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Hiking Guide: The Yorkshire 3 Peaks Challenge

Everything You Need To Know About The Yorkshire 3 Peaks Challenge

The Yorkshire 3 Peaks Challenge

The Yorkshire 3 Peaks is a fantastic one day hiking challenge and is an ideal stepping stone to some of the UK's tougher hiking challenges. So what is the Yorkshire 3 Peaks Challenge and what can you expect?


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What Is The Yorkshire 3 Peaks Challenge?

Simply put, the challenge is to hike Pen-y-ghent, Whernside and Ingleborough in less than 12 hours. During this challenge, you'll be walking approximately 24 miles, with a climb of 5,200 feet.

The current record holder is Andy Pearce, who completed the hike in 2 hours, 46 minutes and 3 seconds.

The Yorkshire 3 Peaks is a circular route, making it an ideal one day hike. Spaced relatively evenly away from each other, this challenge can begin with any of the 3 peaks, but is generally completed Pen-y-ghent, Whernside then Ingleborough.

The most popular start and end point is from a car park at Horton in Ribblesdale (postcode: BD24 0HG) possibly due to the couple of pubs nearby. If you're able, we would recommend doing this challenge midweek and starting as early as possible to get yourself a good parking spot.

If you're looking for a place to stay overnight, there are a number of campsites very close to the most popular starting point, including:

How Difficult Is The Route To Navigate?

There have been incidents where hikers have become lost and needed to be rescued whilst attempting this challenge. However, the problem in most of these cases came from either hiking in bad weather and through low clouds, thus losing the path or setting off too late in the day and getting lost in the dark. Both of these issues can be easily resolved with good preparation.

The Met Office website (under specialist forecast) shows the chance of low cloud on the route. If the website forecasts low cloud, be sensible, stay safe and choose another day to enjoy your hike.

For the most part, the walk is a clear, wide, well signposted path, making it an easy route to follow. The challenge is one of the most popular in the UK and attracts a lot of hikers. So if you would prefer a quieter hike, we suggest setting off very early in summer.

Our Experience

We completed the challenge twice in 2019. The first time, we parked up and set off around 4:30 am. We were the first to hike up Pen-y-ghent that day and were making our descent as the sun was beginning to rise, something we would highly recommend doing.

The first ascent on any hike is always a challenge but the second peak, Whernside, is a long, slow climb which can be hiked with relative ease. The final ascent, Ingleborough, is short with a sharp rise. Overall, we enjoyed the hike and completed the challenge in 7 hours and 42 minutes. We loved the hike so much that we completed it again just a month later. We're eager to return a third time, where we'll hopefully improve our time.

My Yorkshire 3 Peaks Strava Stats

The Yorkshire 3 Peaks Challenge is one that you won't forget and will prepare you for bigger UK hiking challenges, such as the UK 3 Peaks and the Welsh 3000s.

Have you completed the Yorkshire 3 Peaks Challenge? Share your experience in the comments below.


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