Pen Y Ghent : North Yorkshire

by | Jan 21, 2020 | Go Outside, North Yorkshire, Walking

Route Information

An out-and-return circular walk Via Pen Y Ghent

Route Difficulty: Easy

Distance: 8.89 km (5.56 miles)

Route Elevation: 685 m

Route Time: 3-4 hrs

Start and Finish: Golden Lion Car Park, Horton in Ribblesdale, Settle, North Yorkshire, BD24 0HB

Depending on the featured walk and especially in mountainous areas, you may need to Calculate the time using Naismith’s Rule and factor in to your own pace.


There are toilets in the public car park and a cafe in the centre of Horton. There are a few public houses with the Golden Lion serving food etc. for more information visit Golden Lion website 


Very few hazards along this route apart from the steps and small scramble on Pen Y Ghent. This area could be slippy in wet weather and some people find this part of the route demanding given the ascent.

The Urban Ranger Website cannot outline every single hazard on a walk – it’s up to you to be safe and competent, and to be able to read a map and use a compass. Plan your route properly with the latest advice from the AdventureSmart website

Public Transport

Traveline for UK Public Transport

Weather Forecast

Horton In Ribblesdale Weather


Famous for being part of the Yorkshire three peaks challenge, take a circular walk of Pen Y Ghent from Horton In Ribblesdale.

Pen Y Ghent is synonymous with the Yorkshire 3 Peaks Challenge which I have completed many times over the years. But If for whatever reason you would just like to walk one of the three, then there is none better than Pen Y Ghent. There is a nice little circular starting and ending in the same place which can be done in half a day. Parking behind the Golden Lion which costs £2.00 in an honesty box attached to the pub wall. I would assume in summer this could get busy but there are plenty of places to park in the village and a big field on station road for £5.00.

Pen Y Ghent or Penyghent depending on how you like to pronounce it is the smallest fell of the Yorkshire 3 peaks standing at 2,277 ft.

It features interesting geological features such as Hunt Pot, and further down Hull Pot. The waters that flow in have created an extensive cave system which rises at Brands Gill Head.

The Pennine Way links the summit to the village; curving its way initially to the north before turning east to reach the summit. I did not take that route, i took the route that most Yorkshire 3 peaks challengers take and that is the more direct route up the southern nose of the fell. This is far more demanding but very rewarding.

There is nothing to say you cannot do this walk the opposite way around, it could be less demanding coming down the southern nose than climbing it, depending on your experience and fitness levels.

Whichever way to attempt to do this walk it starts and ends in Horton In Ribblesdale with only a few hundred yards difference. Pen Y Ghent is made up of a millstone grit top, sat upon a bed of carboniferous limestone. The summit acts as a watershed with water flowing east into the river Skirfare and on through to the Humber estuary, and water flowing west dropping into the river Ribble.

In Cumbric language pen means top or head and y is most likely the definite article. These elements are common in place names throughout the uk and especially in Wales. Ghent is more obscure and could mean edge or border or even wind. So, its possible Pen Y Ghent could mean hill on the boarder or alternatively head of the winds.

To start the walk from the Golden Lion, walk past St Oswald’s Church so it is on your left and past the stables then take a left up the lane towards Horton in Ribblesdale Primary School and keep following the winding road until you come to a farm building at Brackenbottom.

At the farm on your left you will see a gate and marker. Go through the gate and walk on a slight diagonal and through the small gate. Once through the gate you will see a well-trodden path that follows the dry-stone wall. From this point it is very easy, you just keep walking up hill following the path.

At the last gate take a left to start your accent of Pen Y Ghent. This can be difficult as there are rocks and steps to circumnavigate so take your time. On your decent of Pen Y Ghent; climb over the stile and follow the winding path all the way down until you come to a marker for the Pennine Way on your left.

At this point you have two choices, you can head right to view Hull Pot or turn Left through the gate and follow the Pennine Way otherwise known as Scar Lane back to Horton in Ribblesdale.

This is a great taster if you fancy doing the full Yorkshire 3 Peaks.

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