Bank holiday weekends: love or hate them, they offer three glorious days off work. While some opt for leisurely brunches or a hike followed by a Sunday roast, we had a different idea: the iconic Yorkshire Three Peaks Challenge.

Armed with nothing but friendship, an appetite for adventure, and a ton of Percy Pigs, 12 fearless girls embarked on the Yorkshire Three Peaks Challenge. This was not your average bank holiday getaway, and we’re about to show you how it’s done.

What is the Yorkshire Three Peaks Challenge?

The Yorkshire Three Peaks Challenge is a 25-mile circular walk in the Yorkshire Dales National Park, encompassing the peaks of Pen-y-Ghent, Whernside, and Ingleborough. The challenge? Complete the walk within 12 hours.

With a total elevation gain of 5,249 feet and an equal amount of steep descent, it is a real test of endurance. But for those willing to take on the challenge, the views are breathtaking.

Preparing for the Adventure

This was a self-organised walk, as many of us had tackled it before and knew the route well. However, guided walks led by experienced Mountain Leaders are available.

What are the Yorkshire Three Peaks?

  • Whernside: Standing at 736m (2415ft), this peak offers a steady climb from the beautiful Ribblehead Viaduct.
  • Ingleborough: Coming in at 723m (2372ft), its steep slopes present a formidable challenge.
  • Pen-y-Ghent: Though the lowest at 694m (2277ft), don’t be deceived; its ascent is no easy feat.

The traditional starting and ending point of the route is at Pen-y-Ghent café in Horton-in-Ribblesdale village but we started our hike at Ribblehead viaduct (LA6 3AS). Arrive early to avoid crowds, since there is limited free parking available. To make it easier, we stayed the evening before at Ingleborough Hostel.

Whernside: The Journey Begins

The sun shone brightly for our early start, perfect hiking conditions. Starting from Ribblehead Viaduct, we tackled Whernside first. With optimism fueling our first ascent, we quickly reached the summit ridge. A quick photo at the trig point before descending to Philpin Farm for a toilet stop and a brew. down – 2 more to go! 


Next up was Ingleborough, its steep slopes certainly tested our legs. But with the sun still shining brightly overhead, we cracked on. The view from the top was incredible, but we didn’t hang around too long as we were only halfway! There was a fair bit of scrambling down this one – and you need to watch out for loose stones. 

With two peaks conquered, our sights turned towards Pen-y-Ghent, the final hurdle. 


As we began our ascent of Pen-y-Ghent, the weather took a turn for the worse. The skies darkened, and the heavens opened. The trail turned into a muddy, slippery mess. Undeterred, the waterproofs went on! We were women on a mission. There was a fair bit of scrambling on the gnarly bits on Pen-y-Ghent – made a little harder due to the rain! 

Soaked, but still smiling we reached the summit of Pen-y-Ghent. Huddling together for a soggy group photo, we celebrated making it to the top. Now to get down and back to the car! 

On those final miles, I reflected on the incredible journey we had just undertaken. The Yorkshire Three Peaks Challenge pushed us to our limits but also brought us closer together. 

Twelve girls, three peaks, and countless memories made along the way.

So here’s to friendship and perseverance. Until next time, keep exploring, keep pushing yourself out of your comfort zone, and never underestimate the power of a Percy Pig in the great outdoors!

The Yorkshire Three Peaks Kit List:

Many kit lists suggest starting with a good pair of boots, but for longer distances on this type of terrain, I find trail shoes more comfortable. Ensure that the footwear you choose has a good grip and sufficient support. Additionally, I recommend bringing along the following items:

  • Clothes for all weather: The temperature can change very suddenly. Pack a good set of waterproofs, hat and gloves and warm layers like fleece. It’s always chillier on the tops, even in summer.
  • map of the route.
  • A fully charged phone and battery pack
  • GPS is always useful but take a compass too 
  • Plenty of snacks and water – you won’t pass many places to refill so carry a lot. 
  • First aid kit
  • Suncream
  • Emergency blanket
  • Headtorch
  • Spare pair of socks
  • Some of the girls found trekking poles helpful with the steep downhills.