Whernside from Dent via the Occupation Road.
Route. Dent - Flinter Gill - Occupation Road - Foul Moss - High Moss - Kingsdale - White Shaw Moss - Cable Rake Moss - Whernside - Cable Rake Top - Knoutberry Hill - Whernside Tarns - Craven Way - Boot of Wold - Wold End - Dyke Hall Lane - Mill Bridge - Dales Way - Church Bridge - Dent.
Notes. This is arguably the best way up Yorkshire's highest mountain, which dominates the head of one of Yorkshires loveliest valley, Dentdale. I've walked this route many times in various weather conditions, snow and ice, wind and rain, cloud high, cloud low, but one thing's for certain, the second half of the Occupation Road is like walking through a walled bog. Don't let that put you off, the views easily make up for any discomfort, out of interest today wasn't that bad.
My day started in the cobbled streets of sleepy Dent, from the car park I made my way to Flinter Gill, the lung buster of a climb that followed soon got me up the hill. I stepped onto the Occupation Road hot and bothered knowing the next few miles would be almost level walking. South I wandered between the dry stone walls of this old drove road, stopping many times to drink in the views over Dentdale and behind me to the Howgill Fells. No wind the only sound was my breathing, the thud of boots on bone dry ground, the cry of mountain birds and a lone cuckoo somewhere in the valley far below.
Navigation was easy, the walled bog section was quite dry, I soon found myself stepping onto the coll between Deepdale and Kingsdale. The narrow tarmac lane that guides motor vehicles through Kingsdale ushered me south passed White Shaw Moss to a small stile allowing access to the steep lower slopes of Whernside. Lets not gild the lily here, this was an energy sapping climb, not leveling out until Cable Rake Moss. I crossed the gentle slopes of the moss to be greeted by another steep climb before stepping onto the summit of Yorkshire's highest mountain.
The summit ridge guided me through stunning vistas, a dry stone wall and fence line to my left and steep drops to Greensett Moss my right. As I started to descend a small stile allowed access to the peaty ground of Knoutberry Hill and the vast tract of upland containing Whernside Tarns. With a green trod under foot I continued my descent, stopping for a brew at the largest of the tarns before continuing down hill to access the Craven Way, another ancient track.
Between the dry stone walls of the Craven Way I descended, the entire descent gifted me with stunning views down Dentdale, I immerged onto a tarmac lane behind Whernside Manor, this I followed to the main valley road (single track), then turned left. After wandering passed a large pine wood, Mill Bridge welcomed me with a dry stream bed and a finger-post promising the Dales Way would guide me to Church Bridge. One mile of river bank rambling followed, first through wild flower meadows above Deepdale Beck then along the banks of the River Dee, once at Church Bridge I joined the tarmac road leading into the cobbled stone streets of Dent.
view route map.
Flinter Gill my escape route from Dent, and a delightful way onto the hill it is.
Clear of the tree cover views to the cloud kissed Howgill Fells come into view.
Near the head of Flinter Gill, standing under a stunning sky, to the left the lower slopes of Rise Hill with Great Knoutberry Hill skimmed by cloud in the distance, the grassy slope to the right is Banks Brows.
From the Occupation Road views to Calf and Barkin Tops.
Dentdale and Great Knoutberry Hill under a fabulous sky.
Whernside grey across the horizon, looking rather imposing from the Occupation Road.
Wandering between the dry stone walls of this old drove road with this view for company.
Views across the slopes of Combe Hill.
Soaking up the view over High Pike, across the horizon Whernside.
Viewing Aye Gill Pike and Rise Hill across Dentdale.
Looking to the distant drama of Ingleborough.
Traversing Foul Moss, the Occupation Road still under foot, looking down on Deepdale and Dentdale with Rise Hill dominating the scene.
Kingsdale, a lonely dale visited by few, this is actually a gated road which helps keep the visitors away.
Ascending Whernside with this stunning view to look back on.
On the edge of Cable Rake Moss drinking in this stunning view over Kingsdale.
The flat top of Ingleborough as seen from the summit of Whernside.
Taking in the view from Whernside, a distant Pen-y-ghent seen over Ribblehead.
Let this well used path guide the eye over the summit ridge to Whernside Tarns.
Combe Hill as seen over Whernside Tarns
Dropping into Dentdale possibly Yorkshire's loveliest dale.
Combe Hill capturing the afternoon sun, seen from the Craven Way.
Deepdale painted with a wonderful palette of greens, I took this because I liked the hawthorn blossom.
Deepdale Beck testament to how dry the weather has been in this picturesque corner of North West England.
Whernside seen over wild flower meadows near Double Croft.
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