CRL - Community Rail Lancashire

An Invitation To Explore The Yorkshire Dales

A New service for people looking to explore the Yorkshire Dales this summer launched by Northern


People in the North West who are looking to explore the Yorkshire Dales National Park this summer will be able to travel there on a new Northern service.

Known as the Yorkshire Dales Explorer, the Saturday-only return service will run from Rochdale to Ribblehead – via stations including Manchester Victoria, Salford Crescent, Bolton, Blackburn, Clitheroe, Hellifield and Settle – twice a day from June 8, 2024.

Northern is offering return tickets from Manchester Victoria to Ribblehead for £25 so ramblers and nature lovers can enjoy an affordable day out in the Dales.

They will be able to make the journey between those two stations in around two hours, travelling along a route which features some impressive scenery.

Craig Harrop, Regional Director for Northern, said: “We’re excited to introduce this brand-new service that will allow customers to travel into the heart of the Dales at a reasonable price this summer. They can get off the train at Hellifield, Settle, Horton-in-Ribblesdale or Ribblehead if they want to get out and explore the spectacular national park.”

Trains will depart from Rochdale at 7.52am and 2.52pm on Saturdays, calling at 18 stops before they reach Ribblehead. The return trains will depart from Ribblehead at 11.08am and 6.05pm.

Customers alighting at Ribblehead can take a short walk to see the famous Ribblehead Viaduct or catch another train to continue north on the Settle-Carlisle line and visit other destinations in the Dales, such as Garsdale and Dent.

Lizzie Bushby, Member Champion for Recreation Management at the Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority, said: “We’re really pleased that Northern is running this service. It will provide opportunities for visitors from the North West to visit the National Park this summer. The journey itself will be a great experience with amazing views of the National Park, and there will be lots to do when people arrive.”

Councillor Rupert Swarbrick, Cabinet Member for Highways and Transport at Lancashire County Council, said: “The new links offered by the Yorkshire Dales Explorer will improve connectivity and will also support Lancashire’s vital tourism economy by providing further opportunities for people from across the North to access the Ribble Valley and visit our historic market towns such as Clitheroe. I look forward to working closely with our partners to highlight the many great destinations, events and activities which people can reach using the new Explorer service.”

Nic Harne, Corporate Director of Community Development at North Yorkshire Council, said: “The addition of this new route is great news for the area, not only increasing connectivity but allowing visitors to leave their cars at home and travel on public transport to explore the beauty of North Yorkshire.”

Richard Watts, Chair of Community Rail Lancashire, said: “This is an exciting development which Community Rail Lancashire will enthusiastically support. We are developing, with our partners the Lancashire Rail Ramblers and the Friends of the Settle Carlisle, a comprehensive guided walk programme helping people to enjoy the lovely Dales countryside with an experienced leader. The walks will also include history trails highlighting the fascinating stories in the communities along the line.”

Northern have produced a leaflet that can be downloaded here Yorkshire Dales Explorer leaflet and Community Rail Lancashire have produced a poste that will be displayed across the area soon and can be downloaded here CRL Yorkshire Dales Explorer Poster  

Northern will be offering the following fares (off-peak day single/off-peak day return).

Manchester Victoria to Hellifield – £17.10/£19.70

Manchester Victoria to Settle – £20.30/£23.30

Manchester Victoria to Horton in Ribblesdale – £21.50/£24.70

Manchester Victoria to Ribblehead – £21.80/£25.00

If you would like to find the fare for a specific route please email