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Whernside Tarns from Ribblehead - Route.

Distance: 9½ miles / 15¼ kilometers

Time: 4 hours 30 minutes

Grade: Moderate/Strenuous

Map: OS Explorer OL2 - Yorkshire Dales South & West

Start Point:

Grid Reference: SD 764 790

Nearest Post Code:

Serial Distance Grid Reference Description
01 0.00 miles SD 764 790 From just below the Station Inn, take the farm track path north-west to Ribblehead Viaduct. Stay on its right and follow the railway all the way to the bridge and aqueduct by the Blea Moor Tunnel.
02 1.75 miles SD 761 816 Cross the bridge (ignore minor path up wall). Follow the main Dales High Way track right past Force Gill waterfall, heading north west, then through gate and left up fence to a style signed 'Yorkshire Three Peaks'.
03 2.32 miles SD 757 824 Continue straight uphill, passed the Three Peaks trail on the left, and maintain a heading north west following the main Dales High Way over Craven Wold the track snakes right then left along Craven Way, until it meets a track on the left. With the views of Aye Gill Pike, Great Knoutberry Hill and the Artengill Viaduct.
04 4.03 miles SD 746 845 At a wall corner just before a gate into an enclosed lane, turn left up the wall.
05 4.40 miles SD 743 840 At its end continue straight on up a faint grassy track, in line with a row of shooting posts and then head South-West towards the summit of Knoutberry Hill and meet the first of two large tarns.
06 4.78 miles SD 741 834 Following the tarn shoreline to meet the second tarn, otherwise hidden, tarn. Be aware they can dry out after hot spells. From its far side, the whole of Dentdale open up to view, watched over by Great Coum to the left, the Howgills to the right and Lakeland fells in the distance.
07 5.01 miles SD 742 831 Continue round, backtracking along the top shore a little for views over the tarns before veering roughly East to rejoin the (sometimes faint) path heading south passing some smaller tarns and over the summit of Knoutberry Hill.
08 6.11 miles SD 738 814 From the summit of Knoutberry Hill continue south along Whernside's main summit ridge path. Turn right and follow wall to the summit; pop through the (rather tight squeeze) style and back to visit the trig point. From Whernside's summit continue along the ridge with wall on the right.
09 6.9 miles SD 734 802 The path eventually veers left to descend steeply for some time, through a couple of gates, to a field gate, barn and path junction.
10 7.73 miles SD 739 790 At the path junction turn left heading north east, pass Broadrake Farm and bunkhouse accommodation, and continue along the bridleway to Ivescar Farm.
11 8.4 miles SD 747 797 At Ivescar Farm either
i. continue straight on along the bridleway passed Winterscales farm to a t-junction, turn right and follow the trail back to the start, or
ii. turn right to a crossing of the tracks.
12 8.6 miles SD 750 795 At the cross tracks (8.6 - 8.4) go straight ahead to meet another track at Winterscales Beck.
13 8.77 miles SD 752 794 Turn left on the track and continue 8.84 - 8.77 mi in yards, at Gunnerfleet Farm (SD 753 795 at 8.84 mi) and turn right.
14 9.25 miles SD 753 796 Follow the lane back to the path under the viaduct (SD 759 794 at 9.26 mi), then turn right to return to the start at the Station Inn. 9.63 mi