Where is this?

Ingleborough from Clapham

November 12, 2019

The climb of Ingleborough from Clapham is the most interesting (but not the quickest) route. The ascent is full of interest and the descent has fine views over the Forest of Bowland and beyond.

The Walk

Ingleborough from Clapham via Trow Gill and Gaping Gill ending on the pleasant ridge from Little Ingleborough is my favourite route up Ingleborough. The descent over Newby Moss is straightforward and quick without being steep which is ideal as far as I am concerned. There are 3 other well used routes up Ingleborough; steep from Chapel le Dale, a track lacking variety and character from Ingleton and a long slog to Horton in Ribbledale) but the Clapham route has the greatest variety and interest. Much of the variety is due to the geology of the mountain.

The thin layer of millstone grit which caps the summit of Ingleborough gives way at about 1500′ to limestone and as a result something extraordinary happens. Streams simply disappear in to the ground reappearing up to a 1000 foot lower down on the harder bedrock of Clapdale. Gaping Gill is the finest example of this in the country with the network of caves below the surface world famous. Trow Gill on the lower slopes is a narrow gap between the rock formed when melted ice forced its way down thousands of years ago. Higher up, the highway from Little Ingleborough to the summit plateau is really enjoyable with far reaching views across the River Lune to the West and Pen y Ghent, to the East.

Ingleborough is one of the Dales 30 Mountains and this walk is one of my favourite 25 in the Dales.


The safest and only way to make the descent and ascent of Gaping Gill is to visit during May and August bank holidays. At that time two of the local potholing clubs (as of 2019) set up a winch and pulley system. I enjoy a peak though when passing…but stay well back.

Navigation Tips

From Clapham do pay the £1 voluntary fee to pass through Clapham woods to start the walk rather than take the bridlepath. The summit of Ingleborough can be a confusing place. On emerging on the summit plateau it is 250 metres to the main cairn just south of west.

  • B Ross says:

    I’ve walked from Horton in Ribbledale whist staying there. A straight forward walk. Shame the summit was in cloud!

  • Aaron says:

    Followed this route today, it was very enjoyable. So many different things to see, along with a nice change of scenery as you progress. The only downside was it was incredibly misty, still a fantastic walk. Thanks.

  • Anne Brierley says:

    Clapham bunkhouse and cafebar is the one to go for in the village. Nice Ales at the right price.

  • Susan Barnes says:

    Try the Ingleton Falls walk. 4.5 miles. Fairly steep climb. Easier descent.

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