A simple and pleasant stroll to Hull Pot, a collapsed cavern in the Yorkshire Dales, starting from Horton-in-Ribblesdale.
Length: 2 miles
Area: Yorkshire Dales – Southern Fells
GPX File: Download
Other POI: Pennine Way, Horton Scar, Stot Rakes, Tarn Bar, Hull Pot, Hull Pot Beck
The morning after we completed the Yorkshire Three Peaks challenge, we decided to make the most of the weekend before heading back home and so took a short walk to see Hull Pot. The route that we took on this particular morning needs little in the way of description. We simply followed the Pennine Way from Horton-in-Ribblesdale and past Horton Scar until we reached the junction of footpaths just beyond Tarn Bar. Left heads towards Whernside and follows the Yorkshire Three Peaks route, and right follows the Pennine Way up to Pen-y-ghent. For Hull Pot, the correct route was straight ahead. It’s only actually a minute or two of walking to get to Hull Pot from the signpost, and really isn’t something you want to accidentally fall in to in bad weather so stay alert! I say this as someone who has a tendency to ‘zone out’ whilst walking.
So what exactly is Hull Pot? Well basically it’s a a great big hole in the ground, 300 feet long, 60 feet wide, and 60 feet deep. It’s actually a collapsed cavern and, according to my very quick research, it’s the largest natural hole in England. The hole lies on the watercourse of Hull Pot Beck. During dry weather, the beck goes underground sometime before the hole, and re-emerges as a waterfall in the pot itself. The stream bed that leads to the rim of Hull Pot is normally dried up, but in wet weather when the water table is higher, the stream runs over the top as well as underground – resulting in a spectacular waterfall crashing down into the bottom of the pot. The water then disappears again on it’s subterranean journey, making a brief appearance at Tarn Bar before finally re-emerging at Brants Gill Head.
On this particular day, the water table was very low as the Dales had suffered quite a long dry spell. There wasn’t a drop of water to be seen but this didn’t detract at all from the magnificent spectacle of Hull Pot. We had a little wander around it to admire the views and take photos before returning back to Horton-in-Ribblesdale to prepare for the tedious journey back home.
Note: As usual, I’ll display the linear route that we took at the end of the post, however, I’d strongly recommend combining this walk with an ascent of Pen-y-ghent. I will add some alternative routes and GPX files to the end of the post that includes the Pen-y-ghent option, as well as an easier option on lower level ground. On this morning, we were unfortunately short on time and so took the quickest route there and back.
Walk completed on 14th May, 2017
Map for the walk:
As promised, here are a few alternatives to the route that I took on the day. All start from the same place….
Option 1: Hull Pot and Pen-y-ghent
Distance: 6.4 miles, Total Ascent: 570m
From Hull Pot, retrace your footsteps back to the junction of footpaths, and head left up to Pen-y-ghent, following the standard Yorkshire Three Peaks route. Once at the summit, scramble carefully down the south slope before heading west downhill back towards Horton in Ribblesdale.
Option 2: Hull Pot, Plover Hill, and Pen-y-ghent
Distance: 8.5 miles, Total Ascent: 625m
A more strenuous version of the above. From Hull Pot, continue following the Pennine Journey footpath north-east across Horton Moor. Eventually, around the Foxup Moor area and directly north of Plover Hill, a path heads south directly up the steep slope and up to the summit of Plover Hill. Once the summit is reached, keep heading south to Pen-y-ghent before returning to Horton in Ribblesdale as per Option 1 above.
Option 3: Hull Pot Circular
Distance: 4.75 miles, Total Ascent: 274m
An easier lower level option. From Hull Pot, retrace your steps back to the junction of footpaths. Head right (roughly westwards) following the Yorkshire Three Peaks signs over Whitber Hill and Sell Gill Hill until the path meets another section of the Pennine Way footpath thats runs north to south. Head south along this until Horton in Ribblesdale is reached.
GPX file for the walk
GPX file for Option 1
GPX file for Option 2
GPX file for Option 3
Photo album on Flickr
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