Ingleborough from Clapham return over Thwaite.

Start. Clapham.

Route. Clapham - Clapdale Drive - The Lake - Ingleborough Show Cave - Trow Gill - Gaping Gill - Thack Pot - Little Ingleborough - Ingleborough - Swine Tail - Simon Fell Breast - Shooting Hut - Nick Pot - Long Scar - Thwaite - Norber - Nappa Scars - Robin Proctor's Scar - New Close Plantation - Thwaite Lane - Clapham.

Notes. Ingleborough without doubt the most popular hill in Yorkshire, who knows how many people ascend to it's milestone grit summit, tens of thousands annually I'd say. Many routes guide the walker up the hill, the most popular from Ingleton, passing through Crina Bottom home to an isolated farmstead, short, steep and daft from Chaple-la-Dale with a chance to visit Great Douk Cave, a bit boring from Newby Cote but walked by few, from the east, Sulber Nick guides you through stunning limestone scenery on the long walk in from Horton in Ribblesdale, a ridge path runs from Ribblehead, traversing the shoulder of Simon Fell and Green Hill, all have their own attributions, their own little quirks and surprises. Without doubt my favourite is from Clapham to the south of the hill, a walk in through the grounds of Ingleborough Hall Estate returning over Thwaite and Norber, a route encapsulating everything the dales has to offer in just under twelve miles of happy wandering.

From Clapham I ascended Riverside, the road on the west side of Clapham Beck, on reaching the top of the hill I entered the grounds of Ingleborough Hall Estate, with Clapdale Drive to guide me the walking was easy. I soon reached The Lake, an ornamental sheet of water formed when the Farrer family dammed the valley in the 1800s, I pressed on passing a grotto before reaching Ingleborough Show Cave. After the cave the path entered a dry valley, once not so dry, closing the head of the valley Trow Gill, a massive collapsed cavern cut by glacial melt water over 12,000 years ago, I ascended Trow Gill, like a cork from a bottle popping out onto the moors above. On I walked with a dry stone wall for company, twin ladder stiles allowed a safe crossing of the final intake depositing me on the edge of Hurnel Moss, here the moss gives way to a number of caves and sink holes, round the corner the daddy of them all, Gaping Gill. After a dizzy look into a subterranean world the climbing of the day started, the steep path that guided me passed Thack Pot before carrying me to the summit of Little Ingleborough and a well earned brew.

Easy walking from here, a short stroll along the ridge path followed before the final easy pull to the summit of Ingleborough itself, take care in mist up here, it's easy to get disorientated and wander down the wrong path, no such problem today, the weather gods smiled down on me. After a quick wander around I descended to the north-east, down the Swine Tail to join the three peaks path heading east to Horton in Ribblesdale, this path suffers from a severe case of erosion, parts are certainly unpleasant to walk over. After passing the sad remains of a shooting hut the path carried me to a gate near Nick Pot, a few yards after the gate a good path forked off to the right, this was my chosen route. This lovely green trod guided me through stunning limestone scenery, all too soon I reached the cairn marking the edge of Long Scar.

From Long Scar a faint path heads north over Thwaite, I followed said path as it meandered round many limestone pavements and scars. A short stop for lunch gave me a chance to sit and drink in the views, mull over the map, ideas for further outings on these hills and moors came flooding from the map sheet. Lunch over I let the path carry me to a large cairn marking the summit before descending to the east. From my descent path looking over Crummack Dale erratic boulders littered the fields, these are the Norber Boulder Fields, glacial erratic's deposited as the Crummack Dale glacier retreated around the same time Trow Gill was cut, my route passed through just one field but there are several. Hundreds of granite boulders litter the landscape around Norber and Nappa, quite an awe inspiring sight, meet them in the mist for the first time they're darn right spooky. After descending through the field of eerie boulders I let the intake wall guide me south, ignoring all other routes I wandered on, round the nose of the escarpment, under the precipitous cliffs of Robin Proctor's Scar then across New Close Plantation to join Thwaite Lane via a ladder stile. All that remained, the short walk along Thwaite Lane followed by a steep descent through two dank tunnels back into Clapham.

view route map.


Unfazed by me perched on the bridge a few yards away, a Heron patiently waits for breakfast to swim past.

Clapham Beck seen from Clapham Bridge.

Seen through the trees guarding Clapdale Drive, Thwaite looks down on Clapdale.

The Grotto.

Ingleborough Show Cave, quiet at this time of the morning.

The impressive rock walls of Trow Gill.

Heading up the shallow valley above Trow Gill with views to Ingleborough.

Viewing Gaping Gill and the bleak moors of Hurnel Moss.

Simon Fell as seen over Burnt Riggs Moss from Gaping Gill.

Gain a little height and Pen-y-ghent dominates the views to the east.

Hazy views to the south-east, across the skyline the hills above Settle, Langcliffe and Attermire Scars, with the little knobble of Smearsett Scar visible in the centre of the shot, Moughton dark to the left and my return route Thwaite in the middle distance.

The same view this time from the summit of Little Ingleborough.

A long way to the north, there snow capped summits rising above the haze, are the hills of Lakeland.

One of the wonderful views from the edge of the Ingleborough plateau.

The summit Ingleborough.

Stunning views from above The Arks, the steep slopes of Simon Fell plunge to Humphery Bottom.

Looking down on Humphrey Bottom and the limestone pavements of Souther Scales, with Whernside rising from Twisleton Dale.

The Ingleborough massif seen from the path over Long Scar.

The extraordinary landscape of the Yorkshire Dales.

On Thwaite looking back in the direction I've just come, desolate, weather beaten but beautiful, best of all not a human being in sight.

Sitting with a sandwich in my mouth and the camera in my hands, photographing Crummack Dale and Moughton backed by Pen-y-ghent.

The Norber Erratic's well worth a wander around if time permits.

The edge of Robin Proctor's Scar, where the limestone of the high dales tumbles to meet the pastoral land above Clapham.

Seen from New Close Plantation, Robin Proctor's Scar.

In Thwaite Lane looking to the limestone cliffs and scars of Moughton.

Seen over Clapdale, Ingleborough.

And finally the gateway back into Clapham, to dank tunnels built in the 1800s to allow the staff access to Ingleborough Hall, the Farrer family preferred them not to clutter the grounds.

back to top

back to lst