- County: Yorkshire
- Nearest Town(s): Ingleton
- National Park: Yorkshire Dales
- Difficulty: Medium
- Time: 3-5 Hours
- Height: 723 m
- Map: OS Explorer Map OL2 Yorkshire Dales South & Western*
Found on OS map OL2, Ingleborough is one of the Yorkshire three peaks and can be approached from several directions. It can be seen towering above Ingleton and has a distinctive shape visible for miles around.
We decided it would be a great day out with a group of friends, so with our rag-tag group assembled and with two doctors in tow (just in case), we set off straight from our accommodation on the far side of Ingleton.
Where to Park
There are several pay and display car parks in Ingleton, all of which will provide a great jumping off point for the walk.
All the car parks are in close proximity to the shops. More importantly the pubs are equally close for the post walk pint. We stopped at the Wheatsheaf, which does some fantastic food and has a beautiful garden.
Our plan was to head over Ingleborough to the Old Hill Inn the other side and offer a bail out via taxi for members of group who wanted it back from there. But in the immortal words of poet Robert Burns “the best laid schemes o’ mice an’ men gang aft a-gley”, but more on that later!
A gentle walk through the initial sections of the walk lead us to the open fell. We followed the path through the gate and stopped on a convenient rock for a quick snack and photo opportunity. The path here is obvious, and for this part we didn’t even require a map to keep heading in the right direction.
As the path heads upwards the going gets rockier and at this point the weather decided to close in and the drizzle began. Donning waterproofs over my damp down we headed onwards. There was much jealousy of our doctor friends clad in Rab gear head-to-toe. My old waterproof did a great job of keeping out the drizzle and an even better one keeping in all the moisture, converting my once warm down jacket to a sweat soaked and heavy layer.
The final metres of ascent are best described as a scramble, which was loved by the climbers in the group, but by the casual walkers, less so. The scramble is short and worth every meter gained. There is a stunning view from the summit and a little shelter offered by the stone structure at the top. I am informed that on a clear day you can see all the way to Morecambe bay, but alas the March clouds saw to that.
Walk Back Down
Coming down the far side on what initially appeared to be a nice shallow decent offered even more spectacular views. Unfortunately it soon became apparent that the decent was to be far from shallow. The far side of Ingleborough offers a quicker approach (or descent), but via a very steep set of steps cut into the hillside. This route is not for vertigo sufferers.
Sadly this is when the news of the pub closure was relayed to us by a kind passer by overhearing our desire for that first pint at the bottom. With morale of the group taking a very quick plummet we pressed onwards down the now shallowing steps.
Once we reached the bottom of the hill we were left with the option to walk home around the base of the hill, or head back over the top. As no-one in the group fancied a long slog back up the steep steps, our handy map was deployed. A Roman road running parallel with the main road was identified as a route back to the nearest pub in Ingleton. In a welcome turn of events this Roman road had been newly asphalted by the local farmer, making it a long but easy walk back to a well deserved pint.
View from the Pillar
The Pillar is on a high point and offers amazing views all across the dales, thoroughly justifying the effort of the climb and scramble. Just be aware it is very exposed and therefore a little chilly in all bar exceptional weather.
By the end of the walk my beautiful Arc’teryx down jacket had been reduced to a sodden mess, offering little protection from the cold. Perhaps it is time to invest in a waterproof with a little more Goretex and breathability.
All in all a thoroughly enjoyable day out with a great group of friends, as any great walk should be. It was just a shame that our plan A pub was shut, but it is these adventures that stick with us when we remember a walk. Luckily, a warm fire and good food can fix most problems!
The best parking can be found in the tourist information pay and display car park in Ingleton.
If you are heading straight up and down the peak, you could complete the walk in under 3 hours. FOr our circular route, allow 6 hours.
Ingleborough is typically considered the most difficult summit of the Yorkshire Three Peaks.
Ingleborough is 723m at it’s highest point.
You can take you dog on the hike up Ingleborough if taking the approach from Ingleton. Remember to observe signs which may request you keep your dog on a lead to protect livestock and wildlife. There are also steep drops from the summit, so it is best to keep dogs on a lead at the top. I would not recommend taking your dog up or down the approach from Chapel-le-Dale unless they have experience navigating tricky terrain with you in the past.
You should always prepare for all weather. You should have:
– Strong, sturdy walking boots
– Walking trousers (not jeans)
– Warm layers (even if it is sunny out – the weather can change quickly and it is often windy at the summit)
– Waterproof layers
– Sunhat or visor
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