Pen-y-ghent, Horton-in-Ribblesdale

Pen-y-ghent or Penyghent is a fell in the Yorkshire Dales, England. It is the smallest of the Yorkshire Three Peaks at 694m; the other two being Ingleborough and Whernside. It lies 3km east of Horton in Ribblesdale. It features a number of interesting geological features such as Hunt Pot, and further down, Hull Pot. The waters that flow in have created an extensive cave system which rises at Brants Gill head. The Pennine Way links the summit to the village; the route is around 5km in length as the Way curves initially to the north before turning east to reach the summit.
The more direct route that traverses the southern 'nose' of the hill is the route usually taken by those attempting the Yorkshire Three Peaks Challenge, as the walk is usually (but not exclusively) done in an anti-clockwise direction starting and finishing in Horton in Ribblesdale. The other main hillwalking route on the hill heads north from the summit to reach Plover Hill before descending to join Foxup Road, a bridleway at the head of Littondale.
Pen-y-Ghent is made up of a millstone grit top sat upon a bed of carboniferous limestone. The summit acts as a watershed with water flowing east into the River Skirfare and on through to the Humber estuary, and water flowing west dropping into the River Ribble, to ultimately flow into the Irish Sea. The distinctive rakes that adorn the hillside (particularly on the western edge of Pen-y-Ghent) were revealed during a great storm in July 1881. The ferocity of the water cascading down the hillside removed the topsoil and revealed the rakes beneath.
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Pen-y-ghent Reviews
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  • Hiked as the start of our personal three Peaks Trek. Rainy and foggy, so the scramble up was a waterfall-- honestly. I am sure the views are great, but we enjoyed just being there. Well worth the...  more »
  • If you feel super fit, sign up for the 3-peak challenge that requires you to climb up 3 peaks, ranging between 600 and 700 m in height. Amazing views, and beautiful contrast for the eyes from top...  more »
  • Great walk and always amazes me no matter what season you walk up it. Can do it either long gradual climb or steep climb. Both are challenging but enjoyable . I have done it a few times and with kids .
  • The East / North route involves a bit of scrambling over rocks near the top but the East / South route is walkable. Great views on a clear day but depending on the time of year, dress for all seasons.
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Duration:2​h 30​min