The English, with 24,000 men, marched south from Aquitaine, crossed the river Ebro at Logroño, and faced Enrique's Franco-Castilian army near Nájera, the latter's strength being 60,000. Du Guesclin was later reported to have been reluctant to face the English in a pitched battle, but he was overruled.
The battle began with the English longbowmen gaining dominance over the French archers. Then, the English vanguard, led by John Chandos, Constable of Aquitaine, and the Duke of Lancaster attacked the French mercenaries commanded by Bertrand du Guesclin and d'Audrehem. The Castilian cavalry, under heavy arrow fire from the English longbowmen, fled early, leaving Henry's battle exposed to attack from the mounted English rearguard. The Franco-Castilian army disintegrated and retreated, pursued by the English, back to the bank of the river Najerilla. Du Guesclin was captured, but Enrique escaped and fled.
Pedro and the English completely routed Enrique and the French, inflicting heavy losses. Unlike at other battles of the Hundred Years' War, at Nájera it was the English who were attacking dismounted French troops. As with many other battles of the period, the English longbow proved a significant advantage, probably for the first time in the Iberian Peninsula. However, the battle was of dubious long-term significance as Pedro and the Black Prince fell out over money, and Pedro was not able to maintain his rule for long without foreign support.