Thursday, 21 May 2015

Ingleborough circular from Ribblehead

A circular walk, 8.6 miles, 4 hours.

A fine little ramble taking in probably the greatest fell of the Yorkshire Dales National Park, and two of the lesser walked high points that make up an alternative, if somewhat shorter, Yorkshire 3 Peaks walk.

Ingleborough is a tough fell to make a circular walk out of. From Clapham on the fells' southern edge to encompass it using the designated paths you can't make the walk much less than 18 miles. And from Ingleton - to the fells' south western side it's again a huge walk. This walk however begins at the picture perfect railway station of Ribblehead, and to start with there is a bit of road walking, but this soon gives way to the rougher limestone terrain of Ingleborough, then it's onto the remote feeling Simon Fell and finally Park Fell before decending back into Ribblehead.

Here after stepping off the train at Ribblehead station. You have to cross the tracks via the crossing boards from the northbound platform to get to the southbound platform. You can just about make out the crossing boards in front of the train in the below picture...
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Once you're onto the above platform the walk heads out from the station and follows the rough track down towards a pub which you will see at the end of the track on the opposite side of the road. For me this station is one of the finest in the country for scenery, when you get to the pub, taking a slight detour from the walk, cut right, and just take a look at one the most famous and impressive views you will ever see...
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Head back now towards the pub and head along the road under the railway bridge...
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The road is what it is, and at the end of the day you need to take care here, but this part of the walk allows you to view the terrain you are about to undertake, Park Fell is the nearest, with Simon Fell wedged between it, with the mighty Ingleborough beyond...
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There is over a mile of road walking before you can see the path that will lead you to the flanks of Ingleborough...
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Coming off from the road you are now onto the route of the Yorkshire Three Peaks walk...
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A point of the walk here that has struck fear into many a '3 Peaker'. This is probably the toughest part of the walk, but I like this bit, it has a touch of scrambling involved...
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Making it to the top of the scramble...
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The climb continues...
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And eventually entering out onto the rocky summit plateau of Ingleborough...
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Heading south west across the plateau to the summit Trig Point...
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Ingleborough summit 723 metres...
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The walk continues on from the top of Ingleborough, you now need to retrace your steps back towards where you first entered out onto the plateau. This can be a bit tricky, especially in low cloud. It's also easy to follow other people off the fell taking you perhaps on a completely different path by mistake, or you can simply miss place where you got onto the summit plateau in the first place! So take your time and make sure you are at the correct place to descend the fell. The path does also fork part the way down too, be careful again here as the right hand path is the route towards Horton in Ribblesdale, you need to keep left here for this walk...
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The route heads onto softer ground now as you venture out onto Simon Fell, keeping the dry stone wall on your right...
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The path is easy to follow and at this point crosses the dry stone wall via a stile...
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The dry stone wall is now on your left as the path continues across Souther Scales Fell...
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Park Fell up ahead now...
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Looking back towards Simon Fell and Ingleborough from Park Fell...
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Here on the summit of Park Fell at 563 metres...
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The descent of Park Fell is steep, and is a good one for putting the ends of your toes in pain...
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The path heads from the lower flanks of Park Fell towards a farm house...
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Passing in front of the farm, you then join a small lane that brings you out onto the B6479 road...
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Crossing the Settle-Carlisle railway here looking towards Pen-y-ghent...
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Onto the B6479 now back towards Ribblehead with Whernside dominating the view ahaead...
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And finally back to Ribblehead station...
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I would highly recommend the pub in Ribblehead prior to getting your train, it serves an excellent meal as well as local real ales all with a warm welcome. Overall this is a great little walk that would be an excellent treat for walkers of all abilities.
Thanks for reading.
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