The Ingleborough Ridge Walk.

Start. Ribblehead.

Route. Ribblehead - Gauber - Park Fell - Top of South House Moor - Simon Fell - Swine Tail - Ingleborough - Swine Tail - Humphrey Bottom - Braithwaite Wife Hole - Southerscales - Philpin Lane - Brantscar - Broadrake - Ivescar - Lockdiddy Hill - Gunnerfleet - Ribblehead.

Notes. I'm again in the Three Peaks area of the Yorkshire Dales, again I ascended Ingleborough, this time following the ridge from Park Fell, crossing the summit of Simon Fell before reaching the hill itself. This was once the connoisseurs route, walked by few, now the route is way-marked making it that little bit more popular. I may have been only a stones throw from the three peaks paths but up there was solitude, just me, the wind and the mountain birds.

I set out from Ribblehead following a lane on the southern side of the viaduct, after a hundred yards a gate allowed access to limestone pastures. Following an obvious track I stepped back in time, passing through the remains of an ancient Viking farming settlement. Striding out between limestone scars I soon reached a gate allowing access to the next field, Gauber High Pasture, I crossed crabbing between sheep track and path, I needed to gain access to the next field, a gate or less frequented stile lead into New Close where my ascent started with a vengeance, steep and unforgiving, a good excuse to stop at regular intervals to admire the views, After several pauses to photograph breathless views I reached the start of the summit ridge, a choice of paths faced me, one leads along the edge of the escarpment, stoney but dry, I opted for the alternative, wetter but a wander through a real mountain wilderness. On a way marked path I ascended to the trig point on Park Fell before starting the long traverse to Ingleborough.

A long crossing over wet ground followed, chopping and changing my route to suit the conditions. I reached then crossed the summit of Simon Fell, from the summit a short walk followed before the simple scramble up Swine Tail onto Ingleborough's vast summit plateau. After a wander around and quick brew I re-traced my steps to the head of a gully, here the path to Chapel-le-Dale plunges over the cliff, I descended with care until reaching easier ground. Striding down hill mingling with the crowds heading to and from Ingleborough I crossed Humphrey Bottom then Souther Scales before stepping onto the main road a hundred yards from the Hill Inn, I resisted the temptation. Opposite the inn Philpin Lane leads north across the valley, I followed it passing Philpin Farm before reaching Bruntscar. Now on familiar paths with Ribblehead in sight I was on the final stretch, striding out through green pastures alive with new born lambs. I made my way to Ivescar, here a path lead over Lockdiddy Hill, I crossed the hill to access the drive leading to Gunnerfleet Farm, after passing through the farm a short walk back to Ribblehead followed before savouring the delights of the Station Inn.

view route map.


Seen from limestone pastures near Ribblehead the route ahead, Park Fell, Simon Fell and the flat top of Ingleborough.

Lit by the morning sun, the limestone pavements on Gauber with Park Fell rising behind.

The dramatic rock scenery at Gauber with views to Blea Moor.

Lurking behind Park Fell an ominous looking Ingleborough.

On Park Fell summit viewing the route ahead, Simon Fell backed by Ingleborough.

Rising through the mist, seen over the vast expanse of the Ribble Valley, Pendle Hill.

From Simon Fell wonderful views to Morecambe Bay.

Seen from the boggy slopes of Simon Fell, Whernside with Crag Hill to the left.

Approaching Ingleborough looking to the Swine Tail ascent.

Toiling up the Swine Tail ascent, glancing back to stunning views over Humphrey Bottom, the shadowed gully bottom right marks my route of descent a little later.

Pendle Hill across the vast expanse of the Ribble Valley.

Ingleborough's fine summit plateau provides a fine viewpoint, seen over White Scars green pastures stretch as far as the sands of Morecambe Bay.

Viewing Crag Hill with the grassy ridges and rolling summits of the Howgill Fells on the skyline.

Far below the limestone pavements of Souther Scales seen from above The Arks the steepest of Ingleborough's many faces.

Views over Humphrey Bottom with the Ribblehead Viaduct just visible at the head of the valley.

Above The Arks with a stunning panorama over the upper Ribble Valley, across the skyline Pen-y-ghent and the long ridge of Fountains Fell disappearing out of shot to the right.

Striding out on the crossing of Humphrey Bottom.

Draining the vast mires below Ingleborough's summit cliffs, Braithwaite Wife Hole the biggest of the many sink holes on the lower slopes of the Ingleborough massif.

A lone hawthorn clings to life on the limestone scars of Souther Scales, a bush with a view, Whernside rising into a cloudless sky.

Views down Twisleton Glen with the limestone steps of Raven Scar to the left.

Wandering through Limekiln Pasture looking back to Ingleborough.

Seen from the fields near Broadrake the flat top and almost shear cliffs of mighty Ingleborough.

Whernside as seen from Scar Top on the path to Ivescar.

The main event, a wonderful view to hills walked today, you should know their names by now, Park Fell, Simon Fell and the unmistakable Ingleborough.

A welcome sight, journeys end, the Ribblehead Viaduct.

back to top

back to list