Walk 1 - Great Whernside from Kettlewell - 8 miles - the classic circuit of Wharfedales highest peak!
Park in the main car park in Kettlewell and proceed over bridge to left hand side of the stream. Near the village store take the minor road signposted to Coverdale and proceed steeply uphill for a short while. At the bend in the road take the stony surfaced bridleway to Top Mere. This is steep to start with and eventually levels out. After 1.5 miles take the right hand path at signpost to follow Tor Dyke an ancient fortification around contour of hillside eventually crossing the minor road from Kettlewell to Coverdale. Continue straight across, passing a stile and commence climb up the slopes of Great Whernside. The going is boggy to start with but improves turning slightly to the right to take diagonal course up the hill.
When the wall is reached do not cross the stile but follow the wall up to the crest of the hill reaching a stile at the top. From this point there are good views into Angram Reservoir and upper Nidderdale. Bear right and follow the crest of Great Whernside for 1 mile eventually reaching the the summit trig point in a boulder field. Some compass work might be necessary in mist as the top is relatively featureless. From the trig point tun right and proceed steeply down hillside on well used path. This crosses a boggy plateau before descending steeply again to Hag Dyke Farm, a scout outward bound centre. Pass to the left hand side of the farm building through gate and emerge at main entrance gateway to farm. From here avoid the vehicle track but take a grassy path on the left which descends easily to Kettlewell
An alternative from the summit is to proceed slightly left to follow course of stream. This steeply descends into Dowber Gill at Providence Pot. From here there is a well used path following the course of the stream. However the initial going is difficult
Kettlewell near Kings Head pub
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©John Carey 2009