Pen-y-ghent via Plover Hill.

Start. Horton in Ribblesdale.

Route. Horton in Ribblesdale - Horton Scar Lane - Horton Scar - Hull Pot - Horton Moor - Foxup Moor - Plover Hill - Pen-y-ghent - Gavel Rigg - Brackenbottom Scar - Brackenbottom - Horton in Ribblesdale.

Notes. With a rather unpredictable bag of weather forecast for today I left my destination and route decision until late, a 60% better chance of cloud free summits in the Dales rather than the Lakes kind of made my mind up for me. My last three visits to Pen-y-ghent have been under cloud with no chance of distant views, maybe today I'd be allowed to show you stunning views from the summit, to optimise my chances I decided on a long walk in, ascend Plover Hill from Foxup Moor before crossing the boggy plateau to access the hill its self. Lets be honest I very nearly threw the towel in, the most horrendous snow storm on the walk in almost persuaded me to turn back, I picked a spot on the map, if it was still snowing when I reached said mark I'd call it a day, it wasn't and I didn't.

My day started in brilliant sunshine ascending Horton Scar Lane, Pen-y-ghent glowered down, it's head in cloud. I continued between dry stone walls, on reaching the head of the lane the quiet rumble of distant falling water beckoned me forward. I continued up a dry valley, a hundred yards on the impressive sight of Hull Pot Beck plunging into the vast rift of Hull Pot tilted into view. The obligitory photo shoot over I continued my journey, almost two miles north crossing Horton Moor, damp paths guided me to a lonely finger-post on the edge of Foxup Moor, this is a bleak lonely place, a vast tract of spongy moorland stretching between the head of Littondale and Ribblesdale, a lonely boggy netherworld feeding the waters of Hull Pot Beck and Foxup Beck, a wonderful place to be.

The finger-post announced it was only ¾ of a mile to the summit of Plover Hill, a steep ¾ of a mile, I ascended, a good path carried me over limestone cliffs then across the summit of Plover Hill. I crossed a ladder stile to be confronted by an extensive tract of swampy ground, looks can be deceiving, my crossing although very wet under foot wasn't that bad, the odd diversion avoided the worst of the mire, with a dry stone wall to guide me I reached the other side with dry feet. A short pull up hill followed before stepping onto the summit of Pen-y-ghent, a trig point, wind shelter and stunning views welcomed me, views I'd missed on my previous three visits. My descent was made over Pen-y-ghent nose, a landscape of shattered grit-stone boulders above limestone cliffs, after a couple of easy scrabbles I turned right, passed through a gate to start the walk back to Horton in Ribblesdale. I descended through Gavel Rigg then over Brackenbottom Scar, gates and stiles guided me over field boundaries before I stepped onto tarmac at Brackenbottom, a short walk down the lane and I was soon back in Horton in Ribblesdale.

view route map.


Seen over the torrent of Brants Gill, Pen-y-ghent, head in cloud.

In Horton Scar Lane looking to Pen-y-ghent.

The rugged heights of Pen-y-ghent seen over Douk Ghyll Scar.

Dark on the skyline the Pen-y-ghent massif, on the left Plover Hill, and the right the ominous Pen-y-ghent.

Horton Scar Lane.

Under a light dusting of snow with cloud dancing across the summit Pen-y-ghent.

Impressive after heavy weather, Hull Pot Beck thunders into the vast rift of Hull Pot.

On Horton Moor viewing the Ingleborough massif.

Heading through the wild emptiness of Horton Moor towards Cosh Outside, the ridge across the skyline.

Looking to Whernside rising above Birkwith Moor.

On the ascent of Plover Hill with stunning views to Whernside behind me.

A little more height gained and the head of Littondale tilts into view, in dappled light Horse Head.

A wonderful vista to the flat top of Ingleborough, seen from above the cliffs on Plover Hill.

Rising to the south, Pen-y-ghent.

Bog hopping before the ascent of Pen-y-ghent, looking back to Plover Hill.

From the top of Pen-y-ghent, Fountains Fell.

Looking back up my descent route, that's a lot steeper than it looks, the wide angle lens tends to flatten the landscape.

Viewing Potts Moor above Littondale, on the far horizon Buckden Pike.

Dramatic rock scenery of Pen-y-ghents southern cliffs, sculptured by wind, rain and ice over millions of years, and one horrendous storm in 1881 that exposed most of the rock.

Sunburst over the Ribble Valley, taking centre stage Smearsett Scar.

Rising high above the head of Ribblesdale mighty Whernside.

Heading through Brackenbottom Scar with a stunning view to Ingleborough for company.

Seen from a sun lit Brackenbottom Scar, through the second snow fall of the day, looking rather chilling in shadow, Pen-y-ghent.

Almost at the bottom of the hill, a look to my ascent route, Horton Scar Lane in the shadow of Whitber Hill and Harber Scar.

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