walkhighlands

This board helps you to share your walking route experiences in England and Wales... or overseas.
Warning Please note that hillwalking when there is snow lying requires an ice-axe, crampons and the knowledge, experience and skill to use them correctly. Summer routes may not be viable or appropriate in winter. See winter information on our skills and safety pages for more information.

A stroll in the Yorkshire Dales

A stroll in the Yorkshire Dales


Postby malky_c » Tue May 15, 2018 11:00 am

Hewitts included on this walk: Darnbrook Fell, Fountains Fell, Gragareth, Great Coum, Ingleborough, Pen-y-ghent, Plover Hill, Simon Fell, Whernside

Date walked: 13/05/2018

Time taken: 18.9

Distance: 75.5 km

Ascent: 2830m

1 person thinks this report is great.
Register or Login
free to be able to rate and comment on reports (as well as access 1:25000 mapping).

Hewitts: Fountains Fell, Darnbrook Fell, Plover Hill, Pen-y-Ghent, Simon Fell, Ingleborough, Gragareth, Great Coum, Whernside.
Date: 12 and 13/05/2018.
Distance: 41.5km + 34km.
Ascent: 1550m + 1280m.
Time: 9 hours, 40 minutes + 9 hours, 10 minutes.
Weather: Saturday - Warm and grey, Sunday - Hot and sunny. Rain overnight.

Where to this weekend? This would probably be my last overnight trip while based in the NE, but I still had 3 or 4 ideas that I had hoped to find time for before now. Realistically it came down to a visit to the Yorkshire Dales or a traverse of Cross Fell and the other Pennines to the north of it. Cross Fell etc was certainly something I wanted to have done, but to be honest the miles of bog out to the northern outpost of Cold Fell just didn't excite the imagination much. Yorkshire on the other hand had some rocky summits, plenty of interesting limestone scenery and a great train ride to get there. All I had to do was come up with a route that wasn't too long!


Day 1.gpx Open full screen  NB: Walkhighlands is not responsible for the accuracy of gpx files in users posts


Great train ride it might be, but if you want to start walking before noon, you have to leave Sunderland at 5:50am and spend rather a long time sitting around in Carlisle. Still, no faulting the line down through Kirkby Stephen and Dent - one of those spectacularly scenic rail journeys that you don't mind taking ages.

I was off the train at Settle shortly after 11am and quickly found my way out of the town and up onto the hills to the east. Although I was here to go up some hills, I thought I'd see some other sights as well. A pleasant grassy path took me beneath limestone crags and up a small valley which led over towards Malham. While the air was cool, the sun was pretty hot despite lurking behind thin cloud for much of the day.

Image
Ingleborough and Settle

Image
Attermire Scar

Image
Attermire Scar

Crossing a road, I made my way towards the western side of Malham Cove, where it was suddenly very busy. And that was just the area on top of the cove, where only the more intrepid visitors were venturing! I have been here once before for an orienteering event, but that was in about 1995 and I didn't get much of a look about.

Image
Malhamdale from above the Cove

Image
Malham Cove

Image
Looking down into Malham Cove

Impressive stuff, with climbers out on the overhangs below. Sadly my phone camera didn't really pick them up well - need to get a proper camera again.

Image
Malham Cove from the west

ImageMalham Cove from the east

Although I knew it would add distance on to a long day, I carried on towards Goredale Scar, which I hadn't visited before. This was even busier than Malham Cove, but well worth the diversion. I wasn't sure if there was a way out behind the waterfall, but an easy scramble led into a higher section of the gorge, and a stepped path the rest of the way out. This was clearly putting off about 80% of the visitors!

Image
Hog House Syke

Image
New Close Knotts

Image
Heading into Goredale Scar

Image
Waterfall in Goredale Scar

Image
Looking back down Goredale Scar

Image
Upper waterfall

Image
Upper Goredale

Once out the top, more lovely grassy paths led through limestone pavements to Malham Tarn. This was an oasis of calm compared to the last couple of tourist spots, and after passing the NT centre, things got quieter still. I was now on the Pennine Way which I would follow to the summit of Fountains Fell.

Image
Malham Lings

Image
South over Malham Tarn

On Fountains Fell I was out of the limestone and grass, and onto more familiar heather moorland. This could have been hard going but the Pennine Way cut gently through it, with no soft surfaces or steep gradients. The actual summit is a short diversion from the Way following a boggier path, and finally more than 5 hours after stepping off the train, I was on my first summit of the day.

Image
East from near the summit of Fountains Fell

Image
Pen-y-Ghent from Fountains Fell

Darnbrook Fell was close by so I decided to pay it a visit. Sadly the Pennine Way didn't go over there, so it was down to some heather bashing and hag hopping (thankfully not too wet) to reach the summit. More heather and grass took me down the slopes to the north, across a road and onto a faint quad track which led up Plover Hill. The track became lost amongst grouse butts and the last climb was quite a heather bash, with some more pleasant boulders closer to the summit.

Image
Summit of Darnbrook Fell

Image
Near the top of Plover Hill

The top itself was unexciting heathery marsh, as was much of the traverse towards Pen-y-Ghent. Shortly before that summit, things became grassier again. The top had a well constructed shelter built into the drystone wall and a couple of people. There was a vaguely interesting light away to the west, but for the most part the weather had dulled down a lot.

Image
Ingleborough from Pen-y-Ghent

A steep descent, complete with short scrambly section (very easy) led to an extensively flagged path, which led eventually down to Horton-in-Ribblesdale. My feet were getting a bit bored by now - no wonder as I had already hit the 20 mile mark on Pen-y-Ghent.

Image
Dropping off the steep south nose of Pen-y-Ghent

Image
Looking back to Pen-y-Ghent

I was briefly tempted to go to the campsite in Horton, which would have allowed me to retire to the pub, but it looked busy and noisy with 3-peakers - there seemed to be a charity event on today.

Image
You have been warned...

Amusingly, the charity event ensured that my last couple of miles to my intended camping spot were the busiest of the day - I must have passed the last 50 people on the challenge!

My intention was to head towards Ingleborough until I passed out of the limestone pavement area and reached some running water on the surface. I was just starting to wonder when it might rain as I reached a meagre stream (it was forecast for the night), when the first drops hit. I pretty much dropped my bag and found a flat area right there and then! The tent was up and my dinner was on before I got too wet, and I retired for a much needed rest. I'm pretty sure I haven't got any taller in the last few years, but I increasingly find my tent too short, and having pitched on a slight incline, my feet were pushing against the bottom, which made my sleeping bag wet. Maybe it's time for a new tent...

Image
Pen-y-Ghent from the limestone pavements above Horton-in-Ribblesdale

_________________________________________________________

I didn't sleep that well, but at least I got a few hours, and the rain appeared to have stopped. It really didn't look great back in the direction of Pen-y-Ghent though.


Day 2.gpx Open full screen  NB: Walkhighlands is not responsible for the accuracy of gpx files in users posts


Up and packed away by 7:50am, I set off towards Ingleborough. Before reaching it, I branched off at a wall crossing and headed up onto the plateau of Simon Fell. Although there was sun overhead on a few occasions, the summit didn't clear, and took a bit of finding in the morning mist.

Image
Nice morning at my camping spot

Image
...but not so nice further east

Image
Will it clear??

Moving onto Ingleborough and another good path, the sky threatened to clear repeatedly but didn't. The summit felt like a proper mountain with plenty of boulders and steep drops about. I didn't hang about though.

Image
Not quite clearing on the final approach to Ingleborough

Image
Summit of Ingleborough

Heading down to Red Gait Head, I passed quite a few people on the way up. Can't say I was expecting that at this time of the morning (shortly after 9am). To make up for the lack of summit views, the walk down past Crina Bottom was one of the nicest areas I had passed through yet, with a babbling stream and some lovely limestone crags to one side.

Image
Crags in Red Gait Head

Image
Ingleborough and Red Gait Head

Following the track towards Ingleton, I could see my next objective coming into view. Gragareth looked less interesting than Ingleborough, but there was plenty of pleasant walking to be done before I reached it.

Image
Gragareth from Fell Lane

Cutting off the track before Ingleton, I passed a large quarry and crossed the River Doe. Further along I took a short diversion to see if I could spot the waterfall of Thornton Force. The top of the gorge looked nice but I didn't detour enough to see the falls properly, mindful of another long day ahead.

Image
Twisleton Scars

Image
Stepping stones over the River Doe

The lower part of the climb up onto Gragareth was through some more lovely limestone scenery, and with Ingleborough now clear and quite some heat from the sun, it felt more like the Tramuntana mountains of Mallorca than anything remotely English 8) . Definitely a worthy spot for a first lunch break of the day.

Image
Ingleborough across Kingsdale from Cheese Press Stone

Image
Morcambe Bay from the ascent of Gragareth

The rest of the ascent onto Gragareth was less interesting, being long grass and moorland (although less heather and hags than Fountains Fell yesterday). Still, views of Morcambe Bay opened up nicely, ironically giving me much more extensive views of the west coast than Beinn Damh had the previous weekend. I hadn't really expected to see much of the sea from the middle of North Yorkshire!

Image
Gragareth summit ridge

Image
Ingleborough with Pen-y-Ghent behind

Image
Lake District from Gragareth

In many ways, the Yorkshire Dales are quite similar to the Brecon Beacons in South Wales - a few prominent limestone peaks surrounded by more typical grouse moor and peat hags. I was now back in the moorland zone, with a long, wettish traverse over Green Hill to Great Coum. It probably didn't help that I had printed off some A4 sheets of Landranger map rather than buy a proper one - they had come out at a smaller scale and made the distances look much shorter than they actually were!

Image
Lakes across the shoulder of Calf Top

Image
Ingleborough and Pendle Hill

Image
The ridge to Great Coum

Image
What a flattering photo!

This ridge wasn't overly unpleasant in the nice weather, but it reminded me why I hadn't been able to work up that much enthusiasm for the Northern Pennines. It also caused me to think about the remaining Hewitts I have (which I would potentially like to finish one day), and how around 80% of them are probably like this or worse. There are times when you think 'I'd much rather be sitting on some rocky ridge overlooking Loch Hourn than slopping through this' :lol:

Things improved on the final approach to Great Coum with a few boulders to liven up the scenery. I left my bag at the col which made the walking seem easy for a short while, and there was no arguing with the view from the summit - a panorama of Morcambe Bay, the Lake District, the Howgills and Dentdale. That more than made up for the uninteresting trudge over from Gragareth.

Image
Final ascent to Great Coum

Image
Howgills from Great Coum

Image
Across Calf Top to the Lake District

Image
Looking back to Gragareth

Image
Dentdale and the Howgills

Image
Dentdale from Great Coum

A quick return to my bag prompted another stop and a search for some more water - more difficult to find than expected due to the fact that half of the streams run underground. Then it was down to Green Lane where I passed the first person I had seen since the waterfalls this morning.

Whernside was the last big climb of the day. The route from White Shaw Moss is definitely the shortest and easiest way up, but also the least interesting by a mile. However it was reasonable enough, and I soon emerged on the summit ridge where there were people again.

Image
Ribblesdale from Whernside

Image
Greensett Tarn from Whernside

Whernside might be the least interesting of the 3 Peaks, but it's still pleasant enough, with a steepish escarpment on the eastern side and some pleasant pools of water around. As with all of the popular summits, there were flagstones leading most of the way down, as well as footpath signposts with some very spurious distances on them (something I'd noticed quite a lot over the weekend).

Image
Pen-y-Ghent from Whernside

My descent was a bit slower than earlier ones, my knees and feet becoming tired of the long distances. Of interest on the way down was an aqueduct where Force Gill had been diverted over the railway rather than under it, and of course the famous Ribblehead Viaduct.

Image
River crossing over the top of a railway cutting

Image
Ribblehead viaduct

Fortunately my main objective of the weekend was also nearby...

Image
Finally the pub

I was in at 5pm, with almost 2 hours to go until my train home. Perfect for dinner and a couple of relaxing pints - glad I ordered straight away, as by 6pm the place was heaving with 3 peakers. The barman told me I was limited to 2 glasses of tapwater (no surprise when a pint of coke is £3.60) - you can tell when you're in Yorkshire :roll: . Still, the food was good and the pints (of beer) were welcome.

Image
Spent the last few hours thinking about this

Finally a wander over to the station to catch the last train home. While I'm looking forward to some proper hills in the Highlands again, I was glad I made this visit to see the Yorkshire Dales properly, as it might be quite some time before I'm back again.

Image
Ribblehead station
User avatar
malky_c
 
Posts: 5795
Munros:282   Corbetts:222
Grahams:219   Donalds:74
Sub 2000:244   Hewitts:256
Wainwrights:102   Islands:30
Joined: Nov 22, 2009
Location: Inverness

Re: A stroll in the Yorkshire Dales

Postby johnkaysleftleg » Tue May 15, 2018 12:48 pm

I think that might just redefine a stroll :lol: Looks a fine couple of days visiting some of the best sights The Yorkshire Dales has to offer. I'm off up Gragareth and Great Coum this weekend, hopefully the weather holds so I get views as good as yours.
User avatar
johnkaysleftleg
Walker
 
Posts: 3001
Munros:24   Corbetts:9
Grahams:10   Donalds:3
Sub 2000:7   Hewitts:166
Wainwrights:214   Islands:8
Joined: Jan 28, 2009
Location: County Durham

Re: A stroll in the Yorkshire Dales

Postby trailmasher » Tue May 15, 2018 7:36 pm

A fine walk across some fine hills malky :clap: and pleased that you had good weather for the views and pics. A very good 2 days 'stroll' :lol:
And £3.60p for a pint of coke :crazy: :roll: :thumbdown:
User avatar
trailmasher
Walker
 
Posts: 1102
Munros:11   
Hewitts:180
Wainwrights:214   
Joined: Nov 26, 2014
Location: Near Appleby - Cumbria

Re: A stroll in the Yorkshire Dales

Postby mrssanta » Tue May 15, 2018 11:07 pm

ee that were grand!
User avatar
mrssanta
Mountain Walker
 
Posts: 2929
Munros:240   Corbetts:10
Grahams:3   
Sub 2000:9   Hewitts:44
Wainwrights:40   Islands:8
Joined: Jul 18, 2011
Location: north yorkshire moors

Re: A stroll in the Yorkshire Dales

Postby treehugger » Thu May 17, 2018 10:14 am

Great stuff :clap:
How much was a pint of beer?
treehugger
 
Posts: 59
Joined: Mar 14, 2014

Re: A stroll in the Yorkshire Dales

Postby Alteknacker » Wed May 23, 2018 4:54 pm

By 'ek, you were motoring there! I suppose it was the attraction of the £3.30/pint coke at the end that kept you in top gear!

A great trip down memory lane for me. Did the 3 peaks a couple of times in the 60s, and did a lot of potholing in this area in my teens. And my uncle farmed at Kirby Malham, and I grew up only a few miles away. I've recently been planning to return to the area, and this report reminded me why I love it. It's not the Highlands, but it has it's own attraction (nicely captured in "In Praise of Limestone").
User avatar
Alteknacker
Scrambler
 
Posts: 2614
Munros:167   Corbetts:28
Hewitts:195
Wainwrights:71   
Joined: May 25, 2013
Location: Effete South (of WIgan, anyway)

Re: A stroll in the Yorkshire Dales

Postby EmmaKTunskeen » Wed May 23, 2018 6:48 pm

Cracking photos! I was up there on 21st/22nd April with friends doing the three and some waterfalls/caves. Tickled me that it's such an exciting landscape...
...as long as you're underground... :wink:
User avatar
EmmaKTunskeen
Mountain Walker
 
Posts: 153
Munros:25   Corbetts:17
Grahams:9   Donalds:4
Sub 2000:2   Hewitts:41
Wainwrights:41   
Joined: Aug 19, 2016
Location: West Sussex

1 person thinks this report is great.
Register or Login
free to be able to rate and comment on reports (as well as access 1:25000 mapping).



Walkhighlands community forum is now advert free

We need help to keep the site online.
Can you help support Walkhighlands and the online community by setting up a monthly donation by direct debit?



Return to Walk reports - Outside Scotland

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: cinis0855 and 3 guests