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Pen-y-ghent, Horton-in-Ribblesdale

4.7
#13 of 30 in Nature in North Yorkshire
Mountain Nature / Park
Pen-y-ghent or Penyghent is a fell in the Yorkshire Dales. It is one of the Yorkshire Three Peaks, the other two being Ingleborough and Whernside. It lies some 3km east of Horton in Ribblesdale. The Pennine Way links the summit to the village; the route is around 5km in length as the Way curves initially to the north before turning east to reach the summit.The more direct route that traverses the southern 'nose' of the hill is the route usually taken by those attempting the Yorkshire Three Peaks Challenge, as the walk is usually (but not exclusively) done in an anti-clockwise direction starting and finishing in Horton in Ribblesdale. The other main hillwalking route on the hill heads north from the summit to reach Plover Hill before descending to join the bridleway that is Foxup Road.In the Cumbric language, exactly as in today's Welsh, Pen meant 'top' or 'head', and y is most likely the definite article (the), exactly as in Modern Welsh y. These elements are common in placenames throughout the island, and especially in Wales (compare Penyberth 'end of the hedge/copse', or Penyffordd 'head of the road/way', etc.). The element ghent is more obscure, however: it could be taken to be 'edge' or 'border'. The name Pen-y-ghent could therefore mean 'Hill on the border'. Alternatively, ghent could mean 'wind' or 'winds' – from the closest Welsh transliteration, gwynt ('wind'). Thus it might mean simply 'Head of the Winds'. It is also possible that ghent may have been a tribal name and that the hill may have once been an important tribal centre. It is also acceptable to write the name as Pen y Ghent rather than Pen-y-ghent.
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TripAdvisor Traveler Rating
138 reviews
  • The hill looks pretty intimidating as you approach it. Think carefully about your footwear; boots are perfect though in reasonable conditions any shoe that you can walk in on soft, steep ground for a ...  more »
  • This was the first to be conquered during the Three Peaks Challenge and is a great walk although a little challenging in places at the top where you need to scramble up the rocks but once you reach th...  more »
  • I have climbed Pen-y-ghent a few times now via the traditional loop starting and ending in Horton in Ribblesdale. Although not a very large mountain I found it more challenging than some much larger m...  more »

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