Next up in the Daily Wag walks is walk #2. It is another upper. Long and sustained but not too steep, apart from the last few meters. One of the Yorkshire 3 peaks, the tabletop mountain of the north, Ingleborough.
At 723 m it is the second highest mountain in the Yorkshire Dales. It is one of the Yorkshire Three Peaks and is frequently climbed as part of the Three Peaks Walk. The other two being Whernside and Pen-y-ghent. This walk is another undertaking. Challenging but definitely worthwhile. At about 24 miles in distance with a lot of elevation this is a walk that is not ideal for most dogs. If you are the owner of a breed that has endurance, can cover 12 hours, doesn’t mind long elevations and the wind and rain? Then go for the challenge. You will both love it. If not, then go for this…
Walk #2 is Straight up and back down Ingleborough, starting in Ingleton, West Yorkshire. This is a personal favourite, with large landscapes, huge skies and on a clear day, stunning views. Although not difficult, still come prepared. Conditions up the mountain are often very different from in the village. It is very exposed.
Ingleborough. Yorkshire Dales.
Ingleton, a small village, nestles below the mountain. Park in the car park near the school. Again this is a pay & display, so bring some change. At least £8 will see you through. The walk itself is only about 2-3 hrs but leave enough time not to rush your view.
Head out of the carpark and turn left, following the road up and out of the village on the Hawes Road. After a couple hundred meters you will see an off road way bearing off to the right. Take this. It is literally up from here all the way to the summit. You stay on this path.
To begin, the walk can feel a little hemmed in, between the drystone walls as you zigzag through the lower fields. Eventually the path opens up onto a plateau. With the dominance of Ingleborough large before you. Scale and light plays some tricks on the eyes here. At times the summit can look a long, long way from this point. Don’t fret, it’s not that far.
The next area is pretty flat, with a farmhouse on the left sitting in the lower escarpments of the mountain. Short grass, small eddies and plenty of limestone boulders litter this area. You’re guaranteed to find a spot to rest and take it all in.
As you carry on up, the path leaves this area behind, following the breaks in the peat landscape. The path is well marked and in recent years a lot of work has been done forming a stone way to follow. To help prevent erosion and protect this landscape. Before you know it you are at the foot of the mountain.
Having been relatively gentle going, now you go up. The path is stepped and steep here but not long. With a little effort, you’re soon over the ramparts and atop the table top. A vast plateau, perfectly flat. I have never been up here when the wind hasn’t blown but there is a stone cross break near the Trig point for a bit of shelter.
The views are something to cherish. Looking back the way you came the Lune Valley stretches out before you, to Morecambe Bay and the Irish Sea. On a clear as a bell day it is possible to see the Isle of Man. To the northwest, the Whole of the Lakes. North, over the col to Wernside and the Dales stretched out in its immensity. Southwest, Blackpool and beyond to the mountains of Snowdonia. Again on a clear bell day. To the east…nature, as far as the eye can see. For a pretty minimal effort a better view can be difficult to find.
If you are making a day of it a visit to White Scar caves is possible from here. Although an amazing natural attraction, it is to pay for, has its own parking and isn’t the best day out for a dog. Visit later, leave the potholing to another day. Although, you can make a slight deviation on your route down via this area. Some great examples of Limestone paving exist here. Watch your ankles and dog legs though.
The way back down? Exactly the way you came up. Head back into Ingleton. Pubs, food and especially ice cream on a hot summer’s day will be in abundance.
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