Ingleborough from Horton in Ribblesdale.

Start. Horton in Ribblesdale.

Route. Horton in Ribblesdale - Railway Station - Sulber Nick - Nick Pot - Simon Fell Breast - Swine Tail - Ingleborough - Limestone Load - Little Ingleborough - Gaping Gill - Clapham Bottoms - Long Scar - Thieves Moss - Moughton Scars - Railway Station - Horton in Ribblesdale.

Notes. This walk I've been planning for ages, a wander through my favourite area of the Yorkshire Dales, for there is no doubt that the three peaks area is special, I don't think many people realize quite how special, I for one took it for granted for many years. It wasn't until I visited The Burren in County Clare, Ireland, on a fishing trip of all things that I realized there are few places in the world like these vast tracts of exposed limestone. The Dales are on my doorstep, I'd been wandering around with my eyes shut all these years.

My day started on the roadside in Horton in Ribblesdale, I made my way to the railway station, here a public foot-path crosses the busy Settle/Carlisle railway allowing access to green pastures. Following a well walked path, this is the Three Peaks Path, free of leaden legged walkers at this time in a morning. I soon found myself ascending into high limestone country. A new gate allowed access to Sulber Nick (replacing the old twin stiles), this marked the start of a quite wonderful three mile walk to the summit of Ingleborough. Striding out through Sulber Nick passing through some stunning limestone scenery I made good progress, Nick Pot came and went as did the old Shooting Hut (now not much more than a pile of rubble). I soon found myself traversing Simon Fell Breast before making the Swine Tail ascent onto Ingleborough's vast summit plateau.

A trig point, wind shelter and a rather large cairn adorn the summit, plus the remains of a hospice overlooking Crina Bottom to the southwest, not to forget the extensive remains of an Iron Age hill fort. After a quick look round and the obligatory brew I made my descent, southwest, steep but simple, at the bottom of the first pitch I turned left to follow a row of sink holes to the main path leading over Little Ingleborough. This path guided me down hill passing Thack Pot before reaching Gaping Gill, I left it at the entrance to Trow Gill. Following a green trod , easy under foot I descended into the vast bowl of Clapham Bottoms before ascending to the large cairn on Long Scar. I left the cairn heading in a northerly direction my sights set firmly on Sulber Gate, a small wicket gate allowing access to the wonders of Moughton Scars. After passing through the said gate I descended onto the vast scars at the head of Crummack Dale, picking my way over these limestone pavements was slow progress, eventually I passed a row of Grouse Butts to access the main path back to Horton in Ribblesdale. A simple walk back followed, the path was way-marked, I soon found myself descending High Brae before re-tracing my steps back to Horton in Ribblesdale.

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In green pastures above Ribblesdale with views to Pen-y-ghent.

The first of many views to Ingleborough, the gate allows access to Sulber Nick, English Nature tells us Sulber Nick is a long extinct river bed, not wanting to pick an argument with the scholars at English Nature I'll stand on the side lines for now.

Let Sulber Nick carry the eye to the flat top of Ingleborough.

Rising above Ribblesdale the dark mass of Pen-y-ghent.

The scene over the limestone moors of Sulber, looking to Pen-y-ghent and the lower Fountains Fell.

Growing larger with every step, the flat top of Ingleborough with the long ridge leading to it's little brother to the left.

Hazy views from Simon Fell Breast taking in Moughton and the jagged skyline of Warrendale above Settle.

From the northern edge of Ingleborough's stoney summit plateau views over Humphrey Bottom to Whernside.

Stunning views over the cliffs of Souther Scales and Park Fell, with the Ribblehead Viaduct spanning the valley in the distance.

The summit Ingleborough, always busy, not today I've got it to myself.

From the start of my descent path views over the dramatic scars of Twisleton backed by the limestone mass of Gragareth rising above Kingsdale.

Impressive views over White Scars with Ingleton village nestling in green fields far below, to the left Crina Bottom another super way onto the hill.

On the grassy shelf below Ingleborough's summit cliffs, looking to Gragareth over Twisleton Scars.

Seen from Little Ingleborough, the southern cliffs fall from Ingleborough's stoney plateau.

The familiar silhouette of Pen-y-ghent seen over Clapham Bents and Brunt Rigg Moss.

Looking to Ingleborough's eastern slopes.

A glimpse into a subterranean world, walkers peer into the entrance to Gaping Gill, 330ft straight down.

Fell Beck above Gaping Gill with views to Ingleborough.

A couple of walkers exit the dry valley leading to Trow Gill, I'm on the higher path leading above Trow Gill before descending to Clapham Bottoms.

The Striking view across Clapham Bottoms, yes that's Pen-y-ghent on the far horizon.

Near Long Scar looking to the dark mass of Ingleborough.

Seen from Long Scar, Moughton across Crummack Dale backed by Smearsett and Pot Scars.

Moughton Scars at the head of Crummack Dale, an extraordinary landscape.

Heading through the wild emptiness of Moughton looking back to the Ingleborough massif.

A huge eerie landscape of scudding cloud and changing moods, a person can feel awful small out here, it's quite wonderful.

No mention of my ankle today, by this time it was throbbing like hell, never mind I'm about to turn right, head towards Pen-y-ghent off the hill into the valley below.

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