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8 Beautiful Ribble Valley Walks & Routes To Go On!

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Walks in the Ribble Valley are good for the soul, and on most Ribble Valley Walks you’ll come across a famous name or a famous historic event because the Ribble Valley is full of history as well as rolling countryside, good food and small pretty villages.

On my recent trip to Ribble Valley, I found so many things to do in the Ribble Valley but one thing I kept coming back to and finding were Ribble Valley walking routes.

In this Ribble Valley blog post, I’m going to tell you about some of the Ribble Valley walks I did along with other Ribble Valley walking routes I didn’t have time for but certainly plan to do in the future since the Ribble Valley is so close to me in Manchester!

Ribble Valley Walks

Ribble Valley Walks
Keep reading for some great Ribble Valley Walks!

Ribble Valley Walk Map

To see an online map of the Ribble Valley, I find the app much more helpful than Google Maps when planning my walk and when on the walk because it has far more footpaths shown on it than Google Maps does making it much easier to see the correct route, so be sure to download it before your walk.

I also like AllTrails for helping me find routes and many of these Ribble Valley Walks are on there.

Ribble Valley Walking Routes

1. Pendle Hill

Distance: 8km

Time Needed: 2 hours

Level: Moderate

Pendle Hill Walk is easily the most popular walk in the Ribble Valley and one of the most popular places to visit.

Pendle Hill is 557m in height so it offers a challenging hike for many but not a really hard hike and can be done by many too. I did the walk up Pendle Hill in 1.5 hours but I walked quickly so I would give yourself 2 hours + to really enjoy it.

The walk offers incredible views across the countryside, there are plenty of places to sit alongside the the trail to have a rest and enjoy the view, and there are also many ways you can climb Pendle Hill, so if you’ve done the walk before, do it again from another starting point!

Here’s my full guide on how to climb Pendle Hill with easy and harder routes!

Pendle Hill is famous because it can be seen from all around the area, but also for the famous Pendle Witches. Keep reading for how you can do a walk to learn more about the Witch trails here in Pendle.

Ribble Valley Walks, Pendle Hill Start sign
The start of Pendle Hill Walk.
Ribble Valley Walks, Pendle Hill Steps and Path
Choose the Pendle Hill steps which are faster, or the path which is longer.
Ribble Valley Walks, Pendle Hill Summit
Top of Pendle Hill and one of the great walks in the Ribble Valley!

2. Longridge Fell

Distance: 8km

Time Needed: 2 hours

Level: Moderate

Longridge Fell is 350m so a lower and easier option than Pendle Hill, it’s also different because it’s accessed via forestry, but it’s similar to Pendle Hill in that the summit can be seen from all around and it offers fantastic views from the top.

Longridge Fell is the most Southerly Fell in England and is therefore easy to access from cities and towns south of the Ribble Valley such as Manchester.

To do the Longridge Fell walk, you can start in the village of Hurst Green where there are many other places to visit in the Ribble Valley nearby.

Follow this guide to do the Longridge Fell walk.

3. Whitewell Walk and Stepping Stones

Distance: Starting at 3.5km

Time Needed: 1 hour

Level: Easy

The Inn at Whitewell should be on your list of pubs / restaurants to visit in the Ribble Valley for a drink or some food because it offers really high quality food in an English countryside setting.

And the Whitewell Walk is the perfect Ribble Valley walking route to do after a nice meal, or before it to work up an appetite!

There are a few circular routes you can take ranging from 2 miles, 4 miles, 6 miles and 9 miles!

For an easy Ribble Valley walk I suggest doing the 2 mile route which will take about 1 hour and is signposted from the village. Behind the Inn at Whitewell is a river with Stepping Stones, you can start the walk here or end it.

Follow this guide which has all the Whitewell walking routes on!

Ribble Valley Walks, Whitewell Stepping Stones
Look out for the Whitewell Stepping Stones on this Ribble Valley walk.

4. The Tolkien Trail

Distance: 9km

Time Needed: 3 hours

Level: Easy

There are a few famous names you’ll see and hear about in the Ribble Valley and J.R.R Tolkien is one of them.

As Visit Lancashire says here, the author J.R.R Tolkien certainly spent a lot of his time at Stonyhurst College working on The Lord of the Rings during the Second World War.

There is a 5.5 mile relatively easy walk known as the Tolkien Trail around the countryside which is said to have inspired him and many have made connections to this landscape and college to his work.

You’ll pass impressive places like Stonyhurst College and Cromwells bridge.

Head to the Shireburn Arms in Hurst Green to start the walk, ask them for a map or use the guide below.

Follow this guide to do the Tolkien Trail walk!

Ribble Valley Walks, Hurst Green
Start the walk here in Hurst Green.
Ribble Valley Walks, Stonyhurst College
Stonyhurst College is one of the impressive places you pass on the Tolkien Trail.
Ribble Valley Walks, Cromwells Bridge
And you’ll pass by Cromwell’s bridge.

5. Pendle Sculpture Trail

Distance: 5km

Time Needed: 2 hours

Level: Easy

Just below Pendle Hill is the Pendle Sculpture trail. This is one of the great things to do in the Ribble Valley for families with children who might not be able to climb Pendle Hill but still want to do one of the Pendle walks.

The Pendle Sculpture Trail is an easy walk through the woodland starting in the village of Barley passing Black Moss Reservoir before reaching the start of the trail is noted on Google maps.

The trail was created in tribute to the people hung for the in the Pendle Witch Trial over 400 years ago with various plaques and unique structures to see along the trail!

The best thing about this walk is you can walk as far as you like making it one of the easy Pendle Hill walks.

Follow this guide to visit the Pendle Sculpture Trail!

6. Bolton-by-Bowland to Sawley Walk

Distance: 16km

Time Needed: 4.5 hours

Level: Easy

I have stayed overnight in the pretty, quaint and quiet village of Bolton-by Bowland at the Coach and Horses Ribble Valley and it’s a lovely village to drive to to start a walk from.

There is a small public car park in the village of Bolton-by-Bowland and from there, a circular walk to Sawley Abbey passing by the River Ribble is a great idea.

Sawley Abbey is the remains of a Cistercian abbey originating from the 12th century and the history is quite impressive, so is the view of Pendle Hill from Sawley Abbey.

This walk is through fields and along rivers so it is not an intense walk uphill but it is quite long at 10 miles. There are places to stop and have a drink and get food from on the way though.

Follow this guide for the Bolton by Bowland to Sawley walk!

Ribble Valley Walks, Bolton By Bowland village
Start in Ribble Valley Walks, Bolton-By-Bowland village.
Ribble Valley Walks, River Ribble
Pass by the River Ribble,
Ribble Valley Walks, Sawley Abbey
Use Sawley Abbey as your destination before heading back on the circular Bowland-by-Bolton walk.

7. Dunsop Bridge to Chipping

Distance: 12.5km

Time Needed: 4.5 hours

Level: Moderate

Dunsop Bridge is a popular stop in most peoples Ribble Valley itinerary because it is famous for being the Geographical centre of Great Britain.

Once in the village of Dunsop there is a small cafe, a place to hire e-bikes and plenty of footpaths around.

Driving towards Dunsop you’ll notice the high fells surrounding you and if you feel like you want to really explore them, hiking from the village of Dunsop Bridge to the village chipping via a 8 mile walk is a great thing to do!

This walk from Dunsop Bridge will take you climbing above the Hodder Valley and between the valley and the ridge of the Bowland fells above. The final stretch below Wolf Fell descends through a narrow valley and fields into the attractive village of Chipping.

Follow this guide for the Dunsop Bridge to Chipping walk!

Ribble Valley Walks, Dunsop Bridge
Start your walk here at Dunsop Bridge.

8. Clitheroe 50k

Distance: 50km

Time Needed: 1-3 Days

Level: Advanced

If you’re up for a challenge, consider the Clitheroe 50k walk! Yes, 50km in one walk! Or, you can split the walk up over 3 days as the Clitheroe Ramblers suggest!

This is the ultimate Ribble Valley walk taking you on a circular walk to Whitewell, on to Newton, Grindleton Fell, up Pendle Hill and includes over 4000 ft of ascent.

Follow this guide by to do the Clitheroe 50k walk!

Ribble Valley Walks, Pendle Hill in distance
Pendle Hill is one of the many accents on the Clitheroe 50k!

I hope this helps you find a Ribble Valley walk that’s perfect for you!