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Yorkshire, United Kingdom
I simply love Yorkshire and its magnificent scenery. Every season Yorkshire has something magical to offer. There's nothing better than getting my hiking boots on and disappearing into Yorkshire's superb countryside! I take my camera everywhere with me to ensure others can appreciate the many beautiful things that I see on my breathtaking walks. My photography has been featured on ITV Calendar, BBC Look North and has been published in The Yorkshire Ridings Magazine, The Yorkshire Dalesman, Country Walking Magazine and Countryfile magazine. Some of my images have been transformed into beautiful paintings by Yorkshire artists. At the end of 2013 I was selected to be the Face of Ordnance Survey. You can see me in the 'Explore More' campaign. Follow me on Twitter: @Yorkshireimages Email enquiries:

Wednesday, 9 March 2011

Whernside - The highest of the three peaks in the Yorkshire Dales (05.03.11)

It took me a little over an hour and a half to drive to Ribblehead from East Leeds... I remember doing exactly the same walk in the late summer of 2010. I'm not sure what it is that draws me to the hills! Some people say it's the physical challenge of getting up there! Although this is true, I personally think it's the feeling of of being at one with nature, taking in the fresh air, feeling the wind on your face but best of all.... getting muddy boots!!!

The walk begins at the famous Ribblehead viaduct on which the Settle-Carlisle Railway runs.  This magnificent structure was designed by John Sydney Crossley.  The first stone being laid in 1870 and the last in 1874. It is 32 metres high and 402 metres long! To appreciate its sheer magnitude you have to physically walk under it.

From this point, keep the railway line to your left, following the sign for Whernside.

Shortly after commencing the walk it became apparent that Whernside summit was in cloud!
But as usual I wasn't going to let that stop me! I was on a mission! And to be honest, every time I attempt hill walking I'm in cloud!
Following the obvious footpath ahead which runs parallel with the railway line, Blea Moor signal box eventually comes into view....
This pretty signal box has got to have the best views over any other signal box in Yorkshire!! It has Whernside and Ingelborough on its doorstep with Pen y Ghent in the distance! (If only they offered a B&B service!!! They'd make a fortune!!)
Shortly after leaving Blea Moor signal box, the footpath curves round over a walled aqueaduct.
As you walk over the aqueduct, look to your right to appreciate Blea Moor Tunnel...

Blea Moor tunnel is 2404 metres long and is the longest tunnel on the Settle-Carlisle line.  It took more than four years to complete and was constructed by Midland Railway. It runs 500 feet below the moorland above!
Still following the obvious footpath ahead ensure to follow the sign for Dent Dale and not Dent Head.

Take time to admire the spectacular Force Gill Waterfall before the ascent begins!

After an uphill hike of about half a mile, ensure to take the footpath which is signed for Whernside.

At this point you cross a stile and follow the path which is covered in stone slabs to prevent erosion.  As you will see from the below photograph, it was at this point that I began walking into the cloud!...

Although walking in the cloud can sometimes be quite daunting (especially if you regularly walk solo like me!) the slabbed footpath makes an excellent navigation tool!
The footpath is easy to follow although walking along the ridge near the summit can be very blustery, so ear-muffs or a good hat may be useful!
The triangulation point is visible through a gap in the wall on your right hand side after walking approx' half a mile along the ridge.

This is the highest point of Whernside - 736 Metres.
On a clear day the views are amazing.  However, today was not the day for any great vista!!
Leave the summit by contuining along the footpath from which you left to view the triangulation point.
After descending down the footpath for around half a mile, visibilty became much better once again...

Following the uneven footpath down wasn't easy and resulted in a twisted knee! (ouch!)

But this encouraged me to stop for a while to take in some wonderful views across to Ribblehead in the distance...

It also gave me chance to look back at where I'd been!...

The footpath back to Ribblehead offered a great view of Ingleborough.....

...... Before leading me back to those fantastic 24 arches of Ribblehaed Viaduct! :-)

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