The Ribblehead Viaduct can be seen when driving towards Hawes. This viaduct was built in the 1840s. To make this viaduct involved 157 tonnes of gunpowder, 8 million tonnes of water were pumped out, and over 27 people died through accidents at the site. A stone memorial commemorates the navvies (workmen) who were killed during the construction of the viaduct. According to the National Railway Museum blog, between “one and two thousand navvies” made camp on the site during the five years it took to build the viaduct (National Railway blog). To the right of the path leading to the viaduct, you can see the area where these navvies once made camp. A plaque on site gives details of how they made their dwellings from wood and felt covering to protect themselves from the inclement weather. When you visit the site you will wonder how the navvies endured the harsh weather and elements on a cold wintry day.
Ribblehead viaduct is on the B6255 out of Ingleton when you head to Hawes. There are various routes to get there, but whichever one you take your mouth will drop at the glorious views. Not a place to be when it is raining, but creates a mystical image when the mist rolls in. The North of England, especially the Dales and Lakes are a photographer’s paradise.
Note: if you are looking for a snack, there is a pub up the road from the viaduct, or sometimes a snack truck selling bacon butties and tea (bacon in a bread bun).
Onward to HawesAfter you have passed the viaduct, the next point of interest is Hawes. It is a small market town where the Wensleydale Cheese Factory is to be found. You can visit the Creamery and watch a demonstration of how cheese is made. Then visit the shop, where you can sample cheese being made and make a purchase, then pick up souvenirs, or have lunch in the tea room. The tea room offers afternoon tea, soups, cakes and endless possibilities to satisfy everyone’s taste buds. Afterwards, head into Main Street, Hawes and visit the outdoor and indoor market – check with the tourist board for
Link to Wensleydale Creamery in Hawes:
Cheese Shop at Wensleydale Creamery – Tea Room in the background