Thursday, 13 March 2014

The glorious Purple Saxifrage

Thursday 13th March 2014
          What a difference our British weather can be from one year to the next. This year has been the mildest winter that I've recorded in my diaries for the last 40 years, we've just had one night with 1 inch of lying snow and that melted the following morning but it has been very wet at times.
            On Tuesday we made our annual walk up Pen-y-Ghent to find the Purple Saxifrage under glorious clear skies and unbroken sunshine. I like to compare the seasons and last year exactly to the day we had blizzard conditions up here in N.W.England. With the winter being so mild the season is well advanced compared to last year and the Purple Saxifrage wasn't in full flower last until mid- April.
      This Arctic-Alpine flower stands out in the almost colourless environment on Pen-y Ghent so early in the year and I never tire of seeing this little gem.
   I also made a short H.D. video of the walk which I will upload after the editing.

    On route up to Pen-y-Ghent from Horton in Ribblesdale  about a 6-7 miles  round trip over the summit of the mountain with an ascent of about 1500 ft.

The view looking towards the Lake District with Scafell and Scafell Pike in the centre of the range

The first sight of the flower growing on the Limestone Crags on the 1800 ft contour

The lower limestone rocky band is where this little gem of a flower survives


  1. Look at that! how stunning. What a treasure to find at this time of year. Cheers.

  2. What a gorgeous day for your annual walk!

  3. I come from Langcliffe and my parents still live in Giggleswick, I have been following your Blog since last year when I go into Wild Flowers. I missed these flowers last year and have been looking forward to going up to see them, have organised to go this weekend. Would it be best to go from Horton side, when we have walked up before we usually go up from the other side .

    1. Hi Amanda. The round trip from Horton in Ribblesdale is about 61/2 miles I find it easier to do the walk anti-clockwise and climb up the steep rocky end because it's easier on the legs. After the decent from the summit I found more flowers open on the bottom of the limestone cliffs around the limestone pillar on the western face side over looking Ribblesdale.

  4. Enjoyed your blog - I was just googling if purple sax is still on Pen-y-ghent ...we'll pop down this weekend - hoping it's still out - but a good excuse for a walk anyway - my blog