skip to Main Content

Pen-y-ghent Loop

A ride around the base of Pen-y-ghent (Penyghent) which is the lowest of The Three Peaks.  The ride follows in part The Pennine Way anti clockwise round Pen-y-ghent, giving you the unique opportunity to see the hill from all angles.

The terrain varies between working farmland, dropping you gently down into Foxup, a small Hamlet in Littondale. A nice tarmac descent, one big climb and an incredibly long and fast final descent down Long Lane / Moor Head Lane back to your start point in Studfold. I fractured a couple of ribs on this descent once, playing the fool and going too fast.

Its slow riding in general. Despite being around 17 miles it feels longer as your average speed is so slow. It is more than made up for the incredible views, and it’s a day out ride with a nice pack up.

There are a couple of natural wonders to to checkout on this ride such as Hull Pot, a huge collapsed cavern. And of course the thrill of looking at Pen-y-Ghent from all angles.

Another ride tagged as “favourite” in our minds, just for the views and the chilled vibes. We try ride it at least twice a year.

If your looking to walk The Pennine Way, then check out this article: The Pennine Way – One of the Greatest, Most Challenging Walks in the UK


Total distance 17Miles
Grin Factor

Total Distance: 8.46 Miles
Total Climbing: 944 ft
Time: 0.58 hrs

Off-road: 5.3 mi
On-road: 3.3 mi

Climbing Distance: 3.3 mi
Descent Distance: 3.3 mi
Flat Distance: 1.86 mi

Terrain: Working farmland, some quiet tarmac, green lanes, bridleway.


Elapsed TimeMoving TimeDistanceAverage SpeedMax SpeedElevation Gain

The Route

Start Point:  The lay-by just before Horton in Ribblesdale

  • Cycle the short tarmac section into Horton in Ribblesdale.
  • Turn right following The Pennine Way sign to Pen-y-ghent.
  • Follow this track for a couple of miles, just before Hull Pot, turn a gentle right over the wall. If you see Hull Pot you need to go back 100 yards.
  • The track continues to climb gently but then descends through a couple of gates into Foxup.
  • Through the farm and over the bridge in Foxup, a lovely tarmac descent
  • Turn second right approx 2 miles down the tarmac onto the track that leads to a bridge, typically over a dry river bed.
  • A great place to stop for lunch or bear right at the far side of the ridge a start the long climb with views into Littondale.
  • The track after levelling out eventually merges onto a tarmac section Silverdale Road.
  • Turn right onto the signposted The Pennine Way through the farm yard and climb.
  • When The Pennine Way forks, take the left turning cycling away from Pen-y-ghent onto Long Lane.
  • Follow Long Lane right back to your start point in the lay-by. It’s a rocky, fast and steep descent.

Route Photos

Pen-y-Ghent Bike Route
Park up at the lay-by just before Horton In Ribblesdale. The track to your right Moor Head Lane is your finishing point.
Pen-y-Ghent Bike Route
Cycle the short tarmac section to Horton in Ribblesdale. turn right onto the Pennine Bridleway
Pen-y-Ghent Bike Route
A gentle climb with Pen-y-ghent in the distance.
Pen-y-Ghent Bike Route
Bear a soft right just before Hull Pot. If you see Hull Pot you have gone too far.
Pen-y-Ghent Bike Route
After a number of miles of grass riding the track descends into Foxup.
Pen-y-Ghent Bike Route
Follow the gate into Foxup.
Pen-y-Ghent Bike Route
Over the bridge in Foxup following the tarmac for a couple of miles.
Pen-y-Ghent Bike Route
Turn right onto the track going over the River Skirfare.
Pen-y-Ghent Bike Route
The bridge.
Pen-y-Ghent Bike Route
Turn right at the bridge and begin to climb.
Pen-y-Ghent Bike Route
The view into Littondale behind you.
Pen-y-Ghent Bike Route
Looking up the Littondale valley.
Pen-y-Ghent Bike Route
The track eventually merges with a tarmac section.
Pen-y-Ghent Bike Route
Turn right onto The Pennine Way, this turns into Moor head Lane taking you back to your start point.

Food & Stuff

Sometimes I wonder why this site has a food and drink section as most of our rides are in the middle of nowhere, so quite clearly there isn’t going to be any food or drink.

On this route there is the Pen-y-ghent cafe in Horton in Ribblesdale, close to your start point and apparently popular with walkers of the Three Peaks Challenge.

Crowds are not our thing though, we took a nice pack up and had it on the bridge over the River Skirfare just below Foxup, anticipating the climb ahead.  It is a beautiful setting but in all the years we have ridden this route we have never seen any water in this river, just a dry river bed.

mtbdales newsletter

This Post Has 0 Comments

Leave a Reply

Back To Top