The route up Whernside, the highest mountain in Yorkshire, from Dent is full of interest and in my opinion more enjoyable than the traditional route from Ribblehead. Dentdale is lovely and unspoilt and there are opportunities to wander off the track and explore its slopes.
I prefer this route up Whernside to the more traditional walk from Ribblehead. For a start the village of Dent is full of character; the cobbled streets and old pubs makes this one of the best villages in the Dales. Dentdale itself is quiet and traditional, nothing much seems to have changed over the past 100 years. The route up is quiet following natural paths and thankfully avoiding the purgatory of the paved concourse that forms much of the route up from Ribblehead. The 3 tarns of Whernside are an added bonus and worth a closer look.
Whernside itself (at 2,370′) is the highest mountain in Yorkshire and has the appearance of a whale’s back; the walking on the ridge therefore being very good and also totally safe as the hill is almost devoid of any rock faces. From the road in Deepdale there is a choice to be made; the path leading along the valley floor is more interesting than following the road but can be wet and at times rather loses its way whilst Occupation Way to the west crosses the flanks of Great Coum and leads directly in to Dent. All rather weather and fitness dependant but the road is quiet and certainly the easiest.
Whernside is the largest of the Dales 30 Mountains
For a quicker visit to the summit park further up the valley on Dyke Hall Lane and return via the lower valley path.
Don’t miss the turning steeply up hill from the Boot of the Wold. The faint track follows the east side of the wall to the corner, carry straight on. From the summit head due west till arriving at a pile of stones then head north west for a few metres to the corner of the wall. Follow this to the road.
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