Parking: Middle Lane, Kettlewell, Skipton, BD23 5QZ
Distance: 20.5 km
Great Whernside Height: 704 metres
Time: 5 – 6 hrs
Great Whernside from Kettlewell Walk
This Kettlewell walk ticks all the boxes for an exhilarating day of hiking in Yorkshire. With verdant valleys and hills as far as the eyes can see, a cascading waterfall, and cosy cafes and inns beckoning you in for a well-earned pitstop by the fire.
Kettlewell village stands in the heart of the Yorkshire Dales and boasts grey-stoned cottages nestled among some of England’s most beautiful countryside. Discover one of the best walks in the Yorkshire Dales when you embark on this picturesque circular route from Kettlewell in Yorkshire to the summit of Great Whernside.
- From Middle Lane car park, continue East on Middle Lane and through Dowber Gill Beck. Here you’ll encounter the diminutive waterfall created by the beck.
2. Continue to Providence Pot where a cluster of connected caverns ranging from large caves to smaller hollows lies beneath the ground. Experienced cavers are often seen exploring the depths of the caves with particular attention paid to Blasted Brawl, a passage connecting caves known as Terminal Chamber, and The Palace.
3. Head north up the steep ascent to Hag Dyke. Once a farm, Hag Dyke is now a Scout Hostel. Once here, continue the ascent to the top of Great Whernside.
4. The final section of the walk to the summit of Great Whernside is quite tricky, so be prepared to be a little out of breath once you reach the peak! On reaching the trig point at the summit, take in the incredible views towards Kettlewell village, and the surrounding fells. The trig point is not the highest point of Great Whernside however and to the side of the trig point sits a collection of boulders, marking the summit of this peak. From here you’ll enjoy views across to the likes of Parson’s Pulpit, Knowe Fell and Fountains Fell.
5. Making your way back to Kettlewell is quite simple and you can follow the fence line and boundary stones that are marked W.H to make your way southeast by Blake Hill towards Sandy Gate.
6. As you walk towards Mossdale, via the limestone cliff of Mossdale Scar and Kelber Gate, join the Dales Way.
7. From here continue north west and pass Coniston Pie, a collection of limestone rocks that somewhat resemble a pie. The views from here are spectacular and if you take the time to climb to the top of the “pie”, you’ll be rewarded with views of Wharfedale and Littondale.
8. After having your fill of Coniston Pie, continue along Swineber Scar to Highgate Leys Lane, joining the Dales Way which leads you back to Kettlewell.
Kettlewell walks are known to end with a pint or two in one of the three inns of the village. The Bluebell Inn, famed for its hand-pulled ales and log fires, offers tasty home-cooked meals. You can even stay over in one of their rooms if you don’t fancy going home just quite yet.
The Racehorses Hotel and the Kings Head are two fine options also, with the latter serving imaginative menus using locally source ingredients. If you’d rather relax with a freshly brewed pot of tea and a slice of cake, Zarina’s traditional tearoom is where you need to head.
If you want to explore more of God’s own country, take a look at some of the best places to visit in Yorkshire.
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