After a great trip to Upper Wensleydale & Swaledale a few weeks ago, I managed to time a four-day trip to Ribblesdale extremely well, coinciding it with the spell of amazing sunshine and cloudless skies last week. Four days in Ribblesdale, freezing on the tops, yet came back to people asking if I'd been abroad. A good start to the spring!! (Incidentally I'm hoping to top up the tan again in a few weeks but more on that another day.)
The highlight of this area is of course that famous trio of fells, the Yorkshire Three Peaks. Of course not everybody wants to do them all on one day, so during my visit I had to recce three extended routes taking each peak individually... but as I'll be offering the Three Peaks Challenge, I couldn't really get away without risk assessing that one too!
As you can imagine, four days, fifty-four miles and six peaks later (particularly the 24 miles and 3 peaks all on day 2), I was definitely ready for a rest!
As anyone who's been to Ribblehead will know, it consists of a railway station, a pretty damn impressive viaduct... and a pub! You'll get a friendly welcome at the Station Inn from proprietors Alan and Jo, and there's accommodation for all budgets - B&B, bunkhouse and even free wild camping behind the pub. If you prefer a wider choice, Horton-in-Ribblesdale is six miles down the road with a couple of pubs and plenty of accommodation, but there's nothing like opening your curtains in the morning onto the stunning moorland of Ribblehead; nothing but open space between yourself and the lofty heights of Whernside, Yorkshire's highest peak. I stayed in the bunkhouse - not bad at £10 per night and my friend was able to bring her dog too. Oh and as for the cakes I mentioned - wherever you're staying, be sure to pop into the famous Pen-y-ghent Cafe in Horton-in-Ribblesdale, home of the Three Peaks Challenge!
If you haven't been to the area, put it on your list! Feel free to give me a shout for route recommendations, or of course you can keep an eye on the Walks Programme page or Feet in the Clouds' Facebook page for guided walks on Ingleborough and Whernside launching soon. Finally, for some extra inspiration, there's a handful of snaps at the top of this entry from day two: the Yorkshire Three Peaks from Ribblehead.