Countryside, Guided Walks, Local Interest, Skills for Walking

Three Peaks Challenge – what happens if you have to drop out and there is no back up.

Penyghent at Dawn

I originally published this blog last September but now that the 2016 Three Peaks season is well on its way I thought it was worth republishing and updating any links

If you are planning to do the Yorkshire Three Peaks then there are lots of things you need to consider. The “What happens if I cannot complete the walk” is well worth thinking about too, even if you are going on an organised event.

Whenever you go for a walk whether short or long you should consider the “what ifs” and have an escape route or plan. On the best Three Peaks walks you will have someone in a vehicle acting as support. They can carry spare water and snacks as well as pick up anyone who has maybe injured themselves or who knows they cannot complete the walk. There are two or three places where the support vehicle can meet you to check everyone is ok. It can be a thankless and boring job but the walkers will get a real boost seeing them between the peaks and knowing they have backup if needed.

Some organised walks tell you to carry a mobile phone and have some money on 20140614_120457you for a taxi or the train in case you are not keeping up or want to drop out. You maybe doing the walk with a few friends and not have anyone to provide a back up for you. A point to remember is that mobiles do not work at the road heads of Birkwith, Ribblehead and Chapel-le-Dale and the only public phone box is at the Station Inn at Ribblehead. There are taxis around here but they can be very busy, at peak times particularly, so you will need some money for a pint or two while you wait for one. The Hill Inn between Whernside and Ingleborough is available for drinks while you wait too.  Make sure you have the taxi numbers with you so you can call where you have a signal though. There are some trains at Ribblehead on the famous Settle Carlisle Railway so you can check the timetable.  There are also some buses but they are not that regular especially out of season but the Dales Bus has information. Dales Bus. Make sure you have this information with you before you set off.

Map and CompassWe are seeing more and more people walking along the roads, especially coming back down to Horton-in-Ribblesdale from Ribblehead. Perhaps they do not have any money or would rather not pay. Walking on the road is very hard on your feet and legs and is just under 5 1/2 miles long.  It has no verge to walk on most of the way, is quite narrow and winding and has numerous blind bends and summits. It is well used by tourist and local cars and cycles but it is also well know for being a popular motorbike route and has more than its fair share of riders who think they will live forever despite riding too fast and overtaking when they cannot see. Unfortunately we have also had more than our share of serious injuries and deaths too which is very sad. All in all this road is potentially very dangerous for walkers and is not the best route back to Horton-in-Ribblesdale either.

The Alternative – The easiest on your tired legs and feet is to follow the Three Peaks walk to High Birkwith and then take the Ribble Way to Sell Gill to join the Pennine Way down to Horton. At just under 6 1/4 miles it is a bit longer but far more pleasant and much, much safer.  Another idea is to follow the much less busy road down to the village from High Birkwith and this route is just over 6 miles but again much safer.

If you plan for the possibility of having to drop out of the walk and the unlikely happens then it does not mean that the day is totally spoilt by you having to work out what to do in a place with no signal and when you have no money or planned options.

Enjoy your walking. If you need a to develop your navigation skills, a guide or safety  cover for any walk, including the Three Peaks, please get in touch Contact Us

Caving Courses, Holiday Courses, Open Events, Skills for Walking, SRT Trips

Special offers up to 31st March

Navigation Skills and cavingWe have several open courses and events coming up over January, February and March for navigation skills and caving at all levels and ……….  

if you book one place at the full price you can have a second one for half price.  

Just because it is winter does not mean you have to hibernate as it is a great time to practice your navigation skills as the sometimes more challenging weather can help you develop and gain confidence in the skills you need to go “off road”.  If you have not done any navigation before you could try an On Track Day.  If you know the basics and would like to learn how to use a compass then a Developing Your Compass Skills day is for you.  If you would like to spend a weekend learning and developing your navigation skills you could join one of our NNAS (National Navigation Award Scheme) 2 day non-residential courses. These are accredited courses and you get a certificate and badge on completion.

If you felt you wanted to be a bit more adventurous then you could try caving on a Monday evening during the school holidays or an Intermediate Caving day if you wanted to try going down a small pitch on a ladder.  If you have been caving before then why not learn some vertical caving skills ready for the warmer weather on our Introduction to Vertical Caving (SRT) course which takes place in our barn so is not weather dependent.

Here are all the dates in one place. If you are interested in finding out any more information on any of our events just get in touch

Event Dates Price per person Usual minimum age
NNAS Navigation Course Sat 24th & Sun 25th January £115.00 14 years old
Introduction to Vertical Caving (SRT) Course Sat 14th February £75.00 16 years old
Developing your Compass Skills Day Sat 14th February £60.00 14 years old
On Track Day Sun 15th February £60.00 14 years old
Holiday Evening Caving Trip Mon 16th February £25.00 8 years old
NNAS Navigation Course Sat 21st  & Sun 22nd January £115.00 14 years old
Holiday Evening Caving Trip Mon 23rd  February £25.00 8 years old
On Track Day Sun 14th March £60.00 14 years old
Developing your Compass Skills Day Sun 15th March £60.00 14 years old
Introduction to Vertical Caving (SRT) Course Sat 21st March £75.00 16 years old
Intermediate Caving Trip Sun 22nd March £45.00 12 years old
NNAS Navigation Course Sat 28th   & Sun 29th March £115.00 14 years old
Holiday Evening Caving Trip Mon 30th March £25.00 8 years old



Caving Courses, Caving for Groups, Open Events, Present, Skills for Walking, SRT Trips

Christmas Present Ideas

Christmas Gift Voucher Example


I do not like to start talking about Christmas too soon but we sold our first voucher yesterday and had an inquiry about another the day before so I guess it really is that time of year again.

If you are looking for a present for someone who likes the outdoors then one of our vouchers could be the answer. The different events are suitable for a range of abilities and ages from 8 upwards*.

You can choose from any of our activities and either pick an advertised date or leave it open for the recipient to book when they have checked their diary. It can be an event where they can bring their friends or a place on one of our many advertised open courses. Navigation Skills days or an NNAS Course. A Guided walk  for half, full day or longer.   Caving from 3 hours Introductory Trips to learning Vertical Caving (SRT).  Climbing or a place on one of our Get On Track Days.  The Vertical caving (SRT) days are popular at this time of year as they take place in our barn so can go ahead whatever the weather.

If you cannot see an event or date you want then just get in touch.

*Some of our courses are not suitable for younger people so if you are unsure please just drop us a line or give us a ring.


Update on clearing litter at God’s Bridge

So I went back to God’s Bridge a week after the cleaning up and it was still clear which was a very pleasant surprise. While I was there I thought I would go through the gate and let my dog have a drink in the beck. A group of young people came along with a leader and he suggested they had a quick stop there so I walked up towards Browgill Cave instead.

When I got near the cave I saw some cows with their calves and after the incident the day before that CRO was involved in I backtracked to avoid them and I knew the group at God’s Bridge would not be there for long.

As soon as they left I went through the gate I was shocked, and it takes a lot to shock me, to see that some sort of foam had been used to “Graffiti” the grass with a graphic picture of  male genitals. I have a photo but did not want to get censored for bad taste!  I am not sure what it had been done with as my initial thought was that squirty cream you can buy. When I tried to get rid of it the substance was oily and I can only presume it was shaving foam or something similar. I had to wipe it off my shoe as it did not want to wash off very easily.

This is a new one on me. I guess they thought it was funny and it would eventually go away but that is not how it works, especially during a dry spell.

I was surprised the leader of the group did not check the site before leaving but the most puzzling thing is why would you be carrying shaving/shower cream around the Three Peaks with you?!! It takes all sorts.


Doing our bit to clear litter from a part of the Three Peaks route

Last week I posted a picture of the litter left by some walkers at God’s Bridge on the Yorkshire Three Peaks route.  The section this blog is about is just a very short section of the route. Previously we have picked plastic water bottles discarded along the route from Pen-y-ghent to Birkwith and beyond. The summit of Pen-y-Ghent is always littered with food wrappings, banana skins and bottles, some of which are just stuffed into the dry stone wall by the stile. If it is bad on this section it is unlikely to be any better on the rest of the route. Thousands and thousands of people walk this route every year and it only takes a few to spoil it for everyone.

God’s Bridge Saturday 25th May 2013

I decided that it was important to not only report on the litter at God’s Bridge but to do something about it. Last Saturday I went armed with gloves and bin bags to “do my bit”. When I got there it was obvious that someone had done some cleaning up but it had been added to again over the week. I went around 12.00 noon so most walkers had gone through.

Gods Bridge Litter
God’s Bridge litter Saturday 1st June 2013

As was mentioned on Twitter the only way to try and stop people dropping their litter is to remove it all and especially anything that looks like a container. Someone on Facebook asked why we pay our rates, maybe this was a tongue in cheek comment but obviously some people do think there are people cleaning up after them! I have to point out that this spot is a long way from any vehicle access and the rubbish has to be carried out on foot by volunteers.

After I had finished I had 2 bags of rubbish which included a carrier bag with 2 stainless steel 0.5l flasks inside, with their price tags still on, plastic and glass bottles, food wrappers, socks, foil containers and tissues. The area was completed cleared to try and stop the copycat litter throwers.

God's Bridge cleared 1st June 2013
God’s Bridge cleared 1st June 2013

I decided to carry on clearing the route back towards the next gate and on the way picked up cans, a broken walking pole and sweet wrappers. When I got to the gate/stile/wall corner I found more bottles and wrappers and a pile of human excrement topped with soiled paper serviettes. I removed the paper but drew the line at the rest!

To finish off I thought I would drive up to the track junction at High Birkwith as I had picked up several items of abandoned clothing the previous week. This is an area used by many for their first waterstop and checkpoint.Even I was amazed at the next sight I got. Right in the middle of the track was a box full of fresh empty bottles. Somebody must have found an empty animal feed container and thought it would make a good bin and being on a track that if they left it in the middle then someone would take it away.

High Birkwith "Litter Bin"
High Birkwith “Litter Bin”
High Birkwith "bin" with Whernside in the background
High Birkwith “bin” with Whernside in the background

Before I left I checked over the stile near Birkwith Cave. You often see people popping over there, and sometimes being sent by the check point people, to relieve themselves. Yes, you guessed it, there was another pile of human waste right by the stile. This cave is popular with novice groups and novice groups tend to be young people so that’s a great health hazard and a pretty disgusting sight for us all too.

Please spread the word – Take your litter home with you. There are no bins on the Three Peaks route. Anything dumped can potentially hurt livestock and even other walkers. There are no official toilets on the route either so come prepared to clean up after yourself.  I might be wrong but I feel it is not “true walkers” who are doing this but a few people who have just signed up for the Challenge and do not regularly visit or appreciate the beauty of the countryside. They are not necessarily “townies” as many people from urban areas do appreciate the countryside so lets not label them. This is a problem for the National Three Peaks too and seems to be in places where a few people are so focused on the challenge element and doing it as fast as possible they do not even “see” their surroundings.

All the rubbish has now been disposed of and this included 57 bottles and 8 cans being recycled. I will go back this weekend to see if the area is still clear- fingers crossed. There are obviously other people clearing up the litter as they go along  so thank you for “doing your bit” too. Lets hope we can all see an improvement over the summer months.

Pam    June 2013

Total Rubbish

Caving Courses, Holiday Courses, Open Events, Skills for Walking

Special Offers through the Overground Underground Outdoor Festival – Ingleton

Over the Bank Holiday weekend we will be offering discounts to anyone who books one of our events by email or phone and gives us the code displayed against our activities on their web site.  Booking is essential for these three events.

Saturday 25th May. 10.00 am to 4. oo pm.

Developing Your Compass Skills

Navigation Skills Courses
Navigation skills courses

Understand how to use a map and the basics of navigation but never really used a compass before? This day is for people who want to learn the basics of using a compass to orientate the map, to take and follow bearings from the map and from the ground.

Meeting up at the Penyghent Cafe in Horton-In-Ribblesdale and then walking in the area.  Directions given when place(s) booked.

Special Instructions: Bring a packed lunch with you and walking kit appropriate for the weather on the day.  Map, compass and all safety kit will be supplied.  Any questions, contact us directly

Cost: Normally £60 per person, but £50 if you quote the code

Age: 14+ with a reasonable level of fitness.


Sunday 27th May  and Monday 28th May   5.00 pm to 8.00 pm.  Caving

Introduction to Caving with Yorkshire Dales Guides

Cost: £25.00 per person but £20 is quoting the code

Age: 8+with a reasonable level of fitness

Venue: Alum Pot Track, Selside – full details when place(s) booked.

Try caving for real. It is not confined like in an artificial cave and most of the time you will be walking upright.  Explore the beauty of underground Ingleborough with Yorkshire Dales Guides.  Stream ways, waterfalls, small climbs, walking, stooping and crawling is all part of the fun.  Squeezes are optional.  YDG supply caving oversuits, helmets, lamps, belts, wellies, and all safety gear.

Special Instructions: All instructions given on booking.  Any questions please contact us directly.