Ingleborough is a prominent and easily recognisable mountain in the Yorkshire Dales National Park. It’s also one of the famous Yorkshire Three Peaks. Other than summiting Inglebororugh during the Yorkshire Three Peaks Challenge (guide coming soon), it’s possible to do a brilliant standalone walk to the impressive peak. In this guide, we’re going to tell you all about the Ingleborough Walk from Clapham. But, we’ll also cover information about other popular Ingleborough walks, starting from Ingleton, Horton in Ribbesdale and the Old Hill Inn (Chapel-le-Dale).
We hope you find this guide helpful. If you’re wanting to do day walks to the other Yorkshire Three Peaks, then read our guides about the Pen-y-ghent Walk (featuring Hull Pot) and the Whernside Walk (featuring Ribblehead Viaduct) [guides coming soon].
Table of Contents
At 723 metres above sea level, Ingleborough is the second-highest mountain in the Yorkshire Dales National Park. The honour of the highest mountain actually goes to Whernside (736 metres above sea level). Despite being second to Whernside in terms of height, Ingleborough is certainly a much more aesthetically striking and appealing mountain. Indeed, Inglebororugh is a truly outstanding landform in this limestone-rich area of the Yorkshire Dales.
So, exactly where is this mountain located?
Where Is Ingleborough in Yorkshire?
It’s located in the southwest corner of the Yorkshire Dales in North Yorkshire. To help you get your bearings, please click on the image below to access an interactive map of the area.
Ingleborough Walk From Clapham: Route Information, Trail Navigation and Map
The Ingleborough Walk from Clapham is one of the most common routes to reach the mountain. Indeed, this is the walking route that Beck and I completed. Below, you’ll find trail specs and links to GPS-guided maps for the circular walk from Clapham to Ingleborough.
- Type: Loop
- Distance: 17.3km (10.5 miles)
- Time: 5–6 hours
- Accumulated elevation gain: 590m
- Difficulty: Moderate
- Trailhead: Clapham
- Map: Wikiloc or ordnance survey maps
Without a doubt, the Ingleborough Walk from Clapham is one of the best walks in the Yorkshire Dales. But, as mentioned, there are many different walks and approaches to reaching Ingleborough. All of these walks have their merits and would also be class walks to do. Please read Other Ingleborough Walks for information on other routes.
Ingleborough Walk: Terrain and Difficulty
The trails that form the circular walk from Clapham to Ingleborough involve a mix of different terrain. Initially, on the Ingleborough Estate Nature Trail, you’ll walk along a flat and mostly even dirt trail. Then, as you walk through Trow Gill, pass by Gaping Gill and ascend and descend Inglebororugh, you’ll navigate undulating and meandering rocky trails. Afterwards, you’ll walk along a flat grassy trail as you walk by the Great Scar Limestone Group, before joining a descending pebble trail back towards Clapham.
Some of the terrains can be challenging as you’re walking on loose rocks and sometimes steep trails. Additionally, given the distance, accumulated elevation gain and possible difficult navigation with adverse weather, a difficulty rating of moderate seems fair. Of course, the difficulty is always subjective.
Ingleborough Walk: The Highlights
Below, we’ll talk about the highlights of the Ingleborough Walk from Clapham. In turn, we’ll be providing a brief trail description.
Ingleborough Estate Nature Trail
From the charming village of Clapham, you’ll join the Ingleborough Estate Nature Trail. Although, before joining the trail, make sure to check out the charming Clapham Falls located near the trail entrance. The small cascades are formed by Clapham Beck.
Just so you’re aware, it costs £2.50 per adult and £1 per child (3–15 years old) to use the Ingleborough Estate Nature Trail. You can pay at the Old Saw Mill Cafe located at the entrance of the trail. It’s open daily from 9:30am to 4:30pm. Outside of these hours, there’s a ticket machine where you can make payment with cash or card. Usually, Beck and I are starting our walks bright and early. So, we used the machine to make payment.
If you’re on a shoestring budget, it’s possible to avoid the Inglebororugh Estate Nature Trail and use the inbound trail (Long Lane) of the circular walk as both the inbound and outbound trail. Basically, you don’t return to Clapham from Ingleborough on the Estate Nature Trail. You’ll return via a country lane called Long Lane that’s free to use. So, you could use Long Lane to get to and from Ingleborough. Otherwise, there are no costs to use the trails involved with doing other Ingleborough routes.
Besides the annoying cost, the Nature Trail is actually quite peaceful and nice. You’ll pass a serene lake, a classic money tree, an area of pretty rhododendrons, ruins of ‘the Grotto’ and old hydraulic pumps.
Near the end of the Ingleborough Estate Nature Trail, you’ll arrive at a wooden gate. After passing through the gate, you’ll soon arrive at Ingleborough Cave – a well-known show cave in the Yorkshire Dales. It’s totally up to you whether you want to time a visit to the cave during your walk. Personally, Beck and I visited the cave on a separate occasion. So, we simply walked past the cave and ticket office and headed to Trow Gill.
FYI – Ingleborough Cave is usually open daily from 10am to 4pm. So, if you wanted to visit the cave during the walk and wanted to arrive at the cave for opening, you’d want to start the walk no earlier than 9:30am.
Read more: Ingleborough Cave (guide coming soon)
After passing the cave, you’ll soon arrive at Trow Gill. It’s a magnificent limestone gorge. Sure, there are many other impressive limestone gorges in the Dales. You’ve got Gordale Scar, Trollers Gill and Conistone Dib, just to name a few. But, Trow Gill has to be one of the best limestone ravines in the area.
Once you’ve passed through Trow Gill, you’ll soon pass near the entrance of Gaping Gill, which is an exceptional cave to visit. Gaping Gill is part of the complex Ingleborough cave system. It’s actually possible to be winched down Gaping Gill! But, the winch, which is run by two different pothole clubs, only operates two weeks of the year.
Indeed, visiting Gaping Gill is an adventure in itself and would likely require a different day to visit. That’s exactly what Beck and I did. On a separate day, we actually visited Ingleborough Cave and Gaping Gill. Whilst, on the day we walked to Ingleborough from Clapham, we simply passed by Ingleborough Cave and Gaping Gill.
Of course, you can quickly peer into the opening of Gaping Gill as part of your walk. But, because we had recently visited, we simply passed by and headed towards the peak of Ingleborough.
Read more: Gaping Gill (guide coming soon)
After passing near Gaping Gill, the trail ascends towards Little Ingleborough. After arriving at this peak, you’ll then continue towards the summit of Ingleborough. Amazingly, the top of the mountain is a rather large flat expanse. On the vast plateau, you’ll enjoy considerably different views depending on what edge of the plateau you’re standing on. From the northern edge, you’ll see over towards the Forest of Bowland, the Lake District (coming soon) and Morecambe Bay.
From the eastern edge of the summit, you’ll enjoy sweeping views of the Dales, including spectacular views of Pen-y-ghent. Having arrived early, we had to briefly contend with a white out, before the low cloud cleared and we were left with scintillating views of the surrounding Dales.
After taking in the spectacular views from the summit, you’ll then follow a path descending from the eastern flank of the mountain. You’ll soon veer to the right, heading towards a superb area of limestone pavement.
The Great Scar Limestone Group
The limestone pavements on display during this walk are absolutely mind-blowing. Of course, the Dales are well-known for being rich in limestone. And, by doing this walk, you’ll walk along a great stretch of thick limestone pavement, which is part of the Great Scar Limestone Group.
After passing the sensational limestone, you’ll soon join Long Lane. The trail descends and winds its way back to Clapham, passing through a couple of tunnels before arriving back in the village.
Other Ingleborough Walks
The walk from Clapham is a common and popular route for summiting Ingleborough. But, as mentioned, there are other Ingleborough walk routes to choose from. Below, we’ve listed the other most common routes for reaching Ingleborough.
- Ingleborough Walk From Ingleton: the walk from Ingleton is actually a shorter walk (approx. 13km). You’ll walk through the awesome Twistleton Scar along the way. But, we’ve heard this route can get very boggy during winter and many people have mentioned getting easily lost.
- Ingleborough Walk From Horton in Ribbesdale: it’s common to walk to Pen-y-ghent from Horton in Ribbesdale. It’s certainly less common to walk to Ingleborough from this village. That said, this is another possible route option to consider. It’s a similar distance and intensity to the walk described in this guide.
- Ingleborough Walk From the Old Hill Inn: walking from the Old Hill Inn to Ingleborough is another route option. Starting from the Old Hill Inn, in Chapel-le-Dale, you’ll walk through the sublime Southerscales Pavement before reaching Ingleborough peak. Similar to the walk from Ingleton, this route covers a shorter distance compared to the route from Clapham.
- Yorkshire Three Peaks Challenge (guide coming soon): of course, it’s possible to climb Ingleborough, Pen-y-ghent and Whernside in one super-charged day of walking.
How to Get There
To do the walk described in this guide, you’ll need to get to Clapham. The quickest and easiest way to get to Clapham is to drive there yourself. If you don’t have your own set of wheels, we recommend hiring a car using Rentalcars.com. You’ll find a wide variety of cars on Rental Cars for reasonable prices. The website is user-friendly and booking online is super easy.
Although it’s possible to get to Clapham using public transport, we don’t recommend it. Depending on where you’re travelling from in the UK, you’ll likely have a slow and tedious journey to get there. But, if public transport is your only option, you’ll want to get to Leeds or Lancaster.
From Leeds, you’ll get a train to Settle and then a bus (581 Craven Connection) to Clapham village. From Lancaster, you can get a train directly to Clapham station, which is around 1.9km (1.2 miles) from Clapham village. If trains aren’t in operation, from Lancaster, you’ll need to get a bus to Kirkby Lonsdale and then another bus to Clapham village.
Once you’ve arrived in Clapham, it’s just a short walk through the village to reach the Ingleborough Nature Estate Trail.
We recommend using Google Maps and Trainline to help plan any journeys using public transport.
Where to Park For the Ingleborough Walk
You’ll find the main car park in Clapham is located here. It’s a Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority Car Park so charges apply. Otherwise, if you arrive early enough, it’s possible to find free street-side parking in Clapham. Personally, we found a spot to park here on Station Road near the Clapham Village Store. Although, Clapham is only a small village. So, most people end up paying for parking in the main car park as street-side parking often fills early in the day, especially on the weekend, during school holidays and during summer.
Where to Stay
Given Clapham is a small village, there isn’t tonnes in the way of accommodation. But, it’s more about quality than quantity. The New Inn is an outstanding 18th century country inn. By far, The New Inn is the most popular and highly-rated accommodation option in Clapham. The beautiful country inn features a restaurant, two bars and modern facilities and amenities.
Otherwise, the Swallows Nest Bed and Breakfast is your next best accommodation option in Clapham. If you’re struggling for accommodation in Clapham, it’s probably best to stay in Ingleton, which is the next village over that has more accommodation options.
Below, we’ll talk about the best budget, mid-range and luxury options in Ingleton.
- Budget – Ingleton Hostel: the best budget option in Ingleton is Ingleton Hostel, which is conveniently located near the Ingleton Waterfalls Trail.
- Mid-range – Craven Heifer Ingleton: this beautiful country inn is one of the most affordable private room accommodation options in Ingleton. Additionally, Craven Heifer Ingleton is one of the most highly-rated accommodation options in the village.
- Mid-range – The Wheatsheaf Inn: you’ll want to stay at The Wheatsheaf Inn if you want to stay at the most popular accommodation option in Ingleton. Indeed, this B&B is an excellent place to stay.
- Luxury – The Marton Arms: the rustic-style Marton Arms is a brilliant country inn to stay at. It’s located just outside of the town of Ingleton. So, it’s the perfect place to stay if you’re after something a little more quiet and removed. You’re also just a stone’s throw away from the impressive Yordas Cave (guide coming soon).
Where to Eat and Drink After the Ingleborough Walk
Other than being the best place to stay in Clapham, The New Inn is your go-to place for food and drink after the Ingleborough Walk. Indeed, we really enjoyed stopping in for a pint after doing the walk. Inside The New Inn, you’ll find a lovely decor and friendly staff.
Below, you’ll find the most frequently asked questions about the Ingleborough Walk.
Where to Start the Ingleborough Walk?
To do the walk described in this guide, you’ll start from Clapham. But, it’s also possible to reach Ingleborough by walking from Ingleton, Horton-in-Ribblesdale and Chapel-le-Dale.
How Long Is the Ingleborough Walk?
The Ingleborough walk distance from Clapham is around 17.3km (10.5 miles). The estimated walk time is around 5–6 hours.
Is Ingleborough a Hard Walk?
Personally, we rated the Inglebororugh Walk from Clapham as moderate difficulty. Please read the Ingleborough Walk: Terrain and Difficulty for more information.
What to Wear and Take
Below, you’ll find our hiking gear essentials for this walk.
- Merrell Moab Mid Gore-Tex Hiking Boots: these are my favourite walking boots. They’re super comfortable and lightweight.
- The North Face Venture Jacket: a fantastic windproof/waterproof jacket.
- Osprey Skarab 30L Day Backpack: a great backpack for walking, which has plenty of space to store your gear.
- The North Face TKA Glacier Fleece Jacket: an excellent warmth:weight ratio fleece jacket that’ll help keep you warm.
- Columbia Convertible Trousers: a value for money pair of water-resistant convertible trousers.
Bonus Tips and Recommendations
- Visit Ingleborough Cave and Gaping Gill on a different day: to ensure you’re not rushed during the Ingleborough Walk, we recommend visiting Ingleborough Cave and Gaping Gill on another day. That way, you can take your time at each attraction.
- A long-distance multi-day walk in the Dales: if you’re interested in a multi-day walk in the Dales, look no further than The Inn Way to the Yorkshire Dales.
- Make sure to also explore the county of Yorkshire: there’s much to see and experience in the gorgeous county of Yorkshire. If you’re after more natural beauty in a different national park that’s still located in Yorkshire, head to the North York Moors.
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