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Yorkshire Dales Walk
Great Whernside from Kettlewell

Nat Park - Yorkshire Dales - Upper Wharfedale

County/Area - North Yorkshire

Author - Lou Johnson

Length - 8.0 miles / 13 km

Ascent - 1830 feet / 555 metres

Time - 5 hours 50 minutes

Grade - moderate

Start - OS grid reference SD968723
Lat 54.146518 // Long -2.050485
Postcode BD23 5QZ (approx. location only)
what3words start pound.hunk.seriously

Walk Route Description

Photo from the walk - Great Whernside from Kettlewell Photo from the walk - Great Whernside from Kettlewell Photo from the walk - Great Whernside from Kettlewell Photo from the walk - Great Whernside from Kettlewell Photo from the walk - Great Whernside from Kettlewell Photo from the walk - Great Whernside from Kettlewell
Click thumbnails for larger images.

The first point to make is that this is an ascent of Great Whernside and is not to be confused with Whernside near Ribblehead. Although not a member of Yorkshire's 'Big Three', it rises higher than Pen-y-ghent and offers an interesting route. The start is the village of Kettlewell in Wharfedale where there is a large pay and display car park (grid ref. SD968723) and some roadside parking.

Great Whernside from Kettlewell Great Whernside from Kettlewell Great Whernside from Kettlewell Great Whernside from Kettlewell Great Whernside from Kettlewell Great Whernside from Kettlewell 
Click thumbnails for larger images.

To start this Yorkshire Dales walk head into the village along the main road to the bridge over Dowber Gill Beck. Do not cross the bridge but turn right and follow the lane west keeping the beck on your left. Continue past cottages and stay on the lane as it swings north to locate a signed footpath (grid ref 975726) leading to Providence Pot. This path follows the beck along a steep sided valley climbing steadily to reach Providence Pot, which is covered by a concrete cap and manhole cover! At this point turn back to face Kettlewell and you will see a clear path climbing more steeply out of the valley. Take this and continue to Hag Dyke Farm - now used as a Scout Centre.

From Hag Dyke the onward route is obvious in clear weather with the crags of Great Whernside visible across the fellside. The path leaves Hag Dyke and immediately climbs a rocky escarpment to reach a group of small cairns. From here the path is marked by posts as it crosses a flatter area that could be very squelchy area after rain before climbing a second escapement to reach the summit. In good weather the views are superb and include Wharfedale, Buckden Pike, Cross Fell in the Pennines, the Lakeland fells, the 'Big Three', Pendle Hill and Simon's Seat.

From the summit head north along a clear path that follows the Yorkshire Dales National Park boundary. Ignore secondary paths descending left instead staying on the ridge to reach a stile (grid ref. 998752). Cross the stile and descend along the wall following a clear path. This leads without problem to reach the road (grid ref. 986757) at Little Hunters Sleet. Cross the road and follow the track heading west. This leads into Starbotton Lane and a finger post (grid ref. 970753). Turn left down the track (Top Mere Road) to descend gently for just under two miles into Wharfedale and Kettlewell.

Maps Ordnance Survey Logo Anquet Maps Logo

Ordnance Survey Explorer OL30Sheet Map1:25kBUY
Anquet OS Explorer OL30Digital Map1:25kBUY
Ordnance Survey Landranger 98Sheet Map1:50kBUY
Anquet OS Landranger 98Digital Map1:50kBUY

It is recommended you take a map. The preferred scale is 1:25k.

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