The Ribble Way

There are possibly hundreds of named long distance paths in the UK and me and my beautiful wife and our unruly pointer have walked or run sections of many of them. The Ribble Way is one that I only stumbled across a few days ago, and as I’m not back at work until the 6th January there was a window to check out a short section. It would also allow me to continue with my unofficial resolution to run or ride somewhere new (something that I will blog about soon). Resolution isn’t really the right word; motto feels better.


The Ribble way is a long-distance path between the Lancashire coast and the Yorkshire Dales following the course of the River Ribble. The route begins in Longton and ends at the source of the Ribble near Ribblehead, and is around 116 kilometres (72 mi) in length. I’ve cycled under the Ribblehead Viaduct dozens of times and it never once occurred to me that it’s named because this is where the River Ribble begins (the ‘head’ of the Ribble).

The small section that I opted to run (with Nelly) was from the village of Sawley next to the Ribble to a point upstream where the path once again met the river.

The first km was on a very good paved track with easy to follow signs. The route then was mainly through fields, although one large field had obviously been used for some kind of a festival in the summer, as can be seen in the photo below.


Lots of gates, a couple of large stiles and plenty of sheep, however the route was easy to follow with signposts wherever one might be required. Through another muddy field and then the path dropped suddenly down as the River Ribble once again came into view.


We admired the Ribble, before I took an obligatory selfie with Nelly and returned the way we had come.


As a bonus for Nelly one field was devoid of sheep so she could have a good run for a few minutes ‘off lead’. It was a bit of a drive for a 9km run, but it is very easy to become stale and bored by running the same old routes again and again.

Here’s to more running or riding somewhere new.

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