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Total Ascent



4 hrs



About the Hike

Hiking Whernside

If you don't already use the Ordnance Survey App, you can download it here, enabling you to download the GPX route from above straight into it. I use this App to plan all my hikes, and as its OS, it mirrors the paper map you should always use in conjunction.

If you're looking for a challenge and an unforgettable experience, then hiking Whernside in Yorkshire is the perfect activity! This mountain is one of the famous Three Peaks and is the highest of them all, standing at 736m. Whether you're an experienced hiker or just starting out, Whernside is a great place to explore the beautiful Yorkshire countryside. With its stunning views and diverse terrain, Whernside is sure to provide a fun and rewarding experience for everyone.

The hike starts at Ribblehead Viaduct, an awe-inspiring sight with its 24 massive stone arches 32 metres above the moor; apparently, so many people died building it that the Railway had to buy an extension to the local graveyard. There is quite a bit of off-road parking (LA6 3AU), and I've always been fine with getting a spot. There is also the Station Inn Pub which I've heard serves excellent food and allows campers to stay overnight if they buy a meal. Unfortunately, there are no other toilet facilities at this spot.

The hike starts on a large path parallel to the Viaduct and leads you along the railway line, passing a lovely little abandoned station house. You eventually cross the track and head towards Force Gill, a beautiful little waterfall set back off the route; you can take a little path that will lead you down to the water if you wish. From here, you start to ascend Whernside following the Dales High Way, it's a fairly steady climb, and there is a good path throughout. You can take a little diversion halfway up and go down to Whernside Tarns if you desire. The trail gets steeper from here; however, the views start to appear, and they are spectacular.

You then south along the top to reach the summit, and there is a lovely dry stone wall that can help protect you from the wind if needed. On the other side of the wall, you can see The Howgills, and on a good day, you can see over to The Lake District; it's my favourite from all of the Three Peaks.

There is a cairn and a little pass through the wall where you catch the views of the west. It is a great place to have your lunch if the weather isn't too bad. Then, you continue to head south, following the Pennine Journey trail, and you will come across a stepped path that will take you back down towards the Viaduct. This path is steep, and I wouldn't recommend it if it is icy. When you hit the farm, the route will take you northeast back to the Viaduct, where you can return to your car.

I would rate this hike as moderate. However, in the winter, it can be pretty brutal up there, so make sure you have enough layers and waterproofs.

Disclaimer: At the time of this walk, all the rights of way were open, and the terrain was easy to navigate, I followed all the rights of way as per the OS maps, but things can change. Please be aware that the weather/farmers etc., can change things and therefore, the route may not be as possible as it was for me. Please make your checks beforehand including the weather. Please get in touch with me if any information that I have included has now changed.

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