I’ve always had a fascination with the natural world and our relationship with it.  The way we can adapt to our environment and overcome the unbelievable hardships mother nature can throw at us has always interested me.

The Victorians were the masters of this with their engineering prowess especially when it comes to the railway network they created over 200 years ago.

I’ve wanted to visit one of the engineering masterpieces of this era for many years so when my stepfather was dying he asked me to make sure his ashes were scattered from the Ribblehead Viaduct from a steam train.

My mother has never visited it before and with her wanting her ashes scattered with her beloved Chris I decided it was the time to visit.

The Ribblehead Viaduct or Batty Moss Viaduct carries the Settle–Carlisle Railway across Batty Moss in the beautiful valley of the River Ribble at Ribblehead, in North Yorkshire.  The first stone was laid on 12 October 1870 and the last in 1874.  It was built by over 1000 navvies who set up shanty towns around it whilst it was being built.

Driving though the Yorkshire Dales in winter with snow all around just adds to the magic and as the viaduct comes into view, you are suddenly aware of the isolation and extremities these navvies must have endured to create this masterpiece.

Safe to say after a few hours exploring my mother was well and truly wrapped up next to an open fire whilst I returned to enjoy the last of the winter sun and experience the beauty of this piece of railway history.