I can't remember if I've ever been up to the top of Ingleborough before. I think I have, over 30 years ago walking the Pennine Way, but can't be sure. I do remember walking up to Gaping Ghyll once, and it must have been Spring Bank Holiday weekend as we watched a few people being winched in to the chasm.
So, today it was that we decided to climb up from Clapham and return via Long Scar. We parked up at the Dales car park in Clapham (£4.50 for the day) and after crossing the river found the entrance to the nature trail that leads up to Ingleborough Show Caves. Having bought our ticket for the trail (65p) we wandered up the path high above Clapham Beck. It was nice enough, but don't expect many views of stunning falls, most of the time the beck was well hidden by trees at this time of year.
Once we reached the Caves the path continued through a limestone gorge before giving way to open fellside and the path to Gaping Ghyll. For us it was on lead all the way, giving the number if potholes with sheer drops around, but not everyone seemed bothered.
Gaping Ghyll itself was a huge disappointment, with queues of people waiting to descend and 50 or so tents pitched around. You couldn't really see much. Upwards it was then to the top of Ingleborough, climbing on well made paths and steps laid with rock slaps.
The views from the top were pretty stunning so we stopped for a while for lunch before descending along the side of Simon a Fell to Long Scar. There was a fell race on so it was busy! Eventually we reached the Pennine Bridleway which followed a good track, albeit a never ending one, down to Clapham. Again, it was on lead all the way largely to avoid the numerous mountain bikers.
All in all a good walk. Not good for off lead walking in my view but that's where the flexi lead comes in handy!