Horton-in-Ribblesdale

In the middle of the Three Peaks, Horton-in-Ribblesdale is the traditional starting point for the Three Peaks Walk, centred on the Pen-y-ghent Cafe.

Horton-in-Ribblesdale is a small and popular village in Ribblesdale. It’s a stop on the Settle to Carlisle Railway line and is the traditional starting and finishing point of the Yorkshire Dales Three Peaks walk that covers the summits of Pen-y-ghent, Whernside and Ingleborough.

In brief

  • Small and pretty Yorkshire Dales village
  • The Pen-y-ghent Cafe is the traditional start and finish of the 3 Peaks Walk
  • Three Peaks Fell Race and Cyclo-cross race
  • Range of places to eat
  • Pubs, Guest houses and hotels offer accommodation

A bit of History

Few settlements developed in the sparse and difficult landscape of upper Ribblesdale, although the area became gradually more populated further down the valley around Horton. However, it was only when St. Oswald Church was built in the early 12th century that the village officially graduated to a parish town. Before this Yorkshire had long been under the control of the powerful Earls of Northumberland although the early history of the area was dominated by raids from Scots, Anglo-Saxon control and Viking occupation.

The Norman Conquest settled things down a bit, although Ribblesdale passed into various hands at the whim of the King. By the 13th century the village was in the middle of a dispute between the rival Roman Catholic monasteries of Jervaulx Abbey and Fountains Abbey, both based around Ripon. The dispute was finally settled after Edward II confirmed the Abbot of Jervaulx as Lord of Horton in Ribblesdale.

Henry VIII put paid to any religious interest in the 1530s with the Dissolution of the Monasteries. The coming of the railway in the 1870s, when the Midland Railway Company built and opened the Settle to Carlisle line, started the growth of tourism to the area, which has continued to this day.

Horton-in-Ribblesdale today

A view of Pen-y-ghent looking over the village. © <a href="http://www.geograph.org.uk/profile/14997">John Lucas</a> and licensed for reuse under the Creative Commons Licence.Today Horton relies heavily on tourism. It’s the traditional starting and finishing point for the Three Peaks walk and the village is on the route of two long distance footpaths, the Pennine Way and Ribble Way.

Cavers and potholers also flock to the area. The Alum Pot and the Long Churn cave system are just to the north of the village whilst to the west of Pen-y-Ghent are Hull Pot and Hunt.

The Three Peaks Walk


The Yorkshire Dales Three Peaks Walk is a 26 mile challenge that takes in treking up and down the mountains of Pen-y-ghent, Whernside and Ingleborough. Clocking in at the Pen-y-ghent cafe, the challenge is to complete the walk in under 12 hours. If successful, you’ll get a certificate to commemorate your achievement. It’s a challenge that attracts thousands of walkers each year, and the route is also used for a fell race in April, and a cyclo-cross race in September (although the three peaks are part of a longer 38-miles in this cycle race)

Where to eating & sleep in Horton

The two pubs, The Crown Hotel and The Golden Lion offer good food and accommodation and there’s a village store as well as the Pen-y-ghent cafe and Blind Beck tea rooms.

Guest Houses include:

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