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Walk up Pen-y-ghent from Horton in Ribblesdale

By Dave Chick   

on June 6, 2019    5/5 (1)

Posted as a walk in – England, Europe, Yorkshire Dales National Park

Walk up Pen-y-ghent from Horton in Ribblesdale

Further Details

Route Summary:

Follow the route of the Yorkshire Three Peaks on this Pen-y-ghent circuit from Horton in Ribblesdale

This walk includes the Hewitt of Pen-y-ghent

This walk includes the Nuttall of Pen-y-ghent

Route Start Location: Horton in Ribblesdale village

10.23 km 488 m 3 hours

Calculate the time using Naismith’s Rule and factor in your own pace.

Activivity Type: Hard Walk

Summits and Places on this Route


Public toilets can be found in the National Park car park


No specific hazards

Remember that we cannot outline every single hazard on a walk – it’s up to you to be safe and competent. Read up on Mountain Safety , Navigation and what equipment you’ll need.

Parking : BD24 0HF

There is a national park car park in the village which costs £4 for the day. Otherwise, streetside parking can be found in Horton. Be considerate of those who call the village home as it can get very busy, particularly during the summer..

Public Transport:

Horton in Ribblesdale is on the Settle-Carlisle railway line with trains available from Leeds or Carlisle.

The no. 11 bus from Settle stops in the village centre

Traveline for UK Public Transport

Recommended Maps


Weather Forecast:

Check out our Best Mountain Weather Forecast?

Walk up Pen-y-ghent from Horton in Ribblesdale Ordnance Survey Map and GPX File Download

Download file for GPS

Walk up Pen-y-ghent from Horton in Ribblesdale

While it may not be the tallest mountain in the Yorkshire Dales, Pen-y-ghent outshines nearly all of them thanks it is imposing profile and enigmatic name. It’s a popular peak for a few reasons. It’s close to the village of Horton in Ribblesdale and a climb to the summit is short but not lacking in entertainment. It also helps that it’s the first summit on the legendary Yorkshire Three Peaks challenge.

This walk from Horton is one of the shorter routes to the summit but it is the most popular so it is likely you will sharing it with others. That said, the approach from the village and is far and away the best, giving fine views of the Pen-y-ghent’s best features as well as expansive views throughout. The popularity of the Yorkshire Three Peaks means that paths in this area are well signed and well maintained..

Walk up Ingleborough from Clapham Route Description

1 – From the car park in Horton, turn right and follow the main road through the village, passing the famed Pen-y-Ghent Cafe – the traditional starting point of the Yorkshire Three Peaks challenge. After the road bends left around the church you will come across two side roads on the left – turn left into the second one. Follow this lane past the primary school and along the walled lane until you reach a wooden signpost pointing the way to Pen-y-ghent.

Walk up Pen-y-ghent from Horton in Ribblesdale
01 – Pen y ghent seen from Horton

2 – Following the direction of the sign, head through the first gate and turn left through the second to start climbing up a wide, eroded path alongside a drystone wall. Continue up the hill following the wall crossing a couple of small areas of limestone pavement. As you climb, the whole of Pen-y-ghent will come into view. Keep following the path until you reach a set of stone steps which climb to a gate and the Pennine Way, running at right angles to the path from Horton.

Walk up Pen-y-ghent from Horton in Ribblesdale
Limestone pavement below Pen y ghent

3 – Take a left on to the Pennine Way which is followed all the way to the summit. The path leads towards the nose of Pen-y-ghent before swinging slightly to the right where it begins to climb more steeply. A short set of rock ‘stairs’ will need to be negotiated before a respite.

4 – A final, steeper section through a large boulder field leads to some modest scrambling towards the stop. The path may become a little vague towards the top. Once past this steeper area the gradient flattens and the main paved path is easy to follow once again. Follow this path as it makes the final gradual ascent to the summit. The summit has a fine curved shelter built into the wall and the obligatory trig pillar.

Walk up Pen-y-ghent from Horton in Ribblesdale
Pen y ghent summit

5 – Cross the wall and at the gated stile and follow the sign for the Yorkshire Three Peaks. The path heads north first, descending along the west side of Pen-y-ghent. At the finger post turn left and descend gradually over 1.5km to a path crossroads at Tarn Bar. On your left (after around 1km), the deep incision of Hunt Pot is a worthy diversion.

Walk up Pen-y-ghent from Horton in Ribblesdale
Descending along the Pennine Way

6 – At the crossroads, turn left through a gate and follow the long, walled lane back to Horton in Ribblesdale. On your left is the dry valley through which Hunt Pot Beck used to flow before being swallowed up by the enormous Hull Pot (this can be visited on this walk by turning right at the crossroads mentioned above and walking 200m to the north). Once back in Horton, make your way back to your chosen parking place.

Walk up Pen-y-ghent from Horton in Ribblesdale
The lane back to Horton

Dave is our Lake District local expert, often found in the depths of Cumbria he's the author of his own part on the web, All the Gear but no Idea.
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