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Pennine Way Day 6 - Malham to Horton in Ribblesdale

Yorkshire Dales National Park

One of the highlights of the Pennine Way - this is a fabulous journey

Hiking Difficult

24 km
838 m
811 m
6-7 hrs
Low Point
195 m
High Point
691 m
Pennine Way Day 6 - Malham to Horton in Ribblesdale Map

Even by the high standards of the Yorkshire Dales, this is a stunning trip through some of England's most celebrated natural landmarks. The day starts with the incredible Malham Cove, home to some of the hardest rock climbs in the world and a scenic wonder even for those who prefer to keep their feet on the ground.


Climb up towards the Cove and then go up past it to reach the limestone pavements for which this area is so well known. Those with an interest in geology will relish this section of the journey, and those with a head for heights might even - carefully - inch their way to the edge of the pavements to get a stomach-churning view over the top of the cove.

When you're done with geology and scaring yourself, make the journey over to Malham tarn - another natural wonder which feels barren and "out there" in anything but perfect summer weather.

From the tarn there is a tough climb up to Fountains Fell on a good path, and the ascent is even harder if you get even slightly off route! With bogs and wet moss everywhere, sticking to the line of least resistance is the key to making the journey as enjoyable as possible. From Fountains Fell, Pen-y-Ghent looks like it's going to be a slog but it turns out to feel slightly easier than it appears - a rare and welcome experience in the hills!

Pen-y-Ghent is the highest point of the Pennine Way up until now and its legendary view is as good as you've heard! Make the descent down to Horton in Ribblesdale and toast a fabulous day over a pint.



Hiking trails where obstacles such as rocks or roots are prevalent. Some obstacles can require care to step over or around. At times, the trail can be worn and eroded. The grade of the trail is generally quite steep, and can often lead to strenuous hiking.

Medium Exposure

2 out of 4

The trail contains some obstacles such as outcroppings and rock which could cause injury.


3 out of 4

Little chance of being seen or helped in case of an accident.

Best time to visit

between April and October


  • Wildlife
  • Picturesque
  • Summit Hike
  • Dog friendly
  • Family friendly

Similar routes nearby

Guidebooks in this area