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North Yorkshire walks
Pen-y-Ghent Cafe: the start of your walk
By Mike Kemp
Hundreds of people walk the footpaths around Pen-y-Ghent each summer. Mike Kemp has joined their number, starting from the Pen-y-Ghent café in Horton-in-Ribblesdale.
At this time of year the three Peaks Walk in the Yorkshire Dales is very popular. Hundreds of walkers try to complete a 25 mile circuit including the tops of Pen-y-Ghent, Whernside and Ingleborough.
Family run business
The walk itself begins from the Pen-y-Ghent café in Horton-in-Ribblesdale. Many thousands of walkers have clocked in at the café, between 1968 and 2000 more than 200,000 walkers had made it back within the target time of 12 hours. The Bayes family have run the café for 37 years. Peter Bayes was looking to leave his job and take on a business in the countryside for the sake of his children.
The café or grocers as it was then was advertised for sale in a newspaper. The family saw it on the Saturday and bought it on the Monday. They’ve stayed ever since.
The café is on the route of the Pennine Way and they first concentrated on getting the café known to walkers on this long-distance path.
But then the Three Peaks Walk developed, with the establishment of the Three Peaks of Yorkshire Club for those who successfully complete the walk in the required time.
'Clock in' here...
The real coup de grace was a clocking-in system for walkers attempting the three peaks.
Walkers check in with the café before they leave and clock in on their return, because the café will always remain open for three peakers. It also acts as a safety service as the family know who are out on the fells and who have yet to return.
last updated: 22/04/2008 at 16:40
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