Pen y Ghent from Horton

  • Classic & best route up this popular fell
  • Full of interest throughout the climb
  • Extend to the broad ridge of Plover Hill

Pen y Ghent (probable meaning hill on the border) is the most famous and popular of the Yorkshire Three Peaks. Whether it is the best is a matter of conjecture, it is the smallest in height but certainly presents a dramatic outline from Horton in Ribblesdale. The 3 great rakes which are clearly viewed on the climb were formed only in 1881 after a tremendous thunderstorm washed away the top soil leaving the millstone grit and limestone exposed. This exposed millstone offers a pleasant little scramble up loose rock before the extensive summit views take the attention.

I have climbed Pen y Ghent on numerous occasions from all possible sides and the Horton climb is the most enjoyable. Do not reverse the climb from the hole in the wall but join the Pennine Way from the summit plateau and slowly turn South back towards the finely named hamlet of Bracken’s Bottom. A few hundred yards from where your route leaves the popular 3 Peaks route is Hull Point, the largest natural hole in England, whatever that is meant to mean! Still well worth a visit. Pen y Ghent is the real heart of England lying on the watershed of the country; waters to the West entering the Ribble and ending up in the Irish Sea, to the East the Wharfe eventually finds its way in to the Humber estuary – a truly tortuous journey!

Pen y Ghent and Plover Hill are 2 of the Dales 30 Mountains


Avoid the crowds for a while and stroll the long ridge to Plover Hill. Plover Hill is one of the Dales 30

Julia’s Walks. A climb up Pen y Ghent was the subject of one of Julia Bradbury’s recent TV walks. For full details of Julia’s walk along with an interview with my good friend Debbie North just click here

Download GPX file

Pen y Ghent map

All maps are copyright of Where2Walk © 2020

OS Map: O/S 1/25,000. OL2 Yorkshire Dales South & West Buy Map
Start Point: SD 810722. If possible park at the Bracken Bottom South end of Horton. Alternatively there is a large NCP 400 yards further north.
Height to Climb: 445ms (1,460 feet)
Terrain: Height 2,278'. The ascent from Horton is steady till the steep final pull. The paths are all badly eroded on this walk which is why it is so enjoyable to take a stroll to Plover Hill before descending.
Eating & Drinking: Horton has never been my favourite place but the two pubs are ok; to me the Crown is preferable to the Golden Lion. However for once the Three Peaks tea shop should call - a bit of history as the start and finish of the full Three Peaks.
Similar Walks Nearby: Whernside from Ribblehead
Heart of 3 Peaks Country
Ingleborough & Gaping Gill
Places to Stay:


Woodlands Country HouseIngle Byre Cottage, Stainforth