Thursday, 17 April 2014

A Peak, A Pot and Part of a Challenge

Known originally as Horton until the thirteenth century when it's name was changed to Horton in Ribblesdale so as not to be mistaken with Horton in Lancashire, this was the start of my walk last weekend. It's fair to say it is a popular place. I arrived around my normal time to walk and was surprised at the number of people already there. So it would be advisable to be early if you want to park, particularly on a Sunday.

The aim was Pen-y-ghent, with a plan to call at a second landmark on the way round. The weather wasn't great, but visibility was pretty good. The parking in the village is good. The pay and display car park has a public convenience with a cafe about 100 yards up the road. So a good start.

Just past the cafe is a sign pointing across the road for Pen-y-ghent. A hundred yards or so up the track and you come to a fork. Very helpfully there is a sign on the wall showing your choices of route up Pen-y-ghent. I headed right, choosing the more used Brackenbottom route.

It's really worth taking in the views as you work your way up to Pen-y-ghent. Brackenbottom Scar is another limestone feature worth looking out for as you ascend the rocky outcrops.

At the top of the scar you get a fantastic view of Pen-y-ghent. At this point you start to realise that you don't walk up Pen-y-ghent, it's going to be a lot more involved than that. That suites me fine, I love the scrambles, they are my favourite part.

The initial climb is just a steep walk and the path, which at this point has picked up the Pennine Way, is in quite good condition. Although there are signs that there is excessive wear leading to renewed sections of path. I have to be honest, I'm not a lover of the Three Peaks Challenge. But to each their own, I just wish that people wouldn't litter the place with energy drinks bottles etc. It's not excessively bad, but I'd rather see none at all. So please, to those few who litter the place, TAKE YOUR RUBBISH HOME.

Then the path turns into the more involved section. It's a really nice scramble, easy enough for people who maybe haven't done much before, but hard enough that you get the odd person who struggles. It's like a complex set of stairs more than a three points of contact scramble, but it is enjoyable.

Looking back part way up, maybe not the best idea for the vertigo afflicted, there was an amazing view across to Settle and Pendle Hill. Pendle Hill didn't quite show up in my photographs, but it was there.

Once past the rocky parts you come up onto a paved section that leads to the summit, the trig point and the shelter. It was very windy up there, the shelter a welcome refuge for a quick break.

The route off the summit continued to follow the Pennine Way. Off in the distance I could just make out my next point of interest, Hull Pot.

On the way down I took a look back and realised I had timed my walk well, the summit was now in low cloud.

The path comes to a crossroad, just north of Tarn Bar. Here I took a right north towards Hull Pot along the Bridleway. A few minutes walk and you arrive at Hull Pot. It's really worth taking this slight detour, although few seem to bother from what I saw. Hull pot is possibly the largest natural hole in the British Isles. Whether it is or it isn't, it's still worth a visit. I would love to see the stream that flows into it in full flow, but unfortunately it was dry. Maybe another time.

Heading back the way I had come I got to the crossroads and went straight ahead, heading in a roughly southern direction back to Horton In Ribblesdale.

A good day out, plenty to see, and a few challenges on the way.....brilliant!

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