Pen-y-ghent via Helwith Bridge.

Start. Horton in Ribblesdale.

Route. Horton in Ribblesdale - Ribble Way - Cragghill Farm - Helwith Bridge - Long Lane - Dub Cote Scar - Churn Milk Hole - Gavel Rigg - Pen-y-ghent - Horton Scar Lane - Horton in Ribblesdale.

Notes. Another grey Yorkshire day, a change of plan. I'd decided to start today's little outing from Helwith Bridge, unfortunately Ribblesdale welcomed me with fine drizzle and low cloud, not a good start to the day. The decision was made to park in Horton in Ribblesdale then tackle the valley section first, with a bit of luck the clag will lift before I grace the hill.

Horton in Ribblesdale was busy, a kaleidoscope of colour as a constant stream of gortex clad walkers headed for the various routes up Pen-y-ghent, I turned my back on the scene, my route was a quiet one. With the Ribble Way under foot and way marked paths to guide me I headed south, the waters of the river were my companion for most of the valley walk. On reaching Cragghill Farm the path cut across sheep pastures to join an ancient green lane that in turn guided me to Helwith Bridge. I crossed the river to access the start of Long Lane, a welcome finger-post announced it was 2 ½ miles to Dale Head, that meant around two miles of climbing.

Between dry stone walls I made my ascent, easy most of the way, on reaching the saddle I surrendered a little height to view Churn Milk Hole before crossing Gavel Rigg to start my assault on the summit. Pen-y-ghent nose is steep, hands on in places but gets you up quickly, on this occasion into low cloud with zero visibility. The summit's marked by a trig point and wind shelter, which was packed to bursting point, I crossed one of two stiles to be greeted by a finger-post inviting me to Horton in Ribblesdale, I obliged descending, first to the north before swinging west. The long descent that followed deposited me at the head of Horton Scar Lane, I passed through the gate to start the final section of my descent. I'll say one thing, the stoney sometimes loose surface of this lane is hard on the feet at the end of the day, the tarmac of Horton in Ribblesdale had a most welcome feel to it as I entered the village

view route map.


Pen-y-ghent as seen from the banks of the River Ribble.

Easy walking through woodland and pastoral land, with the river as my companion.

Towering above Ribblesdale, Pen-y-ghent head in cloud.

Long Lane my guide onto the hill.

Pen-y-ghent looking quite imposing over Dub Cote Scar.

Views over Ribblesdale from Dub Cote Scar.

Let Long Lane guide the eye to Fountains Fell.

Churn Milk Hole looking to Fountains Fell.

From the slopes of Pen-y-ghent views to Fountains Fell across Silverdale.

The final pull, it's a lot steeper than it looks.

The high skyline, the hills above Littondale, Horse Head, Sugar Loaf and Pots Moor with Fountains Fell dropping in from the right.

Taking a breather after the final steep grunt, viewing Gavel Rigg, I may get a view from the summit yet....

....or maybe not.

The benign hills of Yorkshire, a friend to point the way.

The vast desolation of Horton Moor.

The pinnacle on Pen-y-ghent Side.

Far below the mountains dark escarpment, looking back to Pen-y-ghent still wrapped in swirling cloud.

View taken from near Horton Scar.

In Horton Scar Lane, almost at walks end.

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