Lake District


North Yorkshire

North Wales



About Summiteer

~Blea Moor~

2nd March 2019

Blea Moor Tunnel

Blea Moor Tunnel

Far Gearstones

A variation on a familiar format of lurking around Ribblehead whilst waiting for a steam-hauled charter train. This time, I chose to drive up and park (as above) near the viaduct and walk up the tarmac of the B6255 until the point at which The Dales Way crosses and heads north for Dentdale. The farmhouses of Far Gearstones can be seen in the photo above, right.



A "seldom seen" miniature hamlet of farmhouses is the first noticeable feature of the walk away from the road. Plain, almost featureless landscape in the Yorkshire Dales are not a problem to me, or Molly. The quiet corners and empty spaces are so precious in the this crazy world. Wandering without pestering worries is wonderful.

Winshaw High Gayle
High Gayle

Winshaw and later, High Gayle, the only other inhabited building on the bridleway from Far Gearstones to road down to Dent Head.

Dent Head Viaduct

Dent Head Viaduct

Time is tight now and the train is due very soon, so we hurried down the road and met two rail enthusiasts near the line. One of them knew that the train was still 10 minutes away, so we headed off to one of my favourite vantage points....

Blea Moor Northern Portal


I'm not sure what the attraction is for this spot, but the sudden appearance of the trains is quite appealing and there is a certain timelessness in the scene. Furthermore you take the sky out of the photograph if you want to. It is remote, it has taken us 90 minutes to get to this location over a distance of nearly four miles. Having said that, the other two gentlemen had parked their car and walked about 30 yards - but I like to "win" my views and photographs with a bit of grit and determination along the way.

LMS Class 8F 2-8-0 no 48151

The Settle Carlisle Thunderer I

I prefer not to take or publish video footage, so above is a set of images taken a 1/3 sec intervals. No.48151 was built in Crewe in 1942.

Settle Carlisle Railway

Settle Carlisle Railway

Now for the steep climb up and over Blea Moor. Just for a few minutes the sun came out.

Molly the Collie


Molly Blea Moor

Summit of Blea Moor 1755ft asl

Ventilation Shaft

Ventilation Shaft

I've told you before, but maybe you weren't paying shafts were sunk to the rail level and each provided a workface for the tunneling operation, along with the two portals, hence large spoil heaps can be found close to the ventilation shafts. Four of the seven were closed off, three remain.

Ribblehead Viaduct

Ribblehead Viaduct

I was aware that volunteers operated a cafe at the railway station for limited hours, surely on Saturdays and it's about 1300hrs, so they will be open and I quite fancied tea and home-made cake, yum-yum.

Ribblehead Cafe

Cafe, closed.

It doesn't open until April.

Walkers: Molly and Me

Time taken: 3hrs 45mins over a distance of about 9 miles.

Route: Ribblehead roadside parking, Dales Way to Dent Head from Far Gearstones. Up and over Blea Moor with a visit to the summit, back via the viaduct.

Weather and conditions: Often dull, briefly sunny, dry.

Refreshments: Tea and cake (takeaway) from The Naked Man Cafe in Settle.

All photos copyright Richard Ratcliffe 2018 ©

Take me back to the start ....

Take me home....