In the Yorkshire Dales lie the hills of Pen-y-ghent, Whernside and Ingleborough – collectively they are know as the Yorkshire 3-Peaks. The aim of the 3-Peaks challenge is to summit all 3 in under 12 hours, usually starting in the small town of Horton-in-Ribblesdale. Once completed you’ll have covered a distance of roughly 25miles and overcome a 5000ft ascent. Make no mistake, this is no picnic. My friends and I managed it in 11 hours but it is both a mental and physical test that is not for the faint-hearted. Planning it requires some detail so here are the main bases to cover:
You have two real options when it comes to accommodation – Bed & Breakfasts or camping. Holme Farm Campsite is at the start of the trail and is perfect for the budget hiker who is looking for the full outdoor experience. It is also within walking distance of two food-serving pubs where you can have a well-deserved treat after the walk. Thoss looking for a slightly more luxurious stay are best off booking one of the many Bed & Breakfasts available, however in peak months you’ll need to book a way in advance.
Number for Holme Farm Campsite (there’s no website): +441729860281
Find a list of accommodations here: https://www.threepeakschallenge.uk/yorkshire-three-peaks-challenge/accommodation
There is absolutely no obligation to do this for charity. However, I feel that when undertaking a challenge of this magnitude, family and friends will want to show their support. There’s no better way to allow them to do this than to dedicate your walk to a cause you believe in. You can set up a gofundme page (they are very easy) and allow them to donate to that. We managed to raise over £1,100 for the Pink Ribbon Foundation.
Acquiring a physical map with the route labelled upon it is very helpful. Most of the route is signposted, but it’s nice to be able to see your progress and just check you’re on track.
Walking boots and socks are an absolute must. If you do not have them I can guarantee your feet will be covered in blisters before you’re even at Ingleborough. A rain jacket is also very helpful as, shockingly for Yorkshire, it is likely to rain at some point during your walk.
Food & Drink:
As you will be told by everyone; nuts, cereal bars and energy tablets are musts on the hike. Equally important is a bountiful amount of water and Lucozade. If you’re planning to stop for lunch I’d also recommend a few sandwiches as it is another unpleasantry if you are walking whilst feeling famished.
There is a train station in Horton-in-Ribblesdale that you can stay arrive to, with a few more stations in the surrounding towns. However, if you have a car that is easier, cheaper (if you are doing it with others) and Holme Farm Campsite only charges £3 a day to leave your car there.
Of the two pubs in Horton-in-Ribblesdale – the normal start point of the challenge – the Crown Hotel does far better food than the Golden Lion. Meals are between £10-15 but at the end of a 12-hour challenge, you’ll be pleased that you paid a bit more for the quality. If you’re driving home and need a big breakfast, I cannot recommend Delicious Deli & Cafe highly enough. The service there is amazing, it’s very reasonably priced and the food is, well, delicious. It is situated in Gisburn, about 20minutes drive from the Horton-in-Ribblesdale.