Upper Dentdale

  • An engineering spectacular
  • Views down Garsdale and Dentdale
  • Circular from a station or a pub

Not many people visit Upper Dentdale so I was not surprised that I met nobody on the walk. Even the roads are empty so the final 2 miles of the walk, which are on tarmac, are perfectly pleasant. However the area was once famous for being the home of Dent Marble which is not in fact marble but is a dark limestone with a high fossil concentrate. Primarily used for fireplaces the marble is most dramatically shown on the 2 great viaducts of upper Dentdale which carry the famous Settle to Carlisle railway over the deep valleys.

The walk up Arten Gill passes through one of the great arches of the Arten viaduct (used in the film Ms Potter) as it travels along the bridleway on the lower slopes of Great Knoutberry Hill (Widdale Fell). Great Knoutberry itself is rather a dull lump with nothing to commend it unless, like me, you travel off route after the summit and visit the twin tarns of Widdale, the shake holes and meet the masses of swallows that live in the swallow holes.

Great Knoutberry Hill is one of the Dales 30 Mountains


This route may be best taken by train with a start and finish at Dent Station. If so travel down in to Dentdale first. I did the route by car from the Sportsman’s Inn.

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Great Knoutberry Hill map

All maps are copyright of Where2Walk © 2020

OS Map: O/S 1.25,000. OL2 Yorkshire Dales South & West. Buy Map
Start Point: SD 768863. I asked the landlord if I could start at the Sportsman and he was fine. Alternatively parking is limited in a tight valley but Dent station is another possibility.
Height to Climb: 424 ms (1,391 feet)
Terrain: I went off the normal route from the summit which is trackless from the tarns. The summit area of Great Knoutberry can be very wet.
Eating & Drinking: The Sportsman's Inn is a fine and traditional Dales pub, well worth a pint.
Similar Walks Nearby: Whernside from Dentdale
Dick Turpin & the Source of the Eden
Twisleton Scars from Chapel le Dale
Places to Stay:


George & Dragon, Dent