Jonathan Smith runs Where2walk, a walking company in the Yorkshire Dales.

Jonathan has written his own book, the Dales 30 which details the highest mountains in the Dales.

He also runs one-day navigation courses for beginners and intermediates. Join his Learn a Skill, Climb a Hill weekends in the Dales.

To find out more details on any of the above visit his website,

AN interesting but little used route up Ingleborough followed by a long descent through some lovely limestone scenery. Make use of the regular train service and add to the enjoyment of the walk.

Park at the car park at Horton in Ribblesdale and then take the train for 1 stop to Ribblehead (it takes 8 minutes). From Ribblehead station return to the road opposite the Station Inn. If you have not yet visited the famous viaduct it is definitely worth the extra ½ mile to stand under one of the 24 arches. I was interested to find recently every sixth arch is 50per cent thicker as a precaution against one of the others failing. The Victorians thought of everything!

From the cross roads just below the Station Inn walk along the road towards Horton for three quarters of a mile and take the lane to your right. The lane climbs steadily towards the farmyard at Colt Park, past an area of attractive limestone woodland. Sat the end of the lane follow the footpath to the north side of the wall and after 300 metres on to the open hillside. At this stage there is no avoiding the steep 500 foot climb south west that has been in view ever since Ribblehead, it is hard work. The trig point of Park Hill affords some excellent views over the viaduct towards Whernside. Return to the boundary and follow it south for 1 mile in a generally southerly direction, initially down hill but then climbing steadily on to the broad, sometimes wet, plateau of Simon Fell. Simon Fell is just over the wall at the high point of the plateau, one of the lesser visited Dales 30 mountains.

From the cairn at its summit follow the wall heading just south of west making a bee line for the summit of Ingleborough. The wall retains its height until it meets a large stile on your right and the meeting with the scarred path from the south. Join this recently renovated path up the Swine Tail before popping out on the flat, 300 metres long summit plateau of Ingleborough, surely the best of the Three Peaks? The large cairn, cross shelter and trig are at the western side of the plateau. It can be a confusing place in the mist but with outstanding 360 degree views in clear weather.

In bad weather it is best to follow the northern rim of the plateau heading east to the cairn marking the exit point, the same point where you arrived. After 100 metres descending the rocky path it splits. You arrived on the left fork but take the right fork and scramble down the path to flatter lands. This is part of the 3 Peaks challenge route so the path all the way to Horton is easy to follow, heading east like a beeline for the distant village.

It is 5 miles. Initially the path skirts Simon Fell to the north, through a stile and down to a small gate which marks a change of scenery. This is the Ingleborough Nature Reserve, possibly the best area of limestone pavements in England. It is superb so take your time picking your way through its sometimes slippy but always interesting terrain.

A large information board marks the end of the nature reserve and from then the path picks its way through the final three quarters of a mile of rolling farmland till a small gate leads back to the station at Horton.

Fact File:

Distance: Roughly 9.5 miles

Height to Climb: 550m (1,800 feet)

Start: SD 808726. Park at the main car park in Horton. The trains at present leave at 8.58 or 10.30 but do check them, they do change the timetable regularly!

Difficulty: Hard: A steep climb up Simon Fell and a long descent through the limestone pavements.

which can be slippy after rain.

and when wet.

Refreshments: Horton has 2 pubs but the 3 Peaks café is presently closed.