Heading north-west from Pen-y-Ghent, the route to Whernside will take you past some interesting sites. While the terrain between the two hills is mostly flat, there’s a number of impressive views of the Dales, and once you’re in visual range of Whernside, you’ll be able to see the massive Ribblehead Viaduct, a Grade II-listed structure built in the 1870s.
While the route to Whernside can be confusing at times due to a lack of signs, check for worn or trampled grass as a guide. Make sure you stick with your guide or keep a map handy for this bit. Once you’ve reached the viaduct, there’ll be an opportunity for refreshments as well as sampling the beauty of the viaduct and the surrounding moorlands.
Once you’re past the viaduct, it’s time to climb the very gentle trail up to Whernside’s peak. At the start of your trail, the Leeds-Settle-Carlisle railway line will be clearly visible. Once you’re at the Dent Head/Dent Dale signpost, keep an eye out for the impressive Force Gill waterfall.
Whernside is a very different beast to Pen-y-Ghent: while the ascent of Pen-y-Ghent is quick and exhausting, Whernside is a slow-burn, with the main attraction to climbing it coming from the views you get walking up its ridge. Once at the peak, there are two paths available: One heading down the peak and towards Ingleborough, or the path leading to the trig point. While on the peak, make sure you look west to get a commanding view of Cumbria, as the trig point actually lies inside Cumbria’s borders.
Whernside is both the tallest point in North Yorkshire at 736m and also the easiest to climb, but the next test of your skill comes at Ingleborough.
NY3P is dedicated to giving both novice and experienced hikers a challenge through the North Yorkshire Three Peaks Route: Taking you over 3 of the highest peaks in Yorkshire – Pen-Y-Ghent, Ingleborough & Whernside – in the space of a single day. 24 miles in 12 hours.