Heart of 3 Peaks Country

  • Passes the watershed of 3 major Dales
  • Good views of  all the 3 peaks
  • Pleasant contrasting scenery

The 3 Peaks of Ingleborough, Whernside and to a lesser extent Pen y Ghent form the backdrop to a long walk I took on a warm, sunny day in March. The walk passes from the upper reaches of Ribblesdale to Oughtershaw in the far reaches of Wharfedale (although not the River Wharfe) – a wild, lonely area of high moors and pretty dales. Visitors to this area are almost exclusively drawn from the two long distance footpaths (Pennine Way and Dales Way) which lead here as they pass over the watersheds of 3 dales; Wensleydale, Wharfedale and Ribblesdale. Probably they are head down, certainly tired and if my experience of multi day walking is anything to go by, fixated with the end goal for that day.

A day walk though offers an opportunity to appreciate the contrasts in this walk; the wild, lonely high moors, the beautiful hidden gills near Oughtershaw and Leck Bridge and a stretch of forestry which is sufficiently open on good paths to make it highly enjoyable. It is an interesting area and I certainly felt a much greater understanding of the Yorkshire Dales having completed it.

Recommend: I started from near Horton but Oughtershaw may be the most natural start point with the forestry section being at the beginning of the walk.

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Heart of the 3 Peaks map


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OS Map: O/S 1.25,000. OL2 Yorkshire Dales South & West Buy Map
Start Point: SD 800767. There is limited parking along the side road leading from the bridge at Horton to High Birkwith farm. Alternatively there is parking in Oughtershaw in Wharfedale.
Height to Climb: 309 ms (1,024 feet)
Terrain: Mix of good bridleways, farmland, forestry tracks and some tarmac but little difficulty route finding.
Eating & Drinking: Take plenty of snacks on this walk - there is nothing in Oughtershaw and the nearest eatery in Ribblesdale is 2 1/2 miles down the road in Horton.
Similar Walks Nearby: Pen y Ghent from Horton in Ribblesdale
Settle Loop
Whernside from Ribblehead
Places to Stay: