Whernside and Ingleborough Circular
Walk 7 By car or train from Ribblehead: Whernside (736m) and Ingleborough (723m) circular - 13½ miles - 6 hours. The combination of Whernside and Ingleborough provides an excellent day out with a variety of trains on the return. Back to Ribblehead
From Ribblehead Station access road turn right on to the main road in front of the Station Inn. After 200m or so turn left along the track towards the viaduct. Do not pass under the viaduct but stay to the right of the railway line eventually to meet Blea Moor Signal Box. Cross the stream twice by stepping stones and a small footbridge arriving at the Force Gill Aqueduct carrying the stream over the railway. Cross the aqueduct and follow the left had path through a gate and uphill along the Craven Way [a bridleway] for 1/4 mile or so. Turn left at a stile to follow the path to the summit ridge of Whernside. Bear left at the ridge to follow the wall to the summit trig point. Take a while to admire the view over Ribblehead and towards Pen Ghent.
Leave the summit of Whernside and proceed downhill along the ridge for 1/2 mile. The main path then turns left and descends steeply with a series of steps towards Bruntscar with a stile enroute. At Bruntscar turn right and then quickly left along farm track passing Philpins Farm where there is a refreshment kiosk to reach the main road. Turn near left passing the Hill Inn and only just after the pub turn right over a narrow stile. This then becomes a very well defined path through the limestone pavements and gradually rising uphill. The path then becomes a series of timber walkways crossing the boggy and environmentally sensitive lower slopes. The path then becomes very steep with steps cut into the hillside. Emerging at the top bear right through a gate and proceed to the summit plateau of Ingleborough taking care to note the the point of return [difficult in mist]. The summit windbreak and trig point will emerge in front.
Retrace steps from the summit down to the gate again. However, after passing through the gate step across the small stream and continue around the hillside maintaining the same contour. This is a magnificent high level route across Souther Scales Fell has good views down to Ribblehead and across to Whernside. Cross a stile in a stone wall and drop slightly down hill. The path climbs slightly now with a wall on the right to reach a stile. This is Park Fell.
Continue again with the wall on the right eventually bearing left now with Ribblehead Quarry and station in view begin a steep descent taking care not to slip on the wet grass. At the bottom of the slope go through the gate and bear diagonally left across the pasture eventually to meet a wall at the left hand side. Follow the wall downhill for 300m or so until a stile is reached. Climb over the stile and cross the rough pasture with the wall now on the right [this is now Access area and so there is no defined footpath]. Eventually this reaches two large gates forming a sheep compound. Passing though these gates bear slightly to the left to pick up the Natural England waymarked trail and pass through a gate. Take care not to get too close to the quarry edge. The path descends to reach the quarry floor from where it is an easy walk to the quarry entrance [through the nature reserve] and the quarry access road. Upon emerging at the main road turn right and thence under the railway bridge to reach Ribblehead and the pub and railway station.
©John Carey 2010
This page was last updated on 21-Feb-2019