Whernside from Ribblehead.

Start. Ribblehead.

Route. Ribblehead - Bleamoor Sidings - Aqueduct - Grain Ings - Cable Rake Top - Whernside - High Pike - Broadrake - Ivescar - Lockdiddy Hill - Gunnerfleet Farm - Ribblehead.

Notes. Whernside at 2,415ft the highest of Yorkshire's peaks, maybe not the most spectacular but I bet there are aficionados of Whernside who would rightly disagree with me, I'm forced to admit the summit ridge is as good as any with usually spectacular views to match, not today. Sue picked the walk and true to form lead us into grey Yorkshire emulsion, and then there's fell walkers sods law, the sun made an appearance when we were half way down the hill making for a pleasant stroll back through the valley.

Our day started at the spectacular Ribblehead Viaduct the largest on the Settle to Carlisle line, our route was simple, we just followed the well trod tourist path north passing the signal box at Bleamoor Sidings before reaching an aqueduct. The ascent started here, to our left the waters of Force Gill plunged over a spectacular limestone cliff, our route followed the fence line up hill until a stile marked a change in direction. Still climbing on excellent paths we traversed Grain Ings before the path swung south, a final pull to gain access to the summit ridge followed. After a quick brew at the summit we continued south descending over High Pike followed by an even steeper descent to reach the valley far below.

By now the sun was shining making for a pleasant stroll back to Ribblehead, passing Broadrake before reaching Ivescar where we turned right down the access lane, to our left a small step stile allowed access to green pastures, the path ascended the grassy mound of the oddly named Lockdiddy Hill to reach Gunnerfleet Farm. With the viaduct looming large before us we followed the farm lane back to Ribblehead. I,m not one to casually make recommendations, but if you've never sampled the food in the Station Inn at Ribblehead you don't know what you're missing, any calories burned off were soon put back on.

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The starting point for today's outing, Ribblehead Viaduct the longest and most famous on the Settle to Carlisle railway.

Swathed in cloud Ingleborough, seen from the approach to Blea Moor Sidings.

Looking to Ribblehead Viaduct with the slopes of Park Fell just visible dipping under the cloud base.

A fine piece of Victorian engineering, Force Gill Aqueduct.

Draining the vast wastes of Greensett Moss, Force Gill.

Sue strides out across Grain Ings....

....before disappearing into the mist....

....to be found again on Whernside's summit ridge....

....admiring the frost still clinging to the wire fence that guided us across the ridge.

The summit Whernside.

Descending High Pike with views to the south.

Views over Chapel-le-Dale with Ingleborough still cloaked in a vail of cloud.

The same view a few minutes later, the cloud was suddenly spirited away to leave a hazy view to the flat top of Ingleborough.

And behind us Whernside clear at last.

Viewing Whernside from near Bruntscar.

En route to Broadrake with Ribblehead Viaduct dominating views to the northeast.

Seen from near Ivescar on a nearly perfect day now, the long ridge of Whernside.

On Lockdiddy Hill looking to the twenty four arches of the Ribblehead Viaduct.

Looking quite imposing blue/grey on the horizon the Ingleborough massif seen from near Gunnerfleet Farm.

The view across upper Ribblesdale with the rounded mass of Blea Moor dominating the skyline.

Ribblehead Viaduct, a few statistics, Designed by the engineer John Sydney Crossley, the first stone was laid on the 12th October 1870, the final one in 1874....

....104ft high, 440 yards long made up of 24 arches built in blocks of six in case of structural failure, constructed by 2,000 navies living in shanty towns across Batty Moss.

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