On the approach, Penyghent provides a fantastic sight.
It is Steve's favourite hill
The walk is traditionally and best started from Horton itself from where you
track to Penyghent via Brackenbottom climbing through fields steadily until you
reach the imposing face of the hill. Scale up the face to the plateau on top and
then walk to the trig point. You will be exhilarated and warmed up now for the
long haul to Whernside. Head down from Penyghent on the due west path and if you
can take the time to visit the brilliant Hull Pot (map ref SD824747) near to
where the Pennine Way is crossed. As you approach the pot you wonder where it is
but then the sound of the water leads you in. Be careful as it opens up very
quickly in front of you to reveal the abyss below. Once you leave Hull Pot the
tracks can become less distinct. Head on to Cave Hill and the lovely Ling Gill
(SD802786). This section of the walk is treacherous if you stray from the paths
as its very boggy. Avoid it at all costs if its wet. Once you have negotiated
this tricky section take a break to take in the beauty of Ling Gill before going
onto Cam End - not too long a break though as there's a serious walk to do! From
Cam End follow a track and the B6255 to Ribblehead Viaduct, you can't miss
it...and prepare yourself for the long haul up Whernside via a walk near to the
line past Blea Station and up the Dales Way track before leaving it after Force
Gill. The walk up isn't too difficult just monotonous and then take a break at
the trig. If the weather is clear look over to Ingleborough.
Nearing Ribblehead Viaduct and
The hazy profile of Ingleborough
from Blea Moor
Leave Whernside in your wake and after a little walk along its ridge descend
down a steep path (be careful in the wet as it can be very slippy) to Philpin
Farm which has a welcome refreshment caravan at an appropriate quick
break spot (open between April and October at weekends and Bank Holidays only).
The refuelling will do you good for Ingleborough is a good climb
once you have passed the Hill Inn at Chapel-Le-Dale (pints at your peril!). The
climb used to have an awful length of duck boarding which is now thankfully paved
and after a half mile of gentle gradient
is over its a good old steep ascent to the top. On the table top plateau of
Ingleborough itself you will be blessed by, weather permitting, brilliant views
including Ribblehead, a panorama of the Dales and on a good day the hills of the
Lake District too. While you celebrate the achievement of capturing the 'Three
Peaks' don't forget there is still some six miles back to Horton, all downhill and on the route back are some great examples of Limestone Paving
A Report of one of my Three Peaks Walks - Saturday 7th August, 1999
(Walked with Steve and Dave during my 50 Peaks in 50 Weeks Challenge I did in the last year of the 2nd millenium)
And so to the biggest single day walk of the year. The classic 25 miles circular that is famously known as the 'Three Peaks', which
involves climbing the three most popular hills in the Yorkshire Dales. Steve and I had this one planned since late last year. We
usually climb Penyghent on New Years Day but decided to leave it this year so I didn't have to do it twice during my '50 peaks in
50 weeks' challenge. In the weeks leading up to the walk it was envisaged four of my walking chums would do it with me but at the
last minute two dropped out. Perhaps it was the weather that put them off. The days leading up to the walk were glorious but alas
overnight the clouds rolled in.
Resolutely the remaining three walkers, Steve, Dave and I hoped for a dry start. After an evening in Settle we were due to get up at 4.30 a.m.
in order to meet Jess and Deke at 5.00 am. in Horton in Ribblesdale. We slept in to 5.30, but after rushing up we got to Horton just before
6.00 am. After checking to find that Deke and Jess had not arrived we prepared in the village and at five past six set off towards Penyghent.
At least we had dry spells on the first pull to the top and we reached the trig point at Penyghent in good time. All still in good spirits
although Dave was up to his usual morning grumble because he had missed his regular caffeine fix. We then headed across country towards
Whernside via the Pennine Way and Ling Gill, a lovely picturesque nature reserve on the route approximately half way between Penyghent and
Whernside. It was there we had our first food break, and then on towards Ribblehead via Cam End and the Dales Way. After a short spell on the
road near the viaduct where we passed a vintage car rally it was up towards redundant Blea Station on the Settle to Carlisle railway line.
Then under the railway we went and set off on the long haul up to Whernside. I pumped up to the top where it was very windy and continued
on regardless to the trig point. I quickly dived over the wall for shelter from the wind and took in more food. Whilst eating I was hassled
by two sheep and one in particular was very brave in asking for a bite. Then Steve and Dave arrived and they were hassled too. It turned
out they had crossed to the other side of the wall as soon as they got on the ridge to avoid the wind. Being blown almost over added to my
achievement, so I was glad I had stayed on the windy side.
Then it was the descent to the Hill Inn and during that spell we stopped off at Ivescar Farm where a sandwich bar had been set up for coffee.
Quickly past the Hill Inn on resumption, and then the last pull to Ingleborough. All together to the duckboards and then Steve goes on. As
Steve had stayed with Dave when he struggled up Whernside I decided to hang back behind Dave on this one to offer encouragement. Slowly but
surely he clambered up towards the top ridge. On one occasion he called back to me 'I'm knackered, I can't go any further' and then he laughed
as he knew he had no choice but to continue. Twenty minutes later we were on top of the hill at Ingleborough's trig point in thick cloud where
we couldn't see more than 15 feet. We took a quick bite of our remaining provisions and then walked straight down off Ingleboroughs table
top before continuing on our journey back to Horton. It was then that my knees began to hurt on the downhill tramp. They often do on a long
walk and this was without doubt a long walk. After another 4 to 5 miles which included some limestone flats we arrived back from whence we came,
10 hours after we had left. We had all done well and we had earned the drinks that followed in the evening!