Walk up Ingleborough from Clapham
Ingleborough is one of the great English peaks. See it and more on this superb walk from Clapham
|17 km||639 m||5 hours|
Activivity Type: Hard Walk
Calculate the time using Naismith’s Rule and factor in your own pace.
Summits and Places on this Route
Public toilets can be found in the National Park car park
The maw of Gaping Gill is unfenced and a tumble into the depths would certainly be fatal. Keep well clear, especially with children or dogs
The flat top of Ingleborough can be a navigational challenge in the mist. Otherwise, paths are clear throughout
Parking : LA2 8EA
There is a national park car park in the village. Otherwise, streetside parking can be found in Clapham. Be considerate of those who call Clapham home
There is a small railway station approximately 2km from the village with trains running from Leeds and Morecambe
The 581 bus from Settle can also be used to reach the village
Check out our Best Mountain Weather Forecast?
Walk up Ingleborough from Clapham
Ingleborough is perhaps the most famed peak in the Yorkshire Dales thanks to its imposing profile, especially its north face. Its striking appearance is thanks to its unique geology; three distinct geological tiers give the fell a ‘layered’ appearance. This profile is perhaps the reason that the fell was once erroneously thought to the countries highest which is ironic as Whernside, only 4 miles distant, is some 10m higher.
Don’t let this lack of stature put you off however, Ingleborough is by far the best of Yorkshires famed Three Peaks. Wainwright described this route from Clapham as the ‘best in the Yorkshire Dales’ which is high praise indeed. Not only will you get to scale the finest mountain in the national park, the limestone surroundings ensure there is interest throughout; including Trow Gill, Gaping Gill and a return through Sulber Nick.
Walk up Ingleborough from Clapham Route Description
1 – Parking in Clapham can be found in the national park car park or along the streets in the village, but please be considerate of those who call Clapham home. Turn right out of the car park and follow the road north until it crosses over a bridge. At the junction, turn right and continue along the road as it climbs up the hill. Follow the sign for Ingleborough Cave as the road turns to the left.
2 – Continue along the road a short distance until you reach a track on the right signed Ingleborough, Gaping Gill and Ingleborough Cave. A sign says ‘Private Road’ but this is a public footpath. The track climbs slowly, becoming a tarmac road. Follow the road 1.5km until you reach a farm.
3 – Enter the farmyard through a gate. Just before the second gate, cross a stile to the right-hand side. Keep following the signs for “Ingleborough Cave” and descend down the hillside following an eroded path. You will meet a gravel track emerging from woods to the right. Turn left onto this track and follow it to the entrance of the Ingleborough Cave.
4 – Cross a stile a short distance beyond the caves and continue along the gravel track. The track starts to turn left to enter the imposing limestone gorge of Trow Gill. Continue through the gorge, climbing out the far side as it narrows. There may be the odd boulder to negotiate on this section.
5 – Once you have escaped Trow Gill, follow the footpath along the drystone wall on your left until you reach a double stile. Cross the wall via the stile and proceed onto the grassy moor. You will see Little Ingleborough and Ingleborough rising ahead of you. To your left is Bar Pot, hidden among the trees.
6 – You will reach a fork in the main path (SD 75047 72550) with a smaller path branching off to the left. This left-hand route is the main path to Ingleborough from this location. However, if you follow the path to the right, you will shortly reach a wire fence around the top of Gaping Gill which is well worth a visit.
7 – Gaping Gill is an unmistakable landmark on the southern slope of Ingleborough – a 98m deep pothole with Fell Beck flowing into it. The cavern is one of the largest known underground chambers in Britain and holds the record for the highest unbroken waterfall in the country. Be cautious around the mouth of Gaping Gill as it is unguarded and a tumble into the hole would be fatal. Safe access can only be sought when the local Bradford and Craven pothole clubs set up their winch meets.
8 – If you chose to visit Gaping Gill, retrace your steps to the path leading towards Little Ingleborough. The path is paved for much of its length as it begins a gradual ascent of Little Ingleborough, eventually steepening as it reaches the modest summit. Now the path follows the crest of a broad ridge, bearing right beneath the summit plateau of Ingleborough.
9 – Turn left onto an eroded path at SD 74366 74524 and make the final climb onto the summit plateau. You will find the cross shelter, trig pillar and cairn approximately 250m to the west across the flat summit.
10 – From the summit, slightly north east along a wide, eroded path used by the Three Peaks route. Follow it down some boulders to find a bridleway branching off the right (SD 74480 74694). Follow this path, the Dales High Way, as it descends the eastern slopes of Ingleborough. You will pass a dilapidated shooting lodge before reaching a gate. Bear left at the next path junctions where you will shortly enter an area of limestone pavement.
11 – Squeeze through some narrow gaps between the limestone pavement and a drystone wall and descend until you reach a crossroads of paths with a finger post (SD 77763 73489). Turn right here onto the Pennine Bridleway and walk towards the gate in the drystone wall. Pass through the gate and follow the bridleway with the drystone wall on your left.
12 – Numerous smaller paths branch off the bridleway at various locations. Stick to the main path as it winds around Long Scar to the corner of a drystone wall at SD 76280 71749. A short distance ahead you will pass through another opening through a wall before you reach the top of Long Lane which stands above the valley containing Trow Gill, in the trees to the right (SD 75858 71622). Follow Long Lane for a distance of 2.3km to Thwaite Plantation before turning right at a t-junction onto Thwaite Lane which makes the final descent into Clapham.