Whernside Circular

Walk 1 - Whernside circular (736m) - 8 miles - 4.5 hours - One of the the most popular walks in the locality so be prepared to see lots of people! A good introduction to the 3 Peaks with good paths most of the way and easy route finding. By car or train from Ribblehead Back to Ribblehead

Whernside Summit View of Ribblehead viaduct from near The Station Inn

Start at Ribblehead - Turn left out of the station access road and proceed along the main road for about 200m or so below the Station Inn and then turn left to follow vehicle track passing to the right hand side of the viaduct. Do not go under the viaduct but proceed straight ahead up a steep path with the railway line on the left. This path stays with the railway line and eventually passes Blea Moor signal box.

After crossing two streams cross the Force Gill aqueduct [an impressive waterfall just upstream] turning immediately right. After a short while take the left hand fork and start climbing the steeply uphill known as Smithy Hill. The path is known as the Craven Way [an old droving road into Dentdale] and has been restored many times in the past having been badly rutted by motorcycles. After 3/4 mile take the left-hand fork over a stile and proceed over a part flagged path to the main ridge of Whernside in fact known as Knoutberry Hill [not to be confused with the nearby Great Knoutberry]. At this point there is an excellent view of Greensett Tarn below. On meeting the ridge turn left proceed uphill for a further mile to reach the summit.

Greensett Tarn Howgills as seen from Whernside

From the summit trig point continue along ridge path for approx mile eventually turning left down the steep slope with steps formed in the hillside, crossing two stiles to reach the gate at Bruntscar.

Passing through the gate turn left through a small gate and along a path passing in front of Broadrake. Proceed through several meadows to reach Ivescar Farm. At the farm bear right and and turn quickly left passing diagonally across the first field over Lockiddy Hill and access two stiles. After a short downhill cross a stile in the corner of the field and proceed diagonally across rough pasture through another stile and eventually reaching a farm access road . Turn left after 300m and then turn right to cross the bridge over Winterscales Beck. Passing Gunnerfleet Farm follow the un-metalled vehicle track for mile under the viaduct and returning to Ribblehead. Turn left at the main road and back to the station.

Note: an alternative return missing out the fields would be to carry straight on at Ivescar following the farm access road towards Winterscales Farm. However before reaching the farm turn right to reach Gunnerfleet and resume directions above for the return to Ribblehead.

Ingleborough from near the aqueduct View of Ingleborough
Ingleborough from the aqueduct Greensett Tarn from near summit

Important note:- Whilst the author has taken every care in assembling the information on this site, no responsibility can be accepted for any error or omission herein. If in any doubt walkers should always consult the relevant OS map. All timings are approximate and for a person of average fitness and ability.

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This page was last updated on 04-May-2020

  ©John Carey 2010