Yorkshire Three Peaks - A new alternative route from Pen-y-ghent

I have walked Pen-y-ghent a number of times and completed the Yorkshire Three Peaks for the first time this year. I have always been saddened by the badly-eroded paths leading up this magnificent mountain and also the erosion caused by the thousands of walkers taking on the Y3P challenge every year across Horton Moor and Black Dudd to reach Whernside.

I was glad to read therefore the National Park (in conjunction with partners and volunteers) have completed a new path to combat damage being caused across this particular part of the Y3P route - After contacting the Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority I understand from the Area Ranger & Project Manager of the Three Peaks that the new section runs from the Pennine Way at SD 8231 7426 to SD 8103 7489 where it rejoins the traditional route. The new section includes three sections of stepped flag stones and a small footbridge across Sell Gill Beck.

The BLACK dotted line represents the traditional route across Horton Moor
The RED dotted line represents the new alternative route
The new alternative route incorporates the existing path back to Horton in Ribblesdale from Pen-y-ghent which, as many walkers will already know, is a well established gravel path and therefore eradicating the problem of erosion moving elsewhere. 

It is hoped that traditionalist will understand the reasoning for this new route (although it's still only described as an alternative) and use, however looking at routes some walkers still take by cutting off corners coming off the mountain and ignoring signs to follow the prepared path this may be unlikely, although hopefully the majority of walkers will see the benefits and the hard work the National Park have invested in this part of the Yorkshire Dales and help to preserve the moorland.

From my experience the majority of paths navigating up and down the three peaks have all had attention to help the problem of erosion apart from the route up Pen-y-ghent from Horton in Ribblesdale via Brackenbottom and therefore hopefully this will be the next section of the route that will be given badly needed attention.

Pen-y-ghent path from Horton in Ribblesdale

To view my experience of the Yorkshire Three Peaks and the walking routes to the individual peaks of Pen-y-ghent, Whernside and Ingleborough select here or the Yorkshire Dales tab at the top of this page

As always, if anyone has an interesting walk/route/trail they feel would be of interest I'd be happy to include it on this Blog (please post to thewalkingcaveman@ymail.com) - full accreditation will be given to the author and website if applicable.

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  1. Nice post. I'm doing a guided walk of the three peaks in June and have considered doing this new route instead. The problem is everyone who I'm taking have not done the event before and so I feel I should stick to the traditional route. I have to admit Horton Moor is a grim old place in any weather so the new route does look inviting.
    Cheers - Steve

  2. Thanks for the comment Fell Finder - The small change (if you could call it that), I don’t think, detracts from the challenge and think the Yorkshire Dales authorities would rather Y3P’ers use the new route to preserve the moor, however have left it to the walkers to make their own decision on the route they take.

    Good luck with the guided walk and hope they all finish and enjoy the challenge!

  3. Hi Andrew

    Really enjoying reading your blog. I never do the long distance walks but you may well have inspired me. Some great pictures here and lots of variety. Must do Buckden Pike. Feel free to join my blog 'A Three Peaks Up and Under' which examines every nook and cranny of this great area. I'll be following yours with interest.

    Best wishes
    Stephen Oldfield

  4. Many thanks for the kind comments Stephen.

    Looking forward to reading your blog over the next couple of days.




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