Yorkshire Three Peaks: Frequently Asked Questions


Can you complete the Yorkshire Three Peaks all year round?
How long does it take to complete all three peaks?
What terrain is the Yorkshire Three Peaks?
Can you complete the challenge in trainers?
Can you take dogs?
How much food/water will I need to take?
How can you time the challenge?
How much training is required?
Is it free to complete?
What is the record time for completing the challenge?
Which peak is the hardest/easiest peak to climb?
Where can you start the challenge?
Are there any toilets on the route?
Do you need any specialist climbing equipment?
Do you need a guide to complete the challenge?
Where can you create a certificate?

Can you complete the Yorkshire Three Peaks all year round?
The Yorkshire Three Peaks are available to complete every day of the year. It can be cold and windy due to the open nature of the countryside, especially outside of summer. The amount of daylight may be crucial depending on your estimated finish time. If you are looking to complete the challenge in sunshine with long hours of daylight, it is recommended to plan your trip between April-September.
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How long does it take to complete all three peaks?
The challenge is to complete the circular route in less than 12 hours. A full breakdown of finish times and estimated checkpoints are available.
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What terrain is the Yorkshire Three Peaks?
The route is a combination of grass (which can become boggy after rainfall), gravel, steps, mud, tarmac and rocks.
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Can you complete the challenge in trainers?
Technically, yes. Recommended? No. Due to the diverse terrain, lack of ankle protection, inclines, declines and unpredictable weather, trainers are not suitable footwear for the challenge. Visit the hiking boots page for more information on footwear.
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Are dogs allowed on the route?
Dogs are allowed on the peaks and are a common sight. Just remember to avoid getting between cows and their calves and to keep any dogs close and under effective control on a lead around cows and sheep. You should not hang onto your dog if you are threatened by cattle – let it go, as the cattle will chase the dog.
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How much food/water will I need to take?

A backpack is required to carry enough food and drink for the full day’s hike. It is recommended to take at least 3 litres of water. The weather and temperature needs to be taken into consideration and adjust the required amount of water as necessary. A hot day will require more fluids. Take as much food as you can comfortably carry and high-energy foods are desirable due to their size.
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How can you time the challenge?
You can use the Pen-y-ghent Cafe’s check-in/out system or time the challenge on your own watch.
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How much training is required?
Some people will be able to complete the peaks without training; others may require a couple of months. The level of training required is unique to each individual depending on current fitness levels and age. It is recommended to practice at least one long walk (18+ miles) with inclines and declines to assess the difficulty. Climbing one or two of the Yorkshire Three Peaks as a practice will be a good indicator of your fitness level. Pen-y-ghent and Ingleborough can be reached quickly from Horton-in-Ribblesdale.
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Is it free to complete?
The Yorkshire Three Peaks is free to complete. You can make donations to Yorkshire Dales National Park, who maintain the pathways among the peaks.
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What is the record time for completing the challenge?
Jeff Norman currently holds the fastest time recorded. Jeff completed the challenge in an impressive 2 hours 29 minutes 53 seconds; however, in 1983 the route was changed and subsequently lengthened the course. The record of 2 hours 46 minutes 03 seconds for the current route is held by Andy Peace, which was set in 1996.
Every winner’s time has been recorded since 1954, The race is held each year and interested parties can register on the Yorkshire Peaks Race website.
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Which peak is the hardest/easiest peak to climb?
This answer isn’t a hard-and-fast rule and people’s opinions may vary, but in order of hardest to easiest:

Completing the peaks individually
Pen-y-ghent, Ingleborough and Whernside.

Completing all three peaks as part of the challenge
Ingleborough, Pen-y-ghent and Whernside.

Ingleborough is tough during the challenge as it is the final peak to complete and tired legs will amplify the difficulty. Whernside may be the easiest to climb, but it is also the most time consuming.
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Where can you start the challenge?
You can start the challenge anywhere, but the recommended starting place is Horton-in-Ribblesdale.
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Are there any toilets on the route?
There are public toilets at the start of the route in the National Park Car Park. There are facilities at The Old Hill Inn and Station Inn, which are for customers only, so it may be worthwhile taking along a small amount of cash.
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Do you need any specialist climbing equipment?
No. The Yorkshire Three Peaks are completed by walking. There are small sections were you may need to scramble, but you do not need climbing equipment or any experience of climbing.
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Do you need a guide to complete the challenge?
No. You can arrange your own walk with a map and compass.
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Where can you create a certificate?
The Yorkshire Dales website has a certificate creator with the option to input your name, date and challenge time. They also have a blank PDF version.
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Yorkshire Three Peaks Guide

Download the Yorkshire Three Peaks eBook

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