One of the Yorkshire Three Peaks, Pen-y-Ghent is a visually stunning fell that draws people from all over the country, whether they take part in the classic challenge or not. At 2,277 feet (694 m) and with several well-trodden paths to the summit, this wonderful peak is very accessible for most keen hikers.
In the south west of the Yorkshire Dales National Park, there are several reasons for Pen-y-Ghent’s popularity. Firstly, it’s on the Three Peaks Challenge route; secondly, its millstone grit summit ends in a dramatic southern cliff, making it quite something to look at, and thirdly, it’s only a short hike from the village of Horton in Ribblesdale.
Explore one of Yorkshire’s most charming peaks
There are three main ways to approach the summit. One of the most popular is from Horton, where you head towards the mountain’s impressive, southern end. This is certainly the most visually-arresting way to summit. You can also choose the northerly Pennine Way route, arriving at the top from the north west or from Plover Hill, if you’re on a longer adventure.
At the summit, you’ll find a trig pillar sat on the peak’s rounded, grassy top. A wall runs alongside the southern path, passes the summit and continues onwards to Plover Hill. The views are wonderful on a sunny day, with the bulks of Ingleborough and Whernside, the other two of the Three Peaks, to the north west.
You can ascend Pen-y-Ghent throughout the year depending on the conditions. Summer will bring the most warmth and stable weather but spring and autumn can be just as stunning. Only those with experience should attempt it in harsh winter conditions, but the coldest months can still present perfectly amenable conditions.
For those tackling the Yorkshire Three Peaks in the traditional counterclockwise direction, Pen-y-Ghent is the first summit you will reach. At 2,277 feet (694 metres), it is the smallest of the three but boasts incredible views of the golden landscape. With decent paths and a few scrambles to boot, it is a good warm-up for what is to come.
November 9, 2018
Great starter mountain to get you used to the opportunities out there in the rest of the Dales, good tracks, steep in some parts, and a good beginners scramble up and over the snout. Don't forget when climbing towards the top, turn around to take in the view.
April 26, 2018
My 6th ascent of this stunning mountain (my favourite of the Yorkshire 3 Peaks). I've hiked it in summer, winter, the wet, sunny, snowy, seen a cloud inversion from the summit, I've camped close to the trig point and I've run up and down it too! It's a true Yorkshire Dales classic.
November 1, 2020
Lowest of the three peaks
Pen Y Ghent means "hill on the border" in Cumbric Language, which is a variety of common Brittonic language spoken during the middle ages in the "old north" (Hen Ogledd) It is closely related to "old welsh".Geography
Millstone grit top upon a bed of carboniferous limestone. Summit acts as a watershed with water flowing east into the river Skirfare and onto to the Humber Estuary. Water flowing west into the river Ribble and onto the Irish Sea.
May 15, 2022
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