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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

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Walk Route Description

Photo from the walk - Great Whernside from Kettlewell
Click image to visit gallery of 12 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.

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.

Other walks nearby

Walk 1277 Starbotton from Kettlewelleasy/mod5.0 miles
Walk 1294 Arncliffe from Kettlewellmoderate7.0 miles
Walk 1632 Arncliffe & Starbotton from Kettlewell moderate7.0 miles
Walk 3301 Conistone to Grassington via the Dibeasy5.0 miles
Walk 3262 Copplestone Gate and Conistone Pie from Conistoneeasy/mod7.0 miles

Recommended Books & eBooks

Walking in the Yorkshire Dales: North and East

Walking in the Yorkshire Dales: North and EastThis guidebook contains 43 circular day walks in the north and east Yorkshire Dales. It explores the dales, hills and moors between Kirkby Stephen and Pateley Bridge. Walking ranges from gentle 3 mile strolls to more strenuous day-long rambles across the Howgills, Wensleydale, Swaledale, Nidderdale, Mallerstang and Coverdale.
More information

Walking in the Yorkshire Dales: South and West

Walking in the Yorkshire Dales: South and WestPart of a two-book set, this guidebook describes 44 walks in the southern and western Yorkshire Dales, including the famous 23 mile Three Peaks circuit over Pen-y-Ghent, Whernside and Ingleborough. The other, mostly circular routes of 3½ to 13 miles cover the scenic region between Sedbergh, Kirkby Lonsdale, Settle, Skipton and Grassington.
More information

The National Trails

The National TrailsThis inspirational guidebook looks at each of the UK's 19 National Trails, with information that allows ease of comparison and contrast, inspiring you to find out more and to take up a long-distance challenge. Some Trails are short and easy, others much longer, many have strong themes - they may follow a coastline, or traverse ranges of hills.
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Further Information

Walk Location Map

Walk location map

Yorkshire Dales Walking

The Yorkshire Dales National Park covers an extensive area, which contains a wide variety of scenic interest. Each Dale is usually named after its river although there are a few examples that don't follow this rule. The varied underlying geology is reflected in the scenery with limestone and gritstone the prominent rocks resulting in virtually every type of scenery from dry valleys to wild moorland. More Information

Walk grading - Learn how each walk is assessed and select a walk to suit your ability and experience by going to Walk Grading Details.

Accommodation Nearby

Park Bottom Bed & Breakfast
Litton, Littondale
4.1 miles / 6.5 km away
Low Raisgill B&B
Yockenthwaite, Buckden
5.5 miles / 8.8 km away
Bridge End Farm
5.7 miles / 9.2 km away
Beck Hall B&B
7.2 miles / 11.5 km away
Wharfe View B&B
8.0 miles / 12.8 km away

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