Whernside from Ribblehead.

Start. Ribblehead.

Route. Ribblehead - Gunnerfleet Farm - Lockdiddy Hill - Inverscar - Broadrake - High Pike - Whernside - Grain Head - Slack Hill - Force Gill Aquaduct - Bleamoor Sidings - Ribblehead.

Notes. Whernside rising to the 2,414ft contour the highest of Yorkshire's three peaks, it's siblings being Ingleborough just across the valley and Pen-y-ghent several miles to the south-east, a wander along it's summit ridge gifts the lucky rambler with wonderful views over Morecambe Bay and the hills of Bowland, to the north the English Lake District and Wainwright's herd of sleeping elephants, the Howgill Fells kiss the horizon. With views over upper Ribblesdale and Kings Dale, Littledale, Deepdale and forgotten Dentdale, plus Twisleton Dale this hill may be the least visually attractive of the three peaks but it is very popular, and rightly so.

My day started wandering under the many arches of the Ribblehead Viaduct, striding out along the lane leading to Gunnerfleet Farm, the farm lane soon gave way to field paths. Through limestone pastures I wandered, over Lockdiddy Hill to access Inverscar, from Inverscar yet more field paths carried me to Bruntscar via Broadrake to be met by a finger-post inviting me up the hill. After passing through the field gate a good path conveyed me up the eastern slopes, steep in places but steep gets you up quickly, I was soon wandering over High Pike en route to Whernside summit. Lots of noise and lots of people greeted me on the summit, I opted not to stop, following the main trod I started the long easy descent, across the edge of Greensett Moss and Grain Ings to join the Craven Way (ancient pack-horse route joining Dent and Ingleton) for the short walk back to Ribblehead.

view route map.


Seen over Batty Green the many arches of the Ribblehead Viaduct backed by a cloud capped Whernside.

In limestone pastures near Gunnerfleet Farm, looking to a cloud crowned Ingleborough.

View taken from the field path south of Ivescar, in sunlight and shade Blea Moor.

Looking to Ingleborough, it's head in cloud, seen from the steep ascent of Whernside.

Whernside from the final intake.

Wonderful views under the cloud base, the steep slopes of Ingleborough seen across Twisleton Dale.

On the aggressively steep slopes of Whernside looking south to Ingleborough.

Striding out on the good path that traverses Whernside summit, the view, Pen-y-ghent across upper Ribblesdale with the slopes of Park Fell to the right.

Sandwiched between the dark landforms of the Yorkshire Dales and grey cloud sweeping in from the Irish Sea the hills of Bowland.

Looking to Whernside summit.

Heading up Whernside with views to Gragarth for company.

Approaching the summit, let the ridge path carry your eye to the grey brooding mass of Ingleborough.

Ah! here's something a little interesting, Blea Moor seen over Little Dale, the mounds of earth follow the line of the Blea Moor Tunnel, each one marks an air duct, the path linking them is the remains of a tramway used in the construction, it descends into Dentdale, an excellent walk.

Wainwright's herd of sleeping elephants, the Howgill Fells.

Nearing the summit viewing Great Knoutberry Hill rising from Dentdale.

On the summit a photographer waits for perfect light, I took my shot and buggered off quickly.

Fronds of cloud kiss the flat boggy summit of Baugh Fell.

From my descent path a wonderful view to the north, over Whernside Tarns the long shadowed ridge of Rise Hill backed by Baugh Fell, with the chiseled edge of Wild Boar Fell visible on the horizon.

The forgotten dale, Dentdale backed by the Howgill Fells.

Upper Ribblesdale seen from Grain Ings.

Force Gill.

Force Gill Aquaduct built by the Midland railway company to carry water from Force Gill to Dale Beck, if you think it's faired well over the years restoration was carried out by Railtrak, they originally planned a concrete channel, there was uproar and rightly so, this was the result.

Viewing Blea Moor signal box, I've spent the past five minutes walking with my head down, hail stones battering my body, when the storm passed the light was just wonderful.

Whernside as seen from Blea Moor sidings.

Views up the boggy slopes of Blea Moor.

Back at Ribblehead, my first photo was one of the viaduct backed by Whernside, it seems appropriate my final shot should be.

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