith Bridge. Just before the pub, take the Ribble Way footpath on the left, which passes under the railway line after 1km and then follows the river north for 3km to Horton-in-Ribblesdale. The railway station is on the west side of the village.

Destinations from Horton-in-Ribblesdale Station

Ribblehead (two stops towards Carlisle), return ticket approximately £4
A trip up to see the famous Ribblehead viaduct is an absolute MUST for any visitor to Eurospeleo. There are plenty of short walks around the viaduct itself to enjoy and a pub (the Station Inn) next to the viaduct itself to make this an excellent day out. It is possible to walk from here back to Eurospeleo via Whernside and Ingleborough (see separate description).

Dent Station (three stops towards Carlisle), return ticket approximately £6:
You can disembark the train at Dent station, where a walk down the steep road reaches the very beautiful valley of Dentdale, with some excellent riverside walks. Following the river south passes a pub (the Sportsman’s Arms) and then, at Bridge End, a footpath leads towards Dent Head Farm and then over the top of the Blea Moor railway tunnel to the Ribblehead viaduct and Ribblehead station, where you can catch a train back to Settle. This is a fine short walk (about 11km) and you should ideally allow three hours (plus any time you wish to spend in the pubs).

It is also possible to walk back to Eurospeleo from Dent station (see separate description).

Kirkby Stephen station (five stops towards Carlisle), return ticket approximately £10:
Kirkby Stephen is a lovely small market town of similar size to Settle. The railway station is a short walk from the town centre, along a footpath via Halfpenny House. It is well signposted.

Additional walk:
Kirkby Stephen to Garsdale

THIS WALK REQUIRES A COPY OF ORDNANCE SURVEY MAP OL19

Approximate time: 6.5 hours
Approximate distance: 23 km
Difficulty: 3½ / 5

A visit to the town centre of Kirkby Stephen can be followed by a fine long walk all the way down the quiet valley of Mallerstang, to Garsdale station where a train back to Settle or Horton-in-Ribblesdale can be taken (Horton is slightly closer to walk, but choose Settle if planning to get a taxi back to Eurospeleo).

This walk requires careful coordination to fit with train times.

If planning to do this walk, follow the footpath south from Halfpenny House (just south of Kirkby Stephen), staying near to the river. Turn left to pass around the edge of Wharton Hall and to keep close to the river. At the major junction near the remains of Lammerside Castle, take the left path and follow this around the east side of Birkett Common to the remains of Pendragon Castle.

The path continues south along the river for a further 2.5km to Thrang Bridge. Cross to the east side of the river and join the road. Turn right (south) and after a very short distance on the road (about 100m) take the path (The High Way) on the left. This commences a steady ascent onto the hills on the east side of the valley.

Follow this high-level path for several kilometres. Your destination is the Moorcock Inn at the road junction at the south end of the valley. You can come down from the hill to the bottom of the valley at several possible locations, including one which comes down directly to the pub.

From the Moorcock Inn, follow the main road west for a short distance to reach a footpath on the left which can be followed under Garsdale Viaduct to Garsdale station, where a train back to Horton-in-Ribblesdale (to walk back to Eurospeleo) or Settle (for a taxi) can be taken. This is an excellent walk and is guaranteed to get you away from the crowds!