The Ribble Way follows the river from the sea near Preston to its source high in the fells of the Yorkshire Dales: Seventy miles of delectable walking through an ever varied landscape. The route passes through Preston, Ribchester, Stonyhurst, Clitheroe, Settle and Horton to finish on Gayle Moor close to the Pennine Way. The Way uses riverside paths for much of the distance, but often takes a course on higher ground where splendid views include Pendle Hill.
The guide divides the Way into seven stages, each of which can be completed in a day. For those who do not wish to walk the whole route, it is possible to use public transport to reach some sections or devise circular routes to make a single day's walk. Suggestions for day walks are given in the guide. The Ribble Way is therefore flexible in how it may be tackled.
The Way starts close to the river's mouth and, having joined the marsh banks follows them and then the river embankment to Penwortham Bridge. It then skirts the town of Preston through Broadgate, Miller and Avenham Parks, and follows the banks of the river to Brockholes Bridge. Here the Way leaves the river banks and cuts across country well above river level to the outskirts of Ribchester, from which it uses the road to Ribchester Bridge. From here it follows the river for about a mile and then climbs up to cut off a large bend and comes back to it at Dinckley footbridge. After a brief diversion inland the way again follows the river to its confluence with the Hodder. After Great Mitton the route continues, more or less on the river bank, to Clitheroe. Between Clitheroe and Gisburn the Way follows the river through a superb wooded gorge and then goes across country, only occasionally regaining the banks of the Ribble, to Settle. The route climbs high over the moor to reach Helwith Bridge and then follows the banks of the river to Horton in Ribblesdale. Then follows the last leg of the journey to the source. A return to Horton in Ribblesdale via the Pennine Way is suggested.
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