From Settle to Kirkby Stephen

Grab your stamina and sense of adventure for this 4-day itinerary.  With grassy trails, steep climbs, traditional dales villages and wonderful country pubs this challenging section of Trail will provide you with spectacular views and a sense of achievement that will stay with you for years.

Tour Overview

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57 Miles/ 91.2 Km







Landscape Type

High Hills and Moorland

Pennine Bridleway - Settle to Kirkby Stephen

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A good level of fitness is required to walk this section of the Pennine Bridleway. Expect grassy trails, limestone rocky pavement with some steep climbs, descents and incredible views.

Settle to Clapham

The adventure begins in Settle. The town is full of fascinating buildings and a labyrinth of narrow alleys and courtyards. Most buildings date from the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. It has a good range of independent shops and cafes.

The route climbs steeply out of Settle to the high point of Kirkby Fell. The Trail crosses superb limestone scenery with stunning views of Malham Tarn, Penyghent and Ingleborough.

Rejoin the main route to Stainforth passing the beautiful Catrigg Force waterfall.  Three are refreshments to be had in Stainforth. The route then drops steeply down to the River Ribble which you follow for a short time before climbing back up and following the Trail to Feizor where there is a café and then on to the pretty village of Clapham.

18 Miles/28.8 Km 

Clapham to Horton in Ribblesdale

Clapham is a peaceful dales village set alongside both sides of the village stream. It nestles under the mountain of Ingleborough – The second highest in Yorkshire. There is a steady but steep climb out of Clapham to a grassy fellside through the spectacular limestone scenery of Sulber Gate. Once through Sulber Gate you drop down into Ribblesdale and into Horton in Ribblesdale via Selside. Horton in Ribblesdale has two pubs and a range of accommodation including a campsite. Horton-in-Ribblesdale lies below the huge sphinx-like form of Pen-y-ghent, one of the iconic Yorkshire Three Peaks. The village has two traditional pubs, The Crown lies right on the Pennine Bridleway and welcomes weary walkers with log fires and local ales, as does the Golden Lion which has a stone flagged bar area especially for those with muddy boots and dogs.

9 miles/14.4Km

Horton in Ribblesdale to Garsdale Head

A long day with some steep climbs rewarded by some of the best scenery the Dales can offer.  This is a remote upland section with no villages, shops or pubs until you reach the Moorcock Inn at Garsdale Head.  The Settle Carlisle Railway will accompany you throughout the day.  A steady climb out of Horton before following the picturesque Ling Gill. Continue to climb Cam Fell and enjoy unforgettable views of Langstrothdale and Wharfedale.  A descent to Newby Head Moss is followed by another climb over Dent Fell and Great Knoutberry Hill.  You will cross a desolate section of moorland to reach Garsdale Head.

Garsdale is not a village, but a valley between Sedbergh and Hawes. There is a pub for food and accommodation but accommodation is limited so be sure to book in advance!

18 Miles/28.8Km 

Garsdale Head to Ravenstonedale or Kirkby Stephen – The choice is yours! 

Another remote upland section of Trail with no services, but rewarded by tremendous viewpoints.  Cross the river Ure and climb steeply to join Lady Annes Highway then follow the Trail to Hell’s Gill Bridge and peer into the ravine of Hell Gill!  Climb to a spectacular viewpoint marked by the ‘Water Cut’ before descending to The Thrang.  Here a decision needs to be made: Either follow the ‘Pennine Journey’ along the river via Pendragon Castle, Birkett Common and Nateby to Kirkby Stephen Kirkby Stephen is a vibrant little market town. There are pretty individual shops, galleries, antiques, crafts, a delicatessen and Monday market.. (The railway station  is about 1.5 miles out of town) Or Follow a short section of road, pass under the railway and climb up to High Dolphinsty for another great viewpoint of the Howgills, the Lake District Fells and the Dales and the downhill run to the end of the Pennine Bridleway at the Fat Lamb Inn, Ravenstonedale.



Accommodation can be found at the end of each day but it is limited so booking in advance is recommended.  Use the interactive map to find accommodation.

To make your journey more enjoyable you may want to use a baggage transfer company to transport your luggage.




The nearest airports to Settle and Kirkby Stephen are Leeds/Bradford  Manchester and Blackpool.

There are direct trains to Settle and Kirkby Stephen from Leeds and Carlisle where you can get good connections to the rest of the country.


We advise that you choose footwear and clothing to suit the predicted weather.  The walk is remote and exposed at times so be prepared for extremes in weather, emergencies and unexpected occurrences.

Food & Drink

Settle and Clapham have shops and cafes but finding food or places to eat along the way will be quite difficult. Horton in Ribblesdale and Garsdale Head both have pubs that supply food but no shops or cafes. There are shops and cafes at Kirkby Stephen.

Be sure to plan your food and drink in advance and carry enough supplies with you for your journey.


Maps, Guidebooks and Merchandise

The official guidebook and map for the Trail are available from the National Trails Shop along with a wide range of gifts and other merchandise.

Itinerary Map

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