Ribblehead to Dentdale via Whernside, 13th April 2015

  1. 12 miles

  2. 850 metres ascent

  3. 6 hours 4o minutes

  4. See the route on plotaroute.com

We don’t often get to Dentdale. It’s a little out of the way but really beautiful. I remember it best from when we did the Dales Way some years ago. I knew I could get over there starting from Ribblehead. I like this idea of starting in one valley and walking to another. I started by the famous viaduct and headed straight up to Whernside, and I mean straight up. The path I took was very steep and eroded and I probably wouldn’t recommend it as anything other than a quick way up.

Looking north-ish from where the straight-up-the-side path meets the main north-south ridge just a little south of the top of whernside.

Whernside summit trig point. The narrow stile is to prevent fat yorkshire people from getting into Cumbria.

Very few people about, which is unusual for Whernside. At the top I went straight over and down the other side. You can go left towards Kingsdale or, as I did, right towards Dentdale. It wasn’t looking as lush and green as I remember because I remember being there only on sunny summer days and by now it was distinctly grey (or is that a contradiction?)

Descending west from Whernside summit, looking south down Kingsdale.

Descending west from Whernside summit looking north into Deepdale (middle distance running south to north) which runs into Dentdale (running west to east).

The Howgill fells in the distance

Winding wall on Deepdale side.

A barn in Deepdale.

Fairly typical dry-stone wall in Deepdale.

I’d hoped to use the dales way for the way back but measuring my progress and the map I just didn’t have the time so I returned over a higher and bleaker way following the Craven Way along a track that goes over the north end of the whernside ridge and down again to the railway. There was quite a nice surprise as I got there to see this waterfall in Force Gill, then a less nice surprise as it started to rain heavily about ten minutes before I got the car.

Force Gill waterfall.