Pen-y-ghent from Horton in Ribblesdale, return over Whitber Hill.

Start. Horton in Ribblesdale.

Route. Horton in Ribblesdale - Brackenbottom - Brackenbottom Scar - Gavel Rigg - Pen-y-ghent - Tarn Bar - Whitber Hill - Sell Gill Hill - Sell Gill Holes - Horton in Ribblesdale.

Notes. Pen-y-ghent one of Yorkshire's iconic three peaks. Born at the bottom of a warm tropical ocean over 300 million years ago, carved by ice, sculptured by wind and rain. This classic mountain now plays host to many thousands of walking boots every year, a price to pay for being one of the hills on the classic Three Peaks Challenge, a 24 mile yomp through wonderful limestone scenery. Me well I'm on a one peak challenge, an afternoon leg warmer, hopefully after the challenge hungry men and women have moved on to Whernside the next unsuspecting peak on their route.

There's plenty of parking in Horton in Ribblesdale such is the popularity of the place, unfortunately for me it was all taken, I've graced the village many times so know hardly anybody parks in Cragg Hill Road, next to the railway station, true to form there was an abundance of spaces. Booted and suited with bag on back through the village I wandered, passed the Pen-y-ghent Café, starting point for the Three Peaks Challenge. Just after Holme Farm Camp Site a narrow tarmac path leads through sheep pastures, said path ushered me to the Brackenbottom Road, this narrow lane guided me up hill to a finger-post announcing I'd reached the path to Pen-y-ghent and it wasn't very far.

Through limestone pastures I ascended, gates and stiles guided me safely across field boundaries, over limestone scars into grand unfolding vistas. I was soon scrambling up the nose of the hill, limestone shelves act like a stair case making for an easy climb. The path guided me through spectacular fields of shattered grit-stone, after another easy scramble I stepped onto the summit ridge to start the easy final few yards to the summit. The summit welcomed me with the usual trig point, a couple of accommodating wind shelters and spectacular views, Fountains Fell across Silverdale, Plover Hill to the north, the Ingleborough massif dominating the view over Ribblesdale, Whernside guarding the head of two dales, Ribblesdale and Twisleton Dale, the fabulous limestone pavements of Moughton Scars, Pendle Hill and even Morecambe Bay. After making good use of said shelters, I spent some time drinking in the views before descending the hill.

With the Pennine Way and Three Peaks Path under foot, I descended to the head of Horton Scar Lane a finger-post invited me to descend the stoney track, the quickest route back, I ignored it, opting to make good use of the new Three Peaks Path over Whitber Hill. This late in the day with most sensible walkers off the hill the trek between Whitber Hill and Sell Gill Hill was a lonely affair, just me an insignificant figure clad in a lime green jacket and the cool mountain breeze, no birds, no sheep just desolation. Solitude lasted until the path ejected me onto one of Yorkshire's many green lanes, I turned to head back to the village as a snow storm irrupted, the little stuff that gets into every crevice, any thought of a lonely walk back had vanished, it was as quick as possible via the bar of The Crown, shelter until the blizzard subsided.

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Looking over limestone pastures with Pen-y-ghent just visible on the skyline.

Whitber Hill above Horton Scar.

Towering above the head of Ribblesdale, mighty Whernside.

Heading over Brackenbottom Scar with this superb view for company.

The slopes of Fountains Fell seen from high on Pen-y-ghent.

Stunning views from Pen-y-ghent nose, looking down on Overdale with Pendle Hill blue/grey on the far horizon.

The way ahead, steep but not as technical as it looks.

Breathtaking views over the eastern slopes of Pen-y-ghent, Horse Head above Littondale, across the skyline the hills bordering Langstrothdale with Fountains Fell just across the valley in sunlight and shade.

Heavy weather washes the skyline to the north.

Drinking in views to Fountains Fell from the summit of Pen-y-ghent.

The Ingleborough massif dominates the view over Ribblesdale.

Viewing impressive cliffs on Pen-y-ghent Side, with the limestone pinnacle far left.

Pen-y-ghent seen from above Tarn Bar.

Ribblesdale seen from Whitber Hill.

Moody skies above Sulber, again on view from Whitber Hill.

Whitber Hill may not be very high but it provides a fine view point, this is the familiar flat top of Ingleborough seen from the summit.

The impressive rock architecture of Pen-y-ghent seen over Whitber Hill.

Here's a view I didn't expect, in shadow Longcliffe Scar and Warrendale Knotts.

Walk these hills and I'm afraid there's no escaping that, the Horton Quarry cuts deep into the bulk of Moughton.

Racing moody shadows and a wonderful play of light, witnessed on the descent of Sell Gill Hill.

High and lofty Ingleborough as seen from Sell Gill Holes.

Showers sweeping along Ribblesdale. There's been lots of heavy showers washing the Dales clean all afternoon, I've been lucky to avoid them, it looks like my lucks about to run out.

The Ribble valley through a heavy snow shower.

The dry stone walls and stoney track that's guiding me to the shelter of The Crown.

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