Over Whernside.

Start. Ribblehead.

Route. Ribblehead - Batty Green - Ribblehead Viaduct - Gunnerfleet Farm - Lockdiddy Hill - Ivescar - Broadrake - High Pike - Whernside - Knoutberry Hill - Grain Ings - Slack Hill - Little Dale - Force Gill - Force Gill Aqueduct - Bleamoor Sidings - Ribblehead Viaduct - Batty Green - Ribblehead.

Notes. My last two outings have been to the rain washed Yorkshire Dales, low cloud, strong wind and heavy rain have welcomed me on both occasions, today I went for a hat trick, and true to form the Dales didn't disappoint, viability a few yards, strong wind but not so much of the wet stuff. I've got Sue for company, a splash of colour on an otherwise grey day. Rising to 2414ft Whernside can lay claim to being the highest but least attractive of Yorkshires mountains, a few interesting features adorn it's slopes. Whernside Tarns occupy a tract of flat ground north of the summit, Greensett Tarn to the east nestles under the summit ridge, Force Gill and the impressive stone work of the Force Gill Aqueduct welcomes you to Little Dale, and lets not forget that Yorkshire icon the Ribblehead Viaduct, the first feature on today's ramble through grey emulsion.

Our day started wandering across Batty Green before passing under the impressive arches of the Ribblehead Viaduct, a farm lane guided us to Gunnerfleet Farm, here we crossed Winterscales Beck to join way-marked paths leading through muddy fields, we ascended the oddly named Lockdiddy Hill en route to Ivescar. Yet more field walking followed passed The Scars and Broadrake before a inconspicuous finger-post pointed up hill. Our ascent started here, easy at first before turning into a real leg burner, the world around us turned into a blur, the mists of Yorkshire cloaked everything. We ascended into grey emulsion eventually stepping onto the summit ridge, with the ridge and a dry stone wall to guide us we ascended High Pike before striding out to the summit of Whernside. We sat a while had lunch, I'm afraid the views were zero, we then packed our bags and headed off the ridge. Good paths guided us, first north before swinging east over Grain Ings, we crossed a stile to join the Craven Way footpath for the long descent into Little Dale, our route passed Force Gill an impressive curtain of water, we crossed the Settle Carlisle railway at Force Gill Aqueduct, a splendid wooden foot-bridge conveyed us over Littledale Beck before the path guided us under Blue Clay Ridge, a steep inconspicuous boggy slope, to reach Bleamoor Sidings, from the sidings it was a short descent back to Ribblehead.

view route map.


View taken along the Blea Moor Road from the Station Inn.

Batty Green, the hills beyond dissolved into the mists of Yorkshire, 145 years ago this was a shanty town, home to a thousand navvies and their families, their goal in life to build the Ribblehead Viaduct....

....24 arches, 440yards long, 140ft above the valley, impressive, constructed using a 150 million bricks over four years.

Views over Brunt Scar Moss.

The Scar passed en route.

Looking to the remains of Ivescar End Barn.

Leaving the valley behind, about to be swallowed up in the swirling mists of upper Ribblesdale, a final look to Ribblehead Viaduct.

A well trod path guides us up the hill.

Onwards and upwards, and look like you're enjoying yourself.

A steep ascent and a photo opportunity, residents of these parts.

Cresting the summit ridge, watching a group of walkers disappear into the murk.

Sue cuts a lonely figure on this long ridge walk.

A slice of Cumbria in the Yorkshire Dales, confused, Whernside's summit ridge marks the boundary between Cumbria and Yorkshire.

Viewing the slopes of Knoutberry Hill and the wonderful named Hagg Worm Haw Moss.

Peat grufs on Hagg Worm Haw.

The long descent into Little Dale, the path The Craven Way.

Looking to Blea Moor, the spoil heaps are what was dug out to form air shafts into the 2,629 yards long Blea Moor Tunnel.

Lower Force Gill, an impressive cascade after heavy weather.

A look at the impressive stonework of the Force Gill Aqueduct.

A little more impressive Blea Moor Tunnel, built by the Midland Railway Company over four years, it passes 500ft below the moor, you enter in Yorkshire and immerge in Cumbria, or visa versa.

Striding out through Little Dale on a much improved path, in much improved weather.

Looking back to Blea Moor Sidings., the white building is the lonely Blea Moor Signal Box.

A Yorkshire icon, designed by engineer John Sydney Crossley, the first stone was laid on the 12th day of October 1870, and the last in 1874, during the four years hundreds of navvies were killed, some in industrial accidents others by a small pox epidemic, if time allows take a sombre look in the burial ground at Chapel le Dale, over 200 burials, men, women and children.

Ribblehead Viaduct backed by a cloud capped Whernside.

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