Classic Pen-y-ghent.

Start. Horton in Ribblesdale ( Crag Hill Road).

Route. Horton in Ribblesdale ( Crag Hill Road) - Brackenbottom - Brackenbottom Scar - Gavel Rigg - Pen-y-ghent - Horton Scar Lane - Horton in Ribblesdale.

Notes. I've spent the last two days stripping wallpaper, the electrician's finished, the plasterer's yet to arrive, then there's the joiner and we're only doing the living room. Today with one wall left to strip I intended to finish, then with a promise to finish for me Sue literally chased me out of the house. I found myself in Horton in Ribblesdale peering across the valley at the upturned hull of Pen-y-ghent, a classic mountain, well-formed and shapely rising from upper Ribblesdale.

I'm not a people person, people are fine in the civilised world of daily life and other people associated events, I'm not antisocial but when out on the hill I much prefer my own company. The hills are my friends, they welcome me into their folds, like dogs they'll never let you down, just treat them with respect. Lets get to the point, Horton in Ribblesdale was heaving, parking, well there wasn't any, cars were abandoned literally everywhere, respect had gone out the window. I managed to park next to the last building on Crag Hill Road, a fair walk to the village, it was obvious with all the stationery vehicles the occupants had to be somewhere, the somewhere was on the hill I was about to climb.

It was noisy with eager chatter, it was busy I wandered in a procession up the lane to Brackenbottom, once at the farm we left the lane, an orderly queue formed to get through the gate, once on the lower slopes the less fit walkers shut up and slipped to the back, I found myself walking alone and was glad of it. Upwards and onwards over Brackenbottom Scar I ascended, I may have been alone but the path in front and behind was packed. I soon found myself ascending the nose of the hill, a couple of easy scrambles and I was traversing the summit ridge hunting for a quiet spot to have a brew, a quiet spot alluded me but I had a brew anyway.

Chatting to some walkers dressed in pyjamas I found out there was a couple of charity walks on, hence the crowds. I descended north, the well trod path of the Pennine Way under foot. Normally before descending Horton Scar Lane I'd visit Hull Pot but having seen the amount of colour gathered around the lip without hesitation I passed through the gate and turned down the lane. Between dry stone walls I walked, a stoney track under foot, stunning limestone scenery on either side, I stopped regularly to soak it up unlike most of the charity walkers whom had heads down their sights set on the finish in Horton in Ribblesdale.

In Pen-y-ghents defence it isn't usually that busy, funds have to be raised somehow and what better place to raise them, I was unfortunate to set out late and clash with the crowds. I'll be back, earlier and hope for the quiet.

view route map.


On advantage parking in Crag Hill Road, you get a cracking good view of the hill you're about to climb.

Looking to the flat top of Ingleborough from sheep pastures above Brackenbottom.

Gain a little height and Whernside tilts into view.

Pen-y-ghent above Brackenbottom Scar.

In dappled light, the Ingleborough massif.

Stairway to heaven, these paths are so popular this is the only way to prevent erosion, it's not perfect but it's as good as it gets.

Endless views over Gavel Rigg.

Fountains Fell as seen across Silverdale.

The scene over Silverdale as far as the hills bordering Littondale, the valley of the River Skirfare.

Wonderful vistas from the top of the first scramble, views over Overdale, on the far horizon grey today Pendle Hill.

Toiling up Pen-y-ghent with this wonderful view to take my mind off the pain.

Another magical view across Overdale, forget Pendle Hill, look a little closer to the scars of Warrendale, we were up there last week in rather unfriendly conditions than today, and no people.

Plover Hill, the connoisseurs route to and from Pen-y-ghent.

The limestone cliffs on Pen-y-ghent side backed by the moors of Cosh Outside.

Wonderful light in Horton Scar Lane.

Under a dark cloud Horton Scar.

The focal point of todays busy outing, Pen-y-ghent.

I took this because I liked the colour, looking towards Brants Gill Head and an unnamed hill rising into a stormy sky.

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