Ribblehead to Appleby

My life in Tickets

Ribblehead and Appleby are stations on the famous line often referred to as The Settle to Carlisle line. We rode this part of it as a holiday treat for me. Well let’s face it. I am unashamedly a railway enthusiast.

We could have ridden more of the line – we could have continued from Appleby to Carlisle for our return journey was on the same train. But I do like to vary what I do and we decided we’d take a look at Appleby in Westmoreland – a place we didn’t know at all.

Let’s start with the tickets – just standard rail tickets issued by the conductor on the train.


It’s a thirty mile each way journey. I thought the fare of just under a tenner was not bad for 60 miles.

There’s nothing special about the trains. This mixed bag of three carriages is like those you can see all over the country running services on non-electrified routes. Here it is arriving at Ribblehead.


Ribblehead station was probably originally built for railway purposes. It serves no community at all. It didn’t survive the Beeching cuts. It was closed but is now open again. No doubt walkers use it in the summer. We were the only passengers to make use of it for this train.

Modern trains are air conditioned and have no windows you can open to poke a camera through. It makes photography hard. But almost straight out of the station we passed over the Ribblehead Viaduct.


There is almost nothing but beautiful, bleak landscape to be seen. But almost immediately that vanishes as we plunge into Blea Moor Tunnel – a mile and a half long and 500 feet below the surface of Whernside.

We pass over Dent Head viaduct.


Dent station is, if anything, even more remote than Ribblehead. It is beautifully kept.

At Garsdale we notice the statue of Ruswarp an utterly faithful dog with such a sad tale.


You can read about it on a BBC Cumbria page by clicking here.

Garsdale is another isolated station. Soon we reach the River Eden and it is basically all downhill from there.

The valley looks more fertile and more inhabited than the wilder lands above it.


This is Kirkby Stephen Station. From the map we see there is a real village of this name less than a mile away.


As we approach Appleby the scenery continues to get greener and lusher.


We arrive at our destination.


A great little journey and so, of course, was the return.

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One Response to “Ribblehead to Appleby”

  1. To Carlisle | Locksands Life Says:

    […] Wensleydale, we travelled on the Settle to Carlisle Railway between Ribblehead and Appleby. You can click here to see that. This June we stayed quite near Appleby and I was keen to go up to Carlisle by train. […]

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