A ONE-way walk accessible via the wonderful Settle to Carlisle railway (which extends conveniently all the way to Leeds), there is a choice of low level or high level routes depending on your preferences and of course the weather. Both are described here.

The train from Settle leaves at roughly two-hour intervals for Horton (there is a convenient one at 9.54 at the moment but do check) and takes 10 minutes.

The low-level route passes alongside the River Ribble whilst the higher route takes in Penyghent and is a little longer.

High Level Route: From the 3 Peaks café in the centre of Horton head south towards the church, take the path through the field just before the church and then cross the river and continue up the lane, past the old school to Brackenbottom Farm. The route up Penyghent is clear and obvious from here, initially via a steep rolling climb along an eroded, partially repaired path and then at the gate in the wall turn left and climb steeply up to the summit. The climb is rocky with a mild scramble near the top. From the summit return to the hole in the wall.

Carry on south along the Pennine Way for ¾ a mile to a farm track, the Pennine Way goes left but you should go right and follow the lane for a further 300 metres to gate at the boundary wall and take the footpath heading just west of south. The footpath crosses a number of walls but keeps its height for ¾ a mile with excellent views ahead. At a junction of walls (marked as a sheep wash on the O/S map) bend more south westerly and start to drop steadily down hill to a lane. Cross the lane (this is the Pennine Journey long distance path) and follow the broad track in to the lovely village of Stainforth.

It is quite possible to cross under the railway line and road at the car park in Stainforth to join the riverside route at Stainforth Falls (a good spot) but I prefer the footpath that heads just east of south (cross the river at the Craven Heifer pub and turn right), climbs steadily past spectacular Stainforth Scar and past Low Winskill Farm. From the farm the walk along the road is through spectacular limestone scenery and nearly flat. Where the road turns sharply right to drop in to Langcliffe carry straight on along the marked footpath, in essence skirting the hillside as you track towards Settle. The views over the Ribblesdale and the Forest of Bowland more than compensate for any initial climb! At a laithe barn and gate the track drops steeply in to Settle.

Low Level Route: If riverside walking is your thing this is excellent, straightforward to follow as the handrail of the river means it is difficult to go wrong. Start on the west bank near the Crown Inn. It is nearly 2 miles to Helwith Bridge where the river path temporarily finishes. Turn right uphill on the quiet road for 500 metres then turn left on an even more minor road to Little Stainforth. From here drop down to Stainforth Falls and carry along the western bank of the River Ribble back to Settle. There is much to see including a nod to the areas industrial past with a series of converted mills and the pretty village of Stackhouses on the outskirts of Settle.

Fact File:

Distance: Roughly 10.5 miles (High Level Route). Height to Climb (High Level Route only): 650m (2,130 feet)

Start: SD 808727. From the train station at Horton walk down the road, past the car park to the 3 Peaks cafe.

Difficulty: Hard/Medium. The walk over Pen y Ghent to Stainforth is over some rough ground and hard but the riverside, lower level walk is never too difficult