Great Whernside

Thursday 10 August 2017. Great Whernside at 2,309ft comes in at 6th in the list of the Dales 30 highest hills and, as I haven’t done it before, today was the day. I made an early start and was parked up (£4.50) in Kettlewell at just after 9am. The cafe across the road was open so I looked in with the idea of fuelling up with a bacon sandwich (£4.25) and a pot of tea (£2.50). The prices were extortionate and the tight-fisted Yorkshire man in me wouldn’t allow me to pay so much for something that I bought in Grassington yesterday for half the cost.

There was a stiff 1in4 climb out of Kettlewell and I stopped after half an hour to get my breath, take a few pictures and to have a swift coffee. My next stop was at the top of Cam Head. My knee was beginning to hurt and I thought that a few minutes rest might help. The knee pain had eased by the time that I crossed the Leyburn road which was good news as a steep 700ft climb lay ahead of me to the summit of Great Whernside. The lower slopes were waterlogged, both on the way up and on the way down, and I soon had wet feet.

The outcrop of rocks and the trig point that mark the summit of Great Whernside aren’t spectacular in any way so, after a quick coffee, I made my way down towards Kettlewell passing Hag Dyke on the way. At 1,525ft this converted farmhouse must be one of the highest and most remote Scouts accommodation in the Dales. The last mile or so was on a lovely green path  across fields with views over Wharfedale. Having now ticked-off Great Whernside, I doubt that I’ll take the trouble to visit again, something I suspect that I might be saying about other Dales 30 hills which lie at the top of bleak sodden moors.

The walk was 7.9 miles with a total ascent of 1,900ft. Having missed out on breakfast I couldn’t resist a very late lunch (3pm) of fish and chips at the Kings Head.

Aerial View

Great Whernside – walk route

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