6 - 7
FATMAP difficulty grade
Whernside is one of the must-climb peaks in the Dales.
Traditionally, the route is taken from the famous arcing Ribblehead Viaduct, past Blea Moor and onto the ridge.
Spectacular for sure - but approaching that masse from a different route gives a whole new perspective on the 726m peak. Starting at Ibbeth Peril Cave on the River Dee (worth a look whatever the weather - but don't go in), this walk gets the kilometres in your legs and ushers in some dramatic scenery too. You cross a wildflower meadow (awesome sight in May and June), climb up to an old packhorse route which took freight across the Dales and beyond hundreds and years ago (you can still see the tracks) before climbing further to the epic ridge of Whernside itself. It can be busy here, but you've had most of the route to yourself so far.
Descent is quickly made - and you leave the Yorkshire Three Peaks walkers to head to the gothic Ribblehead Viaduct, with remnants of the shanty towns that housed the navvies that made it, before following the route back to the Craven Old Way (past a hidden waterfall - well worth a scoot off route) and joining solitude before you head back to your start point. A masterpiece of the Dales - with the finest views in England!