The Hill Of Winds.

Start. Horton in Ribblesdale.

Route. Horton in Ribblesdale - Brackenbottom - Brackenbottom Scar - Pen-y-ghent - Horton Scar Lane - Horton in Ribblesdale.

Notes. What an insult to a splendid mountain, Wikipedia calls Pen-y-ghent "Hill on the border", and worse "Head of the Winds", I've always known it, and always will as The Hill of Winds, christened by our norse forefathers over twelve hundred years ago, if you've ever graced it's steep limestone/gritstone slopes on a breezy day you'll know what I mean. Sue's out with me today on this short but quite strenuous walk, her choice, so it was her fault we left a cold crisp Lake District behind to enjoy a wander through the grey cloud and drizzle of the Yorkshire Dales, we did see some sunshine but also an awful lot of the wet stuff.

Our route was simple, follow the main road south until Horton Bridge marked the start of the single track road leading to Brackenbottom. At the top of the hill a finger-post announced we'd reached the path to Pen-y-ghent. Ascending through fields in the company of many walkers we soon reached the Pennine Way footpath, this marked the start of the steep ascent of Pen-y-ghent Nose, this unavoidable hands on grunt soon brought us to the summit ridge and trig point. Apart from two wind shelters and a cairn, a finger-post adorns the summit. We strolled on down the hill following the path to Horton in Ribblesdale, after a long easy descent we stepped into Horton Scar Lane for the final two miles between dry stone walls.

view route map.


From Horton in Ribblesdale a glimpse of Ingleborough.

Seen from the fields above Brackenbottom, Smearsett Scar dark on the horizon.

Sue strides out through Brackenbottom Scar with Pen-y-ghent looming large on the skyline.

Rising high above upper Ribblesdale, Whernside, seen over the slopes of Whitber Pasture and Harber Scar.

Heading over Brackenbottom Scar looking to Ingleborough over the Ribble valley.

Views to Dub Cote Scar over a landscape of Tussock Grass and Shake Holes.

Looking back over the desolate moors of the Yorkshire Dales, Smearsett and Pot Scars seen across Ribblesdale with the hills of Bowland across the skyline.

A moody sky over Low Silverdale.

Just before the final pull to the summit a quick look to Fountains Fell across Silverdale.

Rain sweeps over Ribblesdale seen over the long grassy ridge of Gavel Rigg.

You're never on your own on the slopes of Pen-y-ghent, walkers pick their way through a landscape of broken gritstone, tantalizingly close to the summit ridge.

Sue's got a new hat! The view, Horse Head rising into cloud above Littondale.

Stunning views from the ascent of Pen-y-ghent Nose, Gavel Rigg leading to Overdale.

Not for long, a curtain of drizzle filled cloud sweeps in across Silverdale, as views go that was it for a while.

Looking back across the summit of Pen-y-ghent, a finger-post to guide you down, two wind shelters and a guy attempting to fly a kite.

Descending the Pennine Way looking to Pen-y-ghent.

Desolate Horton Moor.

A promise of better weather.

Pen-y-ghent seen from near Hunt Pot.


Between the dry stone walls in Horton Scar Lane.

Under sunshine and cloud Whernside with the darker slopes of Park Fell dropping in from the left.

back to top

back to list