Holly Grange is the ideal place to stay for guests wishing to complete the 3 Peaks Challenge of Yorkshire
over the last few years the route has become more and more popular with people wishing to complete it either within 12 hours so that they can become a member of the 3 Peaks of Yorkshire Club or at a more leisurely pace over a number of days so that they can stop to admire the stunning scenery of The Yorkshire Dales.
We are able the ideal place to stay for whichever way you want to achieve this strenuous Challenge.
The 12 hour challenge
This normally means an early morning start from Horton In Ribblesdale in order for you to complete the challenge whilst it is still light.So to give you the best possible chance of completing the challenge within the 12 hours we have equipped your rooms with silent fridges where we will leave in it fruit juice/milk and cereal so that you can have a light breakfast before you set off however with the route being challenging you will need something for later in the day in order to maintain your stamina, with this in mind we provide a free packed lunch in lieu of a cooked breakfast so that you don’t have to worry about trying to find a Cafe at the top of Whernside! A full English breakfast might sound like a better idea but we have found out over the years that most people can not face this so early on a morning and if they did they usually regret it by the time they have hit the summit of Pen-y-ghent!
We are also happy to offer advise on the route and have a written guide that informs you of where you need to be in order to complete the route in 12 hours.
When you have completed the route you have the comfort in knowing that a nice hot bath awaits you along with muscle soothing Radox bubble bath and if its been a particular wet day we can try to dry your outdoor clothing so that you can do a lap of honour the day after!
A Relaxed 3 Peaks Challenge
Personally I believe the best way of doing the 3 Peaks is to tackle them over a few days either by doing one or two a day.
This relaxed way of doing the walk means that you can take your time and wonder away from the well established path to discover some spectacular scenery, caves, potholes, sink holes and waterfalls.Use one of our many informative maps that will help you find these natural features and discover how and where the people lived while constructing the 104 foot Ribblehead viaduct that has 24 arches and stretches 440 yards across Batty Moss.
The story of the building of this viaduct and the rest of The Settle Carlisle Railway is fascinating and is well worth a walk around the area with one of our maps to discover where the Navvy camps were situated.
What are the 3 Peaks of Yorkshire?
Pen-y-ghent which is the smallest of the 3 Peaks standing at 694 metres above sea level. The majority of the assent is fairly easy going however the sting in the tail is the final part where you have an easy scramble to reach the flat summit. Pen-y-ghent is often believed to be a Welsh name but is now considered to be in accurate as the original spelling was Penegent.
Pen-y-ghent traditionally is the first peak you climb of the three and is situated close to the famous clocking in cafe at Horton-In-Ribblesdale it is easily recognizable due to resembling the same posture as a crouching lion.
Whernside is the largest of the 3 Peaks standing at 736 metres above sea level and is the second of the 3 Peaks you need to conquer. Strictly speaking the summit is in Cumbria but the area is in The Yorkshire Dales National Park! Whernside is whale back shaped and looks over The Ribblehead Viaduct and is the least impressive looking of the three.The walk to the summit at first follows the Settle Carlisle Railway where you will pass a water aquaduct which was rebuilt at considerable cost as British Rail was forced to re-construct it in a traditional cobbles rather than just re-sealing it by pouring grey waterproof concrete over it You quickly leave the railway behind as it vanishes into the mile long Blea Moor Tunnel the longest tunnel on the Settle Carlisle railway.
The rest of the assent to the top of Whernside curls around the Peak rather than a direct straight route up it which originally was the path but due to erosion and land ownership (The 3 Peaks Fell Race still takes this route thanks to the co-operation of the land owner) Whernsides sting in the tail is the descent as in several places it is steep and can be loose under foot it has a nasty habit of pulling tired walkers stiffening hamstrings!
Ingleborough is the final peak and is the second highest peak standing at 724 metres above sea level its probably the most majestic Peak of the 3 and the one that you can see from Holly Grange and for miles around especially if your travelling up the M6 it was often thought to be the highest of the 3 Peaks until measuring methods became more reliable.Stories about Roman chariot races and iron age people living on top of Ingleborough have now been dismissed by experts and it is now thought that the iron age huts were used occasionally for rituals rather than habitat due to no fireplaces being found in the centre of the huts and the lack of fresh water on the summit.You don’t have to have a vivid imagination to see why ancient man was drawn to this Peak as it still dominates the landscape for miles.Your climb from the Old Hill Inn is littered with Limekilns, caves and sink holes at either side of the route which starts off quite steady but like the other 2 Peaks Ingleborough also has a sting in its tail right at the very top where the Peak suddenly steeply rises and once again you need to scramble to reach the summit which has a huge flat plateau, if you can afford the time look for the welcoming wind shelter if you need to take refuge from the elements if not located in the centre column of the break is a plaque that points out all of the landmarks around you.
Words of Wisdom
Do not underestimate the challenge is is physically and mentally hard to do even in good conditions.
Do your research find out what to expect and where you can cut off if need be.
Pen-y-ghent to Ribblehead involves a long walk the Peaks are further apart than you might think.
Take waterproofs and warm clothing even in good weather.
The Peaks can be very windy even when its calm at the base.
Keep to the footpaths and be aware that route from Pen-y-ghent has changed recently to avoid the bog.
Do not rely on mobile phones as reception is poor in parts a compass does not need a battery!
Drink lots of water even on a cold day.
Consider using a walking poles they can steady you and can stop your fingers from swelling up.
Inform someone of your plans for the day,where your parking, estimated finish time etc.
Do not take risks,in emergency ring 999 and request mountain rescue
Before setting off set your phone to enable location (mountain rescue can use this to locate you)
Tips to avoid the crowds
The most popular day for doing the challenge is on a Saturday during the Spring and Summer months this can get extremely busy during June, July and August when many of the big national charities organize sponsored walks led by experienced guides.If you are wanting to enjoy the challenge when it is quieter I would suggest picking a weekday although if you are wanting to clock in and out at the famous Pen-y-ghent cafe then avoid Tuesdays as the owners and staff have a well deserved day off.
If your only option is a weekend then consider starting at a different Peak so that your in front of the majority of groups however you wont be able to clock in at the Cafe although you can download a certificate from here LINK NEEDED. Some people and organised groups are starting from Horton-in-Ribblesdale and reversing the walk it seems like a good choice however you will meet up with people half way round which means you having to stop and start to let people pass coming the opposite way.The biggest problem is that you will have some very steep descents coming down Ingleborough and Pen-y-ghent which is not advisable in wet weather as the rocks will be slippy.