Since the earliest of times, the indistinct valley in which Rylstone sits has provided a routeway from Skipton and the south into the heart of the Dales and northwards into Scotland. It has been a means of access for Norse and Anglian raiders and settlers, a drove route for cattle and sheep being taken to market and, today, a major artery for Dales' commerce and tourism. It recently found fame as part of the route for the famous 2012 Tour de France and, since then, for the Tour de Yorkshire.
This section has two sub-sections, to cover roads (including tracks and footpaths), and railways. The railway in Rylstone dates only from the 20th century. Roads and other routes go back before recorded history, and certainly before any reliable maps. The earliest map we reproduce showing roads and tracks in Rylstone parish in reasonable detail is that of Jeffrey in 1771, though other research cited indicates the importance of Rylstone in medieval times in providing a major north-south routeway.
Tithe Award map showing routes in use in 1839.