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My site, my views. Unofficial, unfunded and occasionally unorthodox. Enjoy!


Ingleborough has always been my favourite hill in the Dales ever since I first climbed it as a child of about three or four. Back then it seemed like the climb went on forever, and last week when I climbed it for the umpteenth time it again seemed like the climb went on forever. Guess that's what happens when you're pushing fifty and love all the wrong sorts of food.


Anyhow, what of the hill. Well it towers majestically above Ingleton, reaching a peak of 2373ft, with a Millstone Grit top that's about a mile in circumference, flat as a pancake and can be one of the windiest places on the planet. Fortunately the local mountain rescue team built a cross shaped shelter on top to celebrate the Coronation, so whichever way the wind's blowing you can at least find some shelter. The flat top used to be home to a massive Hill Fort for the Brigantes, but the Romans did their usual number on it and there's no obvious remains left today.

The views are fantastic, and those nice chaps from the mountain resue team left an inscribed plate on top of the shelter so you can tell what you're looking at. On a clear day you can see the golden sands of Morecambe Bay, the mountains of the Lake District, the foothills of Lancashire, Whernside, pen-y-ghent and much of the rest of the dales.

Routes Up

1. Fell Lane (about six miles)

This has always been my favourite route. You can either park in Ingleton (which is well worth visiting) or drive through the village and park on the little free car park at Storrs Common just NE of Ingleton on the B6255 (SD 701 734). From there a short walk on the road, either North or South brings you onto Fell Lane which is a broad, easy track for about half its length and then at the farm changes into slightly rougher going. About half way along there's a memorial bench, which is something I really wish people would stop doing. While I sympathise with the families, a park bench is just incongruous in such wild country. Surely a charitable donation or a tree would be so much more suitable. Once past the farm the track becomes rougher and steeper and there's been a great deal of work done to counter the effects of erosion. And I have to say it's been well done as it fits in really nicely with the surroundings. The final couple of hundred feet are a stiff climb but still easy going before reaching the summit.

2. Clapham.

The route from Clapham is another gentle ascent, and has the advantage that Clapham is a gorgeous little village which is well worth seeing in its own right. The first part of the walk is through the woods alongside Clapham Beck. This is actually a chargeable route but well worth it as it brings you out at Ingleborough Cave . This is one of the better caves in the Dales and well worth a look round, and it's open from Spring to November.

The route continues up Trow Gill and passes very close to Gaping Gill which is a pothole leading to the largest underground chamber in the British Isles. There's no public access, but on Spring and August Bank Holiday weekends caving clubs will sometimes winch you down for a small fee. I did it many years ago and have never forgotten the experience.

Passing Gaping Ghyll, you then have a rough but well marked route across open countryside leading to the summit.

3. Horton in Ribblesdale.

This is the longest route up but has a lot going for it. For openers, it begins next to the railway station which is on the fabulous Settle to Carlisle Line and has a really good service in Summer. Don't expect to see the famous  viaduct though as that's at Ribblehead, the next stop on the line.

The route climbs through the limestone crags and pavements on the Western side of Ribblesdale and then across open moorland to the summit. This is a great walk, but only in good weather and gaiters are essential in anything other than a drought.

Images of Ingleborough

Comments (4)
nice helpful little site
posted by gordy 26/08/2010 20:46:10
I am the family that placed that bench that you are so quick to deride. Ingleborough means so much to so many people, for many more years than even you have been alive. My father travelled the world - Ingleborough was the most special place on earth for him. A small token of his gratitude for the place that always inspired him is often appreciated by the many people that pass by that bench. Next time you happen to pass that bench, try sitting for a while, and appreciating what many others have loved for many years. And undersatnd why the bench is there.
posted by Kathryn Bennett 19/11/2010 21:36:20
I climbed Ingleborough with my 10 year old son and our labradoodle puppy during half term. We live in the Dales but this was our first climb of one of its mountains. I found this site today as i am planning another walk with him in better weather conditions! On the way up it was very cloudy with little to be seen by way of views. We reached the bench - there has very recently been a second placed next to it around 11.30am and had a part of our picnic lunch. I generally take a couple of bin bags to sit on grass or rocks but i welcomed the chance to sit comfortably. As we came down the same way we stopped again at this point to take in the views - this time we climbed the slope a little to sit on the rock outcrops. My point is, the benches are at a natural break point and whilst in fine weather there are ample resting places they pose a welcome alternative in bleaker conditions. I also spent some time talking to my son about why the benches were there, as we did when we followed the Ingleton Waterfall trail last year. I think it is important for children to understand the impact a place can have on people and also the ways families can make small gestures to perpetuate the memory of their loved ones. Everyone is entitled to their opinion but sometimes it is best to 'bite your tongue'. That said, i do not think this particular route would warrant any further additions.
posted by Vanessa Kilvington 05/03/2011 09:03:40
leave nothing but footprints take nothing but photo's? yes the bench comment may seem un-feeling at first but where do you draw the line? if all the people that have passed away who loved the fells had a memorial bench or other token left at their favourite spot you'd not be able to see the hills.best left as natural as possible.
posted by ian elsworth 19/01/2012 18:34:23
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