Over Pen-y-ghent.

Start. Horton in Ribblesdale.

Route. Horton in Ribblesdale - Brackenbottom - Brackenbottom Scar - Gavel Rigg - Pen-y-ghent's southern ridge - Pen-y-ghent - Pen-y-ghent Pinnacle - Hunt Pot - Hull Pot - Horton Scar Lane - Horton in Ribblesdale.

Notes. I took a walk over familiar ground today, a safe option when the weather's bad, easy to navigate with one or two points of interest to visit on my descent. Pen-y-ghent rising to the 2276ft contour, a shapely mountain borne at the bottom of a warm tropical ocean 300 million years ago, sculptured by wind and rain, water and ice, christened “The Hill of Winds” by our Norse forefathers. Climb the hill when the wind is howling and it can be a frightening experience, it may be the lowest of Yorkshires three peaks but don't under estimate it, it can certainly pack a punch.

My day started in Station Road heading south passed the Pen-y-ghent Café and St Oswald's Church, after crossing Horton Bridge I joined the single ribbon of tarmac that ascends to Brackenbottom, at the top of the rise I stepped onto the path signed Pen-y-ghent. Through walled sheep pastures I climbed, a well trod path under foot, gates and stiles allowed safe crossing of field boundaries, the final gate allowed access to the south ridge of the fell itself. I ascended into grey emulsion the world around me just got considerably smaller, a couple of easy scrambles followed before a new path guided me to the summit.

From the summit the main path descends to the north, a finger-post stands guard to give advice. I descend, when the path swung sharp left under the cliffs of Pen-y-ghent Side I continued straight on until my way was blocked by a 60ft slender pinnacle of limestone, time to get the camera out. Photo shoot over I re-traced my steps to the main path, then continued down hill. After passing through the next gate I left the main path again, a short walk over rough moorland saw me staring into the evil slit of Hunt Pot, here the fell stream plunges into a subterranean world, 200ft straight down, a word of warning, the edge is slippery. Back on the main trod I wandered on to the head of Horton Scar Lane, turning my back on the lane for the time being I headed to the steep sided crater of Hull Pot, 100 yards long, 20 feet wide and 60 feet deep this is an impressive hole, even more so after heavy weather when the stream plunges over the lip. The short de-tour over I passed through the gate into Horton Scar Lane, I'm afraid the next two miles between dry stone walls are hard on the feet, it's two miles I never enjoy at the end of the day, as it was pouring with rain it was the quickest route back.

view route map.


The River Ribble and the twin arches of New Inn Bridge.

Usually backed by Pen-y-ghent, St Oswald's.

Seen from sheep pastures above Brackenbottom, Pendle Hill.

Seen across Ribblesdale the redundant Foredale and Acrow Quarries.

Distant views, the head of Ribblesdale with Whernside under a thick blanket of cloud.

Approaching Brackenbottom Scar looking back to Moughton and the massive scar of the Horton Quarry.

Pen-y-ghent looms above Brackenbottom Scar.

From Brackenbottom Scar views to Moughton.

Hazy views to Smearsett Scar backed by the hills of Bowland.

My route up the hill with the Ingleborough massif melting into a rain filled sky.

Walkers ascend Pen-y-ghent.

Seen from the start of the south ridge, Warrendale Knotts and Attermire Scar, grey on the far horizon Pendle Hill.

Seen from the south ridge a landscape more akin to the moors of the Pennines than the Dales, view taken over Silverdale to the valley of Littondale.

Always busy the summit.

A re-assuring path guides me down the western slopes.

Limestone cliffs in the mist, these walkers seemed in a hurry to descend, they missed this....

....just a few yards from the main path, detached by erosion a slender needle 60ft high, Pen-y-ghent Pinnacle.

Again just a few yards from the main path, this evil slit, Hunt Pot.

The fell stream feeding Hunt Pot.

And something else worth a visit, Hull Pot, visit after heavy weather and this small waterfall is very impressive.

Hard on the feet the quickest route off the hill, Horton Scar Lane.

Looking to the limestone scars and waterfalls below Tarn Bar.

A final look to Pen-y-ghent from Horton Scar Lane.

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