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    This reflects the 10Adventures difficulty rating for each route. We aim to keep ratings consistent across regions.
    This reflects the total elevation gained throughout this route as measured by the GPS file. This includes all ascents and descents, and is higher than what is quoted in most route guides, which simply measure the distance between the starting-point and high-point of the route.
    542 m
    This reflects the return distance of this route as measured by the GPS file.
    12.9 km
    This reflects the estimated time the majority of users will take on this trail. If you are slower, add time to the top-end figure. If you are fast, then you may complete this route faster than this time range.
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    Directions to Trailhead

    Whernside Circular Walk

    Whernside Circular Walk

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    Table of contents

    The Whernside Circular Walk is an absolutely stunning journey among the Yorkshire Peaks. Wander along the open fields, gaze at the cascading waterfalls and enjoy the views from the towering peaks. This walk is an excellent option if you are looking for the best that Yorkshire Dales National Park has to offer.

    Route Description for Whernside Circular Walk

    The Whernside Circular Walk has areas along the path that can be quite steep as you walk up the first of the Yorkshire Peaks, so ensure you have appropriate footwear. As you are ascending quite high and up to the peaks of mountains, the weather at the top can be very different from where you begin, making a jacket or warmer clothing recommended.

    This walk encompasses so much of the beauty found in the Yorkshire Dales National Park and has sights that will inspire you. There is so much to take in, from the rushing waterfalls to open meadows with plants dancing in the breeze. The Yorkshire Peaks are astonishingly beautiful, and you will be in awe of the beauty you see when you summit their peaks.

    At the junction of B6479 and B6255, there is a lot of parking and a refreshments area. Follow the marked path from the car park and head towards the viaduct. You will see the large arches that make up the viaduct, follow the grassy path visible at the last arch and head right up the wall of the side of the railway track. You can see stunning views of Ingleborough from here, and as you continue to follow the wall, you will come to a sign marked “FP Whernside.” Follow this sign and pass a wooden stile. You will be able to see the magnificent peaks of Whernside from here as well as Ingleborough and Pen-y-Ghent. You will see a signal box with Blea Moor; follow this over the stream and use the stepping stones.

    Turn to the left, following the path over a walled aqueduct and then over a wooden stile. You can see trains flowing into the Smithy Hill tunnel from here. Head over the bridge and uphill as the Force Gill waterfall comes into view. Cross through the stile and continue uphill, looking for the “BW Ribblehead 2 miles” sign. Over another stile and follow the sign to Whernside. You are now walking up the summit of Whernside, and you will cross a small stream.

    Continuing on the path, follow the wall to the summit and look for the small gap in the wall. Stop here to take in the incredible views from the summit and then continue following the marked path down a steep hill. Cross a stile, and you will be able to see Ribblehead Viaduct and Pen-y-Ghent. The path from here continues to be quite steep until you reach the wall, where it levels out.

    Following the markers, down flights of steps with increasing steepness, continue downhill and over another stile, heading for the farm. Reaching the farm, you will go through the gate in the wall and continue to follow this wall. You will see a footbridge with the bridle sign “Scar end 4 miles”, continue straight ahead.

    Cross the field after the gate and follow the path and signs. Passing homes, cottages and a bridge, you will come across rougher terrain once more and walk along a stream. Follow the archway under the railway line and pass a wooden gate through a tunnel, and you will be back on the path to the car park as this is a circuit walk.

    Trail Highlights

    Whernside Peak

    The Whernside Peak is located in the Yorkshire Dales National Park and is the highest of the three peaks that can be found here. It stands at 736 m and can have very different weather conditions at the summit than at the base.

    Frequently Asked Questions

    How difficult is the Whernside Circular Walk?

    The Whernside Circular Walk is categorized as a hard or difficult walk.

    Is the Whernside Circular Walk family-friendly?

    Yes, the Whernside Circular Walk is family-friendly, however, care must be taken with young children.

    Which is the easiest of the 3 peaks to walk?

    The Whernside Circular Walk summits the Whernside Peak and this is the easiest out of the three peaks.

    Other Great Walks in Yorkshire Dales National Park

    Check out our trail guides to Malham Tarn, Pen-y-Ghent, Malham Cove, Kisdon Force, and the Grimwith Reservoir. Or see all of our Yorkshire Dales walks.

    Insider Hints for Whernside Circular Walk

    • This is a very popular walk, so parking can be limited
    • There is rough terrain along this path so wear appropriate footwear
    • The walk is family-friendly, however, take care with young children as there is rough terrain
    • Extend your stay and book a night at the Wheatsheaf Hotel
    • Grab a meal at Bernie’s of Ingleton

    Getting to the Whernside Circular Walk Trailhead

    To get to the Whernside Circular Walk from Ingleton, head northeast on Bank Top toward Bank Hall Cl and keep left to continue on The Rake. Turn left at Bell Horse Gate and continue onto Holme Head Farm Road. Turn right onto New Road and then turn right onto Thornton Lane. In 9.7 km, arrive at your destination.

    Route Information

    • When to do:

      April - September

    • Backcountry Campsites:


    • Pets allowed:


    • Family friendly:


    • Route Signage:


    • Crowd Levels:


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    Whernside Circular Walk Elevation Graph

    Weather Forecast

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