The famous limestone pavement above Malham Cove in North Yorkshire is rightly popular and certainly spectacular. Unfortunately, this walk is not accessible for many people, in this case due to the steep steps and final stile. However, a lesser known limestone pavement, larger and more spectacular is easily accessible near Horton in Ribblesdale, no stiles, no steps. Here it is.

At the foot of the walk description there are details about fully inclusive guided walks via the charity Access the Dales.

From a layby two miles north of Horton in Ribblesdale cross the road and join a wide farm track which provides access to Borrans Farm. After 200m, turn right following the signs for the Pennine Bridleway. A farm track to the right leads directly to the nearby farm but continue along the track, through a gate. Being a bridleway it is for multi users (ie cyclists, wheel/push chairs and horse riders) and follows old drovers' roads and pack horse trails.

Darlington and Stockton Times:

There are always gates not stiles, perfect also for those with bad knees or old dogs! I did this walk with Debbie North in her all terrain wheelchair and it was perfect.

After passing a second gate, enter open countryside. Start by continuing along the farm track. The scenery opens up with lovely views to your left towards Pen-y-Ghent. After a further half mile pass through another gate and enter an area with more exposed rock.

Darlington and Stockton Times:

This entire area is part of the lovely Ingleborough Nature Reserve with exposed limestone pavements in all directions. When the sun shines the limestone gleams. I would recommend walking amongst the limestone and not just looking at it. With this you can see a myriad of insects, butterflies and wild flowers. You may also see some curlew, bats and roe deer.

Having said that I always tend to notice the large brown cows on this walk. Juniper bushes complete the picture.

If you continue on the track past an obvious crossroads you arrive at surely one of the best views in the Dales. It is here at Sulber gate that you can look down on a sea of limestone pavement as the track carries on, eventually reaching Clapham.

Darlington and Stockton Times:

However rather than continue along the bridlepath we turned left alongside the fence and followed a small path through the access land for three quarters of a mile to another boundary. Turning left and heading north for a short time brought us to a more obvious footpath. Turn left on to the path or keep to the easier ground just above it. This path through Sulber Nick is part of the Three Peaks challenge route leading from Ingleborough to Horton. Luckily we are heading in the other direction up the "Nick" with excellent views ahead of Ingleborough.

After two thirds of a mile arrive back on the Pennine Bridleway at the crossroads. From here turn right and return along the outbound route.

Walk facts

Distance: Roughly 4.5 miles.

Height to climb: 120m (400 feet).

Start: SD 788746. There are a few roadside places in a convenient layby two miles out of Horton in Ribblesdale and where the Pennine Bridleway crosses the main road.

Difficulty: Easy. Superb "accessible for all" walk.

Refreshments: Horton, with its two pubs, is two miles away.

Be prepared: The route description and sketch map only provide a guide to the walk. You must take out and be able to read a map (O/S Explorer OL2) and in cloudy/misty conditions a compass. You must also wear the correct clothing and footwear for the outdoors. Whilst every effort is made to provide accurate information, walkers head out at their own risk.

Please observe the Countryside Code and park sensibly.

  • Guided walks for all: Access the Dales is a charity dedicated to breaking down barriers to outdoor activities and promoting inclusivity. There are ten hubs where all terrain wheelchairs can be borrowed across the Dales and Forest of Bowland. We also organise a number of guided walks (for free) during the year; Aysgarth Falls (June 19), Gisburn Forest (June 25), Malham (July 10), Forest of Bowland (July 11). Find out more by visiting the Access the Dales website ( and look for 2024 events tab.