The Settle to Carlisle Way
Settle to Carlisle in 9 Days Walking Code: SE10
We offer 2 itineraries walking the whole of the Settle to Carlisle Way. The 9 day option splits the longest 2 days from the 7 day itinerary into 4 shorter days allowing you to walk the length of the trail at a more leisurely pace.
This 9 day itinerary has 4 days of 10 miles or less thanks to overnight stops in Horton in Ribblesdale and Temple Sowerby, not utilised on the more challenging 7 day option. The remaining 5 days average just 13 miles per day, making for an altogether more comfortable way to walk the full length of the trail.
|Travel to Settle for your first nights accommodation
|Settle to Horton in Ribblesdale
|Horton in Ribblesdale to Ribblehead
|Ribblehead to Garsdale then transfer to Hawes
|Transfer back to Garsdale then walk to Kirkby Stephen
|Kirkby Stephen to Appleby
|Appleby to Temple Sowerby
|Temple Sowerby to Langwathby
|Langwathby to Armathwaite
|Armathwaite to Carlisle
|Depart from Carlisle after breakfast
Settle to Ribblehead
Leaving Settle the Way follows the River Ribble on the route of the aptly named Ribble Way, only leaving the river for a short time as it passes through the charming hamlet of Stackhouse, returning to the waters edge soon after. From here the Way heads into the Yorkshire Dales National Park and soon reaches the picturesque Stainforth Force with its pretty packhorse bridge dating back to 1675.
Beyond Stainforth the Way crosses rough pasture with Ingleborough on its left and Pen-y-ghent coming into view ahead. The Way rejoins the river and the railway at Helwith Bridge and follows it all the way to the popular village of Horton in Ribblesdale.
Leaving Horton in Ribblesdale the Way follows part of the Pennine Way along an impressive dry-stone walled green lane passing Sell Gill Holes before breaking off and joining the path linking Pen-y-ghent with Whernside. An access track leads to the public road where a short section of road walking leads to Ribblehead and the magnificent 400m wide viaduct with its 24 arches towering more than 30m above the ground.
Ribblehead to Garsdale
Remaining on the east side of the imposing Ribblehead Viaduct the Way climbs to run parallel with the railway. From here, in good weather, you should be able to see each of the iconic Yorkshire 3 Peaks, Pen-y-ghent, Whernside and Ingleborough.
The Way continues over Blea Moor. Beneath the moor is Blea Moor Tunnel, at 1.5 miles long it’s the longest on the railway. Ventilation shafts on the moor signal the line of the tunnel which at times is almost 500 feet below. From Blea Moor two splendid viaducts come in to view. Directly ahead is Dent Head and further off to its left is Arten Gill.
Passing through Mossy Bottom plantation the Way leaves the moor by the northern mouth of Blea Moor Tunnel and breaks from the railway for a time, rejoining at Arten Gill Viaduct, the highest on the line.
Beyond the viaduct the Way joins the Pennine Bridleway and sweeps round the flanks of Great Knoutberry Hill with the reward of fine views of Dentdale, the Lake District, the southern slopes of the Howgills and the North Pennines. A quiet winding road leads to Garsdale.
Garsdale to Kirkby Stephen
From Dandry Mire Viaduct the Way follows the Pennine Bridleway on rough ground past Cobbles Plantation before climbing to meet with Lady Anne’s Way. The Way follows this hugely enjoyable high level track for several miles with one of the finest hills in Yorkshire, Wild Boar Fell, dominating the superb view across the valley. The Way eventually drops to meet the railway and the River Eden at Deep Gill. The remainder of this section involves delightful walking along the valley floor.
Beyond Deep Gill, near the romantic ruin Pendragon Castle, the Settle to Carlisle Way and Lady Anne’s Way split for a time. Initially skirting the flanks of Birkett Common the Way remains on the west of the Eden meandering its way to the Cumbrian market town of Kirkby Stephen where it again meets with Lady Anne’s Way. Alfred Wainwright’s Coast to Coast Path from St Bees to Robin Hood’s Bay also arrives into Kirby Stephen. All three will depart in separate directions.
Kirkby Stephen to Appleby
The Way gains a little height for a time as it leaves Kirkby Stephen in the direction of Winton and views ahead open out to the North Pennines which will dominate much of this section.
From Winton it’s easy walking through pleasant fields and meadows, and past sleepy hamlets as the Way heads west and crosses the Eden to the small village of Soulby, before turning north to Warcop and once again meeting with Lady Anne’s Way.
Gentle walking through picturesque farmland continues beyond Warcop where the Way follows the River Eden with the reward of splendid views over the eastern Lake District fells.
Beyond Great Ormside the Way hugs the riverside almost all the way to the pretty market town of Appleby. It’s here a third route shares the banks of the Eden. The 95 mile Westmorland Way starts in today’s destination, Appleby, and then travels west and generally southwards passing Ullswater, Grasmere and Windermere making its way to Westmorland’s only port, Arnside, on the shores of Morecambe Bay.
Appleby to Langwathby
More easy walking through rural Cumbrian countryside with lovely vistas of the North Pennine Hills beginning with a view up into the magnificent High Cup Nick with its horseshoe of vertical Whin Sill crags. The Way passes through the timeless red sandstone village of Long Marton and then continues to Temple Sowerby with terrific views towards Cross Fell and Great Dun Fell. The Settle to Carlisle Way and Lady Anne’s Way part company for the final time at the delightful Ousenstand Bridge over the Eden.
Beyond Temple Sowerby the Way passes by the National Trust property of Acorn Bank with its beautiful walled gardens before passing beneath Crowdundle Viaduct and turning for the village of Culgaith.
From Culgaith more gentle walking through idyllic countryside leads to the charming village of Langwathby with its Brief Encounter café.
Langwathby to Armathwaite
Leaving Langwathby the Way crosses fields and passes through the villages of Winskill and Hunsonby before returning parallel with the railway at Little Salkeld where there are options to visit Long Meg Stone Circle and Lacy’s Caves.
The Way continues, closely following the river towards Eden Bridge where a short section of road leads into the picturesque once-thriving market town of Kirkoswald.
Beyond Kirkoswald the Way leaves the railway and the Eden as it crosses delightful rolling farmland and journeys through enchanting woods, emerging to again join the Eden. A short walk along the banks of the river leads into the pleasant village of Armathwaite.
Armathwaite to Carlisle
The final leg of the Settle to Carlisle Way delivers another day of delightful walking through the charming Cumbrian countryside where riverside paths, woods and meadows lead to the pedestrianised centre of the historic border city of Carlisle.
Leaving Armathwaite the Way runs parallel with the railway as far as Drybeck Viaduct before once again heading to the banks of the River Eden where it meanders along passing through lovely meadows and in and out of enchanting woodland all the way to the attractive village of Wetheral with its spacious village green.
From Wetheral the Way follows lanes and minor roads through farmland to the outskirts of Carlisle where it meets the Eden for the final time and twists its way towards the city centre and the completion of the Settle to Carlisle Way.
Easy to Moderate
The Settle to Carlisle Way can be completed by anyone with a reasonable level of fitness and the ability to follow a map!
Terrain: A little bit of everything the Yorkshire Dales and Eden Valley has to offer. A varied mixture of riverside paths, green lanes, limestone grassland, woodland paths and moorland tracks.
What’s it like underfoot? On the whole the paths are relatively well defined, however there are a number of boggy sections where after prolonged rain the ground can be extremely muddy. There are some short sections of road walking which are free from heavy traffic.
How Much Up & Down? The Way’s profile tends to match that of the railway. Leaving Settle at approximately 150m the Way climbs to just around 350m near Garsdale before gradually losing height all the way to Carlisle just above sea level.
Signposting: As the Settle to Carlisle Way is not yet an established long distance trail there isn’t any consistent signposting. The Way does however follow sections of Ribble Way, Pennine Way and Pennine Bridleway which are signposted.
Navigation: Although there isn’t any consistent signposting, in the main the Way follows rights of way throughout. Providing you familiarise yourself with the route ahead of your holiday and refer to your map when walking you will remain on course without too much effort.
Weather: You may be lucky enough to encounter warm, dry weather over the whole route and enjoy dry paths and tremendous views, but you must be prepared because the weather can change quickly. Good clothing including comfortable footwear and reliable waterproofs are essential. Pack your floppy hat and sun cream also!
|Overnight Bed and Breakfast accommodation in selected hotels, farmhouses, village inns, guest houses and family B&Bs. Full English or Continental breakfast.
|A detailed guidebook with route information, maps, photos and background information.
|Information of Services Along the Route
|A comprehensive Service Info sheet, including services such as cash points, banks, post offices, village shops, inns, cafes and taxis.
|A waterproof 1:40000 map from Harvey Maps covering the whole route.
|A personal itinerary setting out each overnight stop, including large scale maps of each accommodation, to ensure you find it easily.
|Emergency Telephone Support
|If you get in to difficulties during your holiday, we are always available to help, even out of office hours.
|12.5% discount at Cotswold Outdoors
|We will issue you with a 12.5% Discount Card valid at all Cotswold Outdoor stores, and online, for the whole year on confirmation of your booking.
|We will transfer your luggage between each overnight stop – if you leave your luggage at the accommodation when you set off in the morning, it will be moved on to your next B&B. You only need to carry a small day sack with the clothes and provisions you require during the day’s walk.
| Packed Lunches
|Provided for each day’s walking and recommended on this holiday as there will not always be a handy shop or cafe on the route.
|Off Road Parking
|If you are travelling by car we can usually arrange off road parking for the duration of your trip. (There may be a small charge for this).
|Arrangement of return transport
|We can also arrange your transfer back to your car, (or advise you when public transport is a better option)!
What’s not Included
|Your evening meal isn’t included in the package, but we include full details and recommendations for each evening meal in your itinerary. You will normally be within walking distance of a pub and/or restaurant, or where there is good food available at the accommodation, we’ll book that for you. Allow about £20.00 per night.
|Transport to the Start & Away from the Finish
|Have a look at the “Travel Info” tab above for suggestions. If you’re still struggling, get in touch and we’ll help you sort it out.
|Even if you are based in the UK travel insurance is worth having.
Good accommodation and friendly hosts are an essential part of any holiday. We understand this and go out of our way to find the best. We put a great deal of effort into hand picking our accommodation and matching it to individual customer requirements. As well as visiting the accommodation ourselves, we ask all our customers to complete a short evaluation on each night’s accommodation, which then gives us an insight into the day-to-day operation and lets us spot any potential issues before they become a problem.
We use a variety of accommodation. Over the course of your trip you might stay in a village inn, a bed and breakfast in a converted barn, a Victorian guest house, or on a working farm. In selecting the accommodation we look for helpful, friendly hosts with good quality, characterful accommodation close to the trail. Occasionally we may use a chain hotel.
We always try to arrange en suite accommodation, i.e. rooms with their own bathrooms for each night of your stay. However, in some of the more remote locations accommodation is limited and occasionally we may have to book rooms with shared bathrooms for one or two nights of your holiday, (especially if the booking is made at short notice), but we will always let you know if this is likely to be the case.
We are happy to book single rooms on our holidays but cannot normally book more than two for any one group. Single room bookings include a supplement.
Here are some examples of the accommodation we use on the Settle to Carlisle Way:
Edd and Jan welcome you to their beautiful 19th century Bed and Breakfast & Tearoom at Middle Studfold Farm near the village of Horton in Ribblesdale. Their rooms have been completely refurbished to a high standard. All food, including bread, is prepared and cooked fresh by Edd himself, a chef. Exquisite dishes are served in the evening also. Visit their website
In the spectacular valley of Garsdale, Linda and Graham welcome you to their homely Bed and Breakfast, Goats and Oats. Accommodation is in a beautifully converted barn attached to their home with its own separate entrance. Their food is absolutely delicious and 100% plant based, leaving you full, satisfied and ready for your adventures!. Visit their website
A warm Cumbrian welcome awaits you at Bongate House in Appleby. In addition to her seven fabulous rooms Anne has approximately an acre of garden for your enjoyment. Sit and enjoy the sun, or take a stroll to the end of the garden where hidden, beyond the trees, you will find a view of Appleby Castle and the River Eden. Visit their website
Debbie and Mark are your hosts at Fern Lee Guest House in the historic city of Carlisle. Their attractive property offers modern, spacious and well furnished rooms. Their delicious breakfasts – Full English, Continental, Vegetarian or Vegan are all made from fresh, locally sourced ingredients. Visit their website
General travel information for the Settle to Carlisle Way will be in your holiday pack.
Detailed instructions on getting to your first night’s accommodation by car, or on foot from the nearest train or bus station, will also be included in the holiday pack on individual accommodation maps.
If you require secure car parking whilst walking this route, please contact us for information.
Getting to Settle:
By Air: The nearest International Airports to the trail are Leeds Bradford Airport and Manchester. Shuttlebus services run between the Airport and both Leeds Railway Station and Bradford Forster Square Station. Trains run direct between both stations and Settle.
If travelling via Manchester Airport, there is a railway station at the Airport with hourly trains to Settle via Leeds.
By Public Transport: Settle Railway Station is located on the Settle to Carlisle Line with connections at Carlisle to the West Coast Main Line between Glasgow and London Euston. Despite its name, the line actually continues southwards from Settle to terminate at Leeds where it connects with the East Coast Main Line between Edinburgh and London Kings Cross.
By Road: Settle is located on the B6480, just off the A65.
From the M6: Leave the M6 at Junction 36 and follow signs for the A65 Kirkby Lonsdale & Skipton. Follow the A65 for approx. 20 miles, passing through Kirkby Lonsdale and Ingleton, then follow signs left for Settle & Giggleswick. Follow the B6480 through the village of Giggleswick to arrive in Settle.
From the A1(M): Leave the A1(M) at Junction 47 and follow signs for the A59. Pass through Knaresborough then Harrogate and continue on the A59 to Skipton (where it meets and merges with the A65 as it bypasses Skipton) and follow signs for the A65 Kendal. Pass though the villages of Gargrave, Hellifield and Long Preston. Shortly after ‘The Courtyard’ Centre & Tea Rooms, pass under the railway bridge to a roundabout and take the second exit for the B6480 Settle.
Returning from Carlisle:
By Public Transport: Carlisle Railway Station is located on the West Coast Main Line with fast and frequent trains between Glasgow and London Euston. Trains also run along the Tyne Valley Line from Carlisle to Newcastle.
By Road: Carlisle is located just off the M6 and can be accessed from the motorway at several points – Junction 42 (Carlisle South (A6)), Junction 43 (Carlisle Central (A69)) and Junction 44 (Carlisle North (A7)).
If travelling across from the East, exit the A1(M) at Junction 75 and follow the A69 cross country to Junction 43 of the M6 (Carlisle Central).
Surrounded by stunning countryside and iconic landmarks, the charming town of Settle is well worth a day of discovery. It’s an ideal base for all sorts of adventures from cave exploration and abseiling to road cycling and mountain biking. There’s a fabulous selection of friendly independent shops and when it comes to eating there are plenty of places offering delicious food for all tastes and budgets.
Horton in Ribblesdale
For walkers on the Settle to Carlisle Way, the pretty village of Horton in Ribblesdale is the perfect location from which to explore one or more of the iconic Yorkshire Three Peaks. It is the preferred starting point for the famous 24 mile challenge walk which requires walkers to take in the peaks of Pen-y-ghent (694m), Whernside (736m) and Ingleborough (723m) in under 12 hours.
Of course each of the three peaks is worthy of a walk on its own, with time spent exploring the fascinating geology and discovering the heritage of the local landmarks. Both Pen-y-ghent and Ingleborough are easily accessible from Horton in Ribblesdale, while a ten minute train ride round to the Ribblehead will have you best positioned for Whernside.
Walkers on the Pennine Way will of course be scaling Pen-y-ghent when walking from Malham into Horton in Ribblesdale. Why not add an additional day to ascend Ingleborough or Whernside, or indeed both?
Hawes is a bustling market town, lying in the heart of the Yorkshire Dales National Park and surrounded by spectacular scenery. With many craft workshops, antique and speciality shops and restaurants on offer, it’s the perfect place to spend a well-earned rest day. This picturesque town is home to the famous Wensleydale Cheese and the renowned Dales country side museum.
Kirkby Stephen is a traditional market town of historic buildings, cobbled yards, quaint corners and interesting shops. It is situated in a landscape of pastoral rural scenery with wild uplands. Being remote from large towns and population centres, Kirkby Stephen has developed a strong and self-sufficient identity and a vibrant sense of community.
Carlisle is an historic border city, complete with castle and cathedral. Tullie House Museum has a lot of Roman artefacts and is worth a visit. The cathedral was founded in 1122 and is open every day. The castle has dominated the city for 9 centuries, and also houses a military museum – there are guided tours daily. There are plenty of shops and lots of places to eat or have coffee.