Date - 27th March 2011 Distance - 9 miles
Ascent -
Map - OL2
Start point - Horton in Ribblesdale car park (SD 808726)


Summits Achieved

Name Height (ft) Height (m) Grid Ref
Plover Hill 2232 680 SD 8476 7519
Pen-y-ghent 2278 694 SD 8385 7338



Grizzly & Tetley were sitting in front of Dad's laptop browsing through the latest newsletter from Go4awalk.

"If, which is unlikely, we ever get stuck for some ideas for places to walk, this site has a vast resource", remarked Tetley.

Shaun and Little Eric meanwhile were reading, when Shaun looked up and said, "would you like a mug of tea pals."

"Ooh yes", replied Grizzly. "While you're pouring, I'll get the tuck tin as we have to have a biscuit too.

"Where's Allen. It's not like him to miss out on a mug of tea.", said Little Eric. "He takes after Dad", he went on laughingly.

"Don't know, but he can smell it a mile off, so he will no doubt be here very soon", said Shaun.

Sure enough less than a minute later Allen came dashing in.

"There, I told you so", laughed Shaun.

"Oh yes I'd love a mug of tea, but that is not just the reason why I was hurrying. Dad had been talking to Uncle Bob, and they have arranged a walk for Sunday in Yorkshire."

"Where too?", asked Little Eric, who only being adopted in 2008, still had many of those tops to climb.

"We are to climb Pen-y-ghent and Plover Hill from Horton in Ribblesdale", replied Allen.

"That's great, replied Little Eric. "They are two I have not done before. Also I will be able to say that I have done all the 'Three Peaks'."

"It will also be great to have Uncle Bob for company", added Shaun.


The Walk

It is not a very long drive to Horton in Ribblesdale, so we did not have to be up too early for once. The route was ever so familiar, through the beautiful countryside of the Lune Valley to Ingleton, then up to Ribblehead, where as always we marvelled at the imposing viaduct that carries the Settle-Carlisle railway line. Then turning right it was just a few miles to Horton.

Uncle Bob arrived in his new car that he had picked up on Friday. We were all very impressed, and here he is posing by it.

"Very nice" said Dad. "Are you pleased with it."

"Yes mate, I am indeed."

Uncle Bob is very particular about his cars, so it came as no surprise that he had parked it such that on one side no one could park against it, and on the other was Dad's car.

Apart from Little Eric, we had all climbed Pen-y-ghent before in December 2006, at the start of the challenge to climb all the Yorkshire Dales fells. So this was in effect a repeat of that walk, however Uncle Bob said, "by way of a variation we can do it the opposite way."

"Good idea", agreed Tetley.

With this in mind Shaun said, "we should walk right on the road from the car park, then go left on the Horton Scar Lane, signed to Foxup."

This is part of the Pennine Way too, as the sign clearly shows.

The good track runs between substantial stone walls, undulating over the landscape of Horton Scar.

As Dad took this picture, Grizzly was looking over the wall to the right. "That flock of sheep are hungrily devouring the fodder that the farmer had provided for them."

"They deserve it", went on Tetley. "There does not look to be very much grass for them to eat."

Dad turned the camera to line up a shot. "Hmph", grunted Allen, "that's the sheep picture free story gone again."

The day initially had started rather cloudy, and quite cold too, so Dad and Uncle Bob, had put a number of layers on when they set out. The skies had brightened by now and the temperature had risen, such that they were now rather too warm.

"I'll have to stop and take a layer off, Gerry", said Uncle Bob after a while.

"Me too", Dad replied.

This necessitated us having to decamp from Dad's rucksack, Little Eric saying, "Let's climb up on to the wall to get a good look at Pen-y-ghent across the valley."

"It was extremely cold when we did the walk in 2006", said Tetley.

"It certainly was pal", replied Shaun. "Very icy and rather dangerous climbing that steep front of the fell, but at least today there will be no problem with ice, and by doing the walk the opposite way, we will be descending by that route."

So, we continued along the lane to reach the gate, where the Pennine Way turns off right to climb directly to the summit of Pen-y-ghent.

"Is that our route?", asked Little Eric.

"No pal", replied Shaun. "If we are to include Plover Fell, we just continue ahead over Horton Moor."

Just a short distance from the path lies the huge hole of Hull Pot, Uncle Bob saying, "let's go and have a look."

In all it is about 300ft long and 60ft wide with sheer sides. There is no way down other than to jump (not recommended). Dad had to stand quite close to the edge to get this shot, and when we walked round we noted that where he had stood was a grass covered rock overhang. At times, when Hull Pot Beck is flowing above ground there is quite a spectacular waterfall. Sadly this was not the case today.

Taking our leave, we backtracked to pass through a gate in the wall and continue on over Horton Moor. After Swarth Gill Gate, another half mile brought us to the junction where a finger post pointed to our ascent route.

Here the real climb started as the boggy path climbed the side of the fell. After a while this became steps, where the path had been repaired, that clung to the very edge with a near vertical drop below.

"Good job none of us suffer from vertigo", remarked Grizzly, as we reached the top of the steps. Here the gradient eased as we neared the wide flat top of the fell.

"We follow the wall to the corner then go right to the ladderstile", said Shaun.

"That is what we took to the the summit last time", went on Allen. "There is no spot height marked on the map."

"There is a small cairn over that unclimbable wall", pointed Tetley. "Whether or not that marks the summit is irrelevant as it cannot be reached."

So, after climbing the ladderstile, we then sat on the top for our usual summit picture.

Allen said, "I remember well how cold it was when we had our picture taken here in 2006."

"Well if we write a story of today's adventure, I think we should include the one from 2006, to show the contrast", replied Shaun. [who am I to argue. Ed.]

Uncle Bob then said, "good place to have lunch in the lee of the wall."

"Oh yes", agreed Grizzly. "I'm hungry, and for sure Allen will be", he laughed.

So a pleasant little while, enjoying sandwiches and cakes, with warming mugs of tea, to recharge our batteries, before continuing to Pen-y-ghent.

As we set off Uncle Bob said , "I'll take your picture Gerry with Pen-y-ghent behind."

Photo courtesy Bob Woolley (Uncle Bob)

The wall that can be seen on the far left of the above picture, was then followed over at times quite boggy ground, to then make the climb up Pen-y-ghent. This wall can be seen distantly as it climbs the fell.

Just below the summit we passed through the gate in the wall to gain the trig point marking the summit. Rather surprisingly there were not many people at there when we arrived.

There was hardly any wind, so we could not resist sitting on the trig point for our picture. You will notice the stile and signpost behind by the wall. This marks the Pennine Way, which we had left near Horton Moor, to take in Plover Hill.

"Hooray!", called out Little Eric. "I can now say truly say that I have climbed the 'Three Peaks' (Ingleborough, Pen-y-ghent & Whernside), like the rest of you."

Now, after walking the wide rough path, we came to the steep rocky and rough descent of the nose of the fell. There were lots of people coming up, so we were lucky to have the top so quiet. Dad was slower than Uncle Bob, partly because he gave way to some of the people making the ascent, and also Dad took his time and took care, as it would be easy to fall.

Uncle Bob had sat down to wait for Dad. He took this picture of Dad, taking a picture of Uncle Bob. Both are included below. Well we have to allow them some silliness!

As Dad arrived, he said, "I'll take your picture Bob."

After a brief rest, we set off again, to make the rest of the descent to the gate in the wall. Here we paused to look back watching some walkers starting the steep climb to the summit.

Dad said, "it was a bit dodgy going up there with all that ice in December 2006."

"Yes", agreed Uncle Bob. "But we live to tell the tale mate."

Now we went right through the gate and along the good track over Brackenbottom Scar. We paused to look back to Pen-y-ghent, now seen in its full profile.

The path led on finally reaching the road by the hamlet of Brackenbottom.

Turning right, we strolled along the road into the the village of Horton in Ribblesdale. On the corner is the impressive church of St Oswald, with its sturdy lych gate roofed with a huge slab of Horton slate.

Grizzly told us, "the church is a Grade 1 listed building. It has a complete Norman nave, south door and tub-font, and is the most complete of the Norman churches built in the Yorkshire Dales after the conquest. The square tower was built later."

At the cars, Tetley said, "I guess it is refreshment time now, Dad."

"Aye lad. We are going to Elaine's Tea Room at Feizor, of course."

They had a lovely beef burger with chips, accompanied by a large pot of tea. Dad then had lemon meringue pie, and Uncle Bob took a slice home for Aunt Ann.

Elaine was surprised and pleased to see them. It had been another busy day here including an 80th birthday party. When they had gone and things had quietened down, Elaine came over and sat chatting for a little while.

We had had a second picnic. Sandwiches and cake, washed down with warming mugs of tea, while sitting in the car.

Goodbyes were then said, Tetley saying, "great to have your company Uncle Bob, and super walk."

"Aye lads it has been a cracking day!"


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