Yorkshire Three Peaks

The mountains of Whernside, Ingleborough and Pen-y-Ghent are together known as the Yorkshire Three Peaks, located in the Yorkshire Dales National Park, UK. The Yorkshire Three Peaks are part of the Pennine range. Walking enthusiasts come in their thousands to climb the fells every year.

Yorkshire Three Peaks Challenge

The Yorkshire 3 Peaks is one of the UK’s most recognised trekking challenges. The challenge consists of conquering all three peaks;  Pen-y-Ghent, Whernside and Ingleborough. Usually completed in this order, the aim is to complete the challenge in under 12 hours.

What is the distance of the Yorkshire Three Peaks Challenge?

The total walking distance of the challenge is 39.2km or 24.5miles.

How fit do I need to be to complete the Yorkshire Three Peaks?

Most people will ask ‘How difficult is the Yorkshire Three Peaks?’, at 24.5 miles and 1,500m of ascent the walk is a hard challenge. The dropout rate can be as high as 25% which gives an idea of how difficult some people find it. Training ahead of the event is recommended and a good level of mountain fitness is essential.


Where does the Yorkshire Three Peaks Challenge start?

Horton-in-Ribblesdale is a popular staring point of the challenge due to the parking and train station. However, the route can be started from Horton-in-Ribblesdale, Ribblehead or Chapel le Dale, as it is a circular route finishing at the same point.

What is the best time to complete the Yorkshire Three Peaks Challenge?

Most walkers attempt to complete the challenge between April and September due to the longer daylight hours and warmer temperatures.

What car parks to use when completing the Yorkshire Three Peaks Challenge

  • Chapel le Dale — LA6 3AR – limited free parking
  • Horton-in-Ribblesdale — BD24 0HE – plenty of parking
  • Ribblehead — LA6 3AS – limited free parking

If you don’t fancy the challenge of completing all three peaks in one day, many walkers tackle the peaks individually.


Pen Y Ghent Fell Yorkshire 3 Peaks

Height: 445 metres
Distance: 10.6 km or 6.6 miles
Parking: Horton-in-Ribblesdale — BD24 0HE

Where to start the Pen-y-Ghent walk

Most walkers start from the small village of Horton-in-Ribblesdale. The village hosts a small selection of pubs and tea rooms along with the iconic Settle to Carlisle railway line which passes through the village.

How long does it take to climb Pen-y-Ghent?

Most walkers complete the ascent and decent of Pen-y-Ghent in around 3 hours.

How difficult is the climb up Pen-y-Ghent?

Pen-y-Ghent is considered by many, the easiest of the three peaks. Consequently, many people choose this mountain for day rambles.

What is the best route to the Pen-y-Ghent summit?

Heading south out of the village, passing the church and a small stream, turn left up a minor tarmac road towards Brackenbottom Farm. A footpath on the left, sign posted Pen-y-Ghent directs walkers through the fields and up to the summit of Pen-y-Ghent.

For the descent, follow the path onwards to pick up a small section of the Pennine Way. Cross the wall at the summit and follow the clear path down towards Horton.  This circular route decent is a favourite of many walkers with some of the Yorkshire Dales most scenic views.

Whilst zig-zagging down the path, there will be views of the other two peaks featured in the Three Peak Challenge. Ingleborough is to the west and is the largest of the three. Crossing the stile and passing through a gate will lead to a walled lane. Eventually, the road will end back in the middle of the village.


Whernside Fell

Height: 462 metres
Distance: 13.4 km or 8.4 miles
Parking: Ribblehead — LA6 3AS (some free parking)

How long does it take to climb Whernside?

Climbing Whernside takes around 4 hours for most walkers.

How difficult is the climb up Whernside?

Whernside is long walk with occasional steep climbs, there are also some sections of the walk with rugged terrain.

What is the best route to the Whernside summit?

When parking in Ribblehead, walk left on to the B6255, and follow the path to the side of the Ribblehead Viaduct. Do not cross underneath it. Continue North, crossing the railway, heading towards the peak of Whernside. To head towards Ingleborough, continue along the ridge, heading towards the B6255, and the Hill Inn.


Ingleborough Yorkshire 3 Peaks

Height: 445 metres
Distance: 7.9 miles or 12.7 km
Parking: Ingleton LA6 3HG

Where to start the Ingleborough walk

Ingleton is a popular place to start the ascent up Ingleborough. Ingleton is known as the ‘Land of Caves and Waterfalls’ and is popular with walkers and families in the summer months.

How long does it take to climb Ingleborough?

It takes approximately 3-4 hours to climb Ingleborough.

How difficult is the climb up Ingleborough?

Ingleborough is considered the toughest climb of the three mountains. It has rugged terrain and steep ascents. Surprisingly, Ingleborough is the second highest mountain in the Yorkshire Dales.

What is the best route to the Ingleborough summit?

The easiest route up Ingleborough is from Ingleton. This route has easy to follow paths and is well signed.

Starting at Storr’s Common, head up the walled track, passing Crina Bottom Farm. The path travels for a number of miles until it become rockier under foot, and the climb grows steeper. The path the reaches man-made steps which lead to the summit of Ingleborough.

At the summit, the stunning views stretch as far as the west coast and the Lake District.

Walking Challenge!

Do you want an even bigger walking challenge? Walk Wainwright’s coast to coast with the Packhorse team. We provide bespoke walking holidays for hikers wishing to explore the famous Alfred Wainwright Coast to Coast.

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