Clapham to Ingleborough

This route leads from the village of Clapham to the summit of Ingleborough and back again passing several points of interest including Ingleborough Cave and Gaping Gill.  Ingleborough is one of the 3 peaks, the other two being Pen-y-ghent and Whernside.

Circular  |  17.4km (10.8 miles)  |  Difficulty: Medium

Please note that the route given is a rough guide and should not be relied upon solely when planning a walk. Remember to plan ahead, get a proper map and ensure you have the right equipment.

The walk starts in Clapham village which has plenty of parking.  Clapham also has a train station for those who don’t wish to take a car.  The route heads clockwise, walkers could follow the route in the other direction but going clockwise allows for getting the ascent out of the way quicker.

1: Starting in Clapham the route travels up the West side of Clapham Beck.  The route here has a toll (69p at the time of writing).  Walkers can head up hill a bit further and take the road parallel to the path to avoid the toll, however its worth paying and taking the path.  Its a well maintained path and gives a great view of The Lake and Clapham Wood.

2: The route leads right past Ingleborough Cave.  Walkers can pay to have a look round if they desire.  There is a chance later in the walk to return to the cave after the trek up and down Ingleborough is dealt with.  Beyond the cave the route veers left and uphill where walkers will need to scramble briefly up through Trow Gill.

3: Eventually the route reaches a point where the path splits in two.  The two paths do rejoin after a short distance but going right allows walkers to have a look at Gaping Gill, one of Britain’s deepest pot holes which leads into Ingleborough’s complex cave system.  From here the ascent truly begins.  The route leads to the carin on Ingleborough Common then across to the top of Ingleborough itself.  Be warned however that the wind at the top  of Ingleborough (or any of the 3 peaks) can quite often be very strong

4: From the summit the route now heads down Simon Fell.  If walkers wish to take a shortcut back to Clapham they can head back down to the cairn on Ingleborough Common and head down hill towards Newby Cote where a road can be followed back to the village.  From Simon Fell the route eventually descends into the limestone strewn valley between Ingleborough and Horton-in-Ribblesdale.

5: The route eventually reaches a crossroad.  Carrying on straight ahead leads to Horton-in-Ribblesdale and turning right leads to Clapham.  Along this stretch of the route walkers will be able to see the impressive Moughton scars in the limestone rocks.  Cyclists use this section frequently so walkers are advised to keep an eye out for them.

6: The route now veers back toward the valley of Clapham Beck.  Here the route offers two choices.  Walkers wishing to get back to Clapham sooner can drop back down to the beck rejoining the early part of the route just before Trow Gil.  This gives walkers a second chance to visit Ingleborough cave if they wish.  Otherwise the route leads to the appropriately named Long Lane.  This is a 1.5 mile straight line downhill, ending with a brief uphill section before leading to a track that descends back into Clapham.  The track passes through two brief tunnels before emerging just up the road from the village’s car park.

The village of Clapham has plenty of cafes, though not as many as Horton-in-Ribblesdale.  At point 5 in the route walkers reach a crossroad which offers the chance to go on to Horton-in-Ribblesdale instead of Clapham.  Since Horton-in-Ribblesdale also has a station this is a viable place to finish the walk if taking the train.


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