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Yorkshire Dales Walks

Plover Hill & Pen-y-Ghent


Date: 23rd March 2010
Distance: 9.5 miles
Ascent: 2059 feet
Time: 5 hours 20 minutes
With: Matt
Start Grid Ref: SD807725

Walk Summary:
A good walk giving Plover Hill pride of place before descending Pen-y-Ghent via the usual route of ascent.

Route Summary: Horton in Ribblesdale - Sell Gill Holes - Hull Pot - Hunt Pot - Foxup Moor - Plover Hill - Pen-y-Ghent - Brackenbottom Scar - Horton in Ribblesdale


1. Matt looking down into Sell Gill Holes

2. Pen-y-Ghent from Whitber Hill

3. Hull Pot - Matt is stood on the far side

4. The 'evil slit' of Hunt Pot

5. Plover Hill

6. The steep northern slopes of Plover Hill

7. Matt looking down to Foxup Gill and Blaydike Moss

8. On the uninspiring summit of Plover Hill

9. Looking back at Plover Hill

10. Skylark

11. The trig point on Pen-y-Ghent

12. Matt descending Pen-y-Ghent

13. Looking back at Pen-y-Ghent

14. The path back to Horton with Ingleborough in the background

15. Pen-y-Ghent again

Walk Detail: When I first started hill walking I climbed Pen-y-Ghent five times in the space of a year and a half. However the last time was now four and a half years ago. I’d only previously been up Plover Hill once and that was in awful weather and all I had to show for it was a blurry picture of me stood next to the small summit cairn.

On this occasion to add a bit of variety we climbed Plover Hill first and descending via the usual route up Pen-y-Ghent. From Horton I confidently strode up the Pennine Way only to realise a little later I’d gone up the wrong section of the Pennine Way! While this was faintly embarrassing it did mean we could have a good look at the fascinating Sell Gill Holes from where a thin path quite handily took us over Whitber Hill to Hull Pot and back to our intended route.

Hull Pot is one of the most impressive natural features in the Dales but on this vist I took a dive crossing the slippery rocks on the bed of the ‘dry’ Hull Pot Beck. Luckily I didn’t do myself any damage so next on the agenda was Hunt Pot, Wainwright’s ‘evil slit’. Personally Matt and I thought it looked like something else.

After our detour to Hunt Pot we followed the bridleway all the way on to Foxup Moor from where we commenced a fairly steep climb up on to Plover Hill. This was accomplished fairly easily and after crossing the wall we made it to the summit. Thankfully the weather was much better than my last visit here although in truth it is not the most interesting of Dales summits.

From Plover Hill we followed the ridge wall on its eastern side stopping in the shelter of another wall half way up to Pen-y-Ghent where we had our lunch. It was a pleasant interlude, enjoying the views to the sounds of skylarks singing in the grass nearby. One was actually kind enough to pose long enough for me to get a half decent picture of it.

After our lunch the top of Pen-y-Ghent was easily accomplished. I hadn’t been blessed too often with good weather on my previous visits so it was nice to have good visibility for once. Along with the majority of Dales heights on view we could also clearly see Scafell Pike and Great Gable in the Lakes and Cross Fell and Mickle Fell in the North Pennines.

To the south however we could see a rain front so we didn’t hang around long before tackling the steep descent to Gavel Rigg. This didn’t prove as tricky as I thought it might and soon we were heading down the Pennine Way back into Horton.

This was a fresh take on an old favourite while I felt that I had finally experienced Plover Hill properly.

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