Thursday, 17 May 2012

Dent to Ribblehead via Crag Hill, Great Coum, Gragareth and Twistleton Scar 6.5.12

 16 miles 5 - 6 hours.

This trek I had wanted to do for a while, planning various routes across the hills from Dent. I had previously done a walk from Dent to Ribblehead via Whernside a year ago, which was awesome - see the blog entry http://fell-finder.blogspot.co.uk/2011/03/dent-station-to-ribblehead-via.html. But this time I had wanted to take in some of the impressive fells that surround Dent village. The most distinctive fell you can see from the railway station is Great Coum, its not quite the height of nearby Whernside but commands a majestic figure above Dentdale, I got a quick snap of it here just before I boarded the little bus that takes you the 4 miles from Dent station to Dent village, here it is on the left...

Section 1. Dent to Green Hill.

Dent village is always an enjoyable place to visit, a good family day out or - like myself a good place to browse even when on your own, a truly beautiful Cumbrian village.
 I started the trek opposite the church in the centre of Dent village, heading up this lane in warm sunshine...
The lane soon becomes a path leading steeply uphill...
A wishing tree apparently according to the sign...
The Howgill Fells come into view...
There is a mini farm museum just off the path here, telling you all about farming life in Dentdale over the last 300 years or so. Here looking towards Aye Gill Pike from the museum...
Old Lime Kiln...
Continuing up the steep, and now muddy pathway...
I turned right where the path meets a track, here looking towards Middleton Fell and Calf Top...
After about 400 yards I turned left onto this rough track that is not on the map, so was a bonus!...
My next objective, Crag Hill comes into view...
What a find this track was, leading me straight to the side of the hill...
Climbing the side of this magnificent hill, all the time in brilliant sunshine. It's days like this that are made for Fell Walking...
And after cutting right when at the top of the hillside, I finally reached the Trig Point on the summit of Crag Hill at 682 metres (2237 feet), with some awesome views - here towards Morcambe Bay...
And here looking across the impressive Calf Top towards the distant Lake District fells...
It was then a matter of cutting back towards where I ascended Crag Hill, but then following the ridge around towards Great Coum, here looking from the ridge towards Aye Gill Pike again, and higher Wild Boar Fell just peaking over the top...
Here at the windy summit of Great Coum, 687 metres ( 2,254 feet)...
Looking towards Whernside, Great Coum's neighbour on the right, and back towards Dent railway station at Dent Head...
From Great Coum this is the beginning of a fantastic ridge walk - complete with a dry stone wall for company the full length, that will take in my next two objectives you can see in the below photograph, Green Hill and Gragareth...
Looking back at Crag Hill...
Having to cross over the wall here - this wall is the historic boundary between Westmorland, Lancashire, and Yorkshire. Green Hill is the hill beyond, and a distant Ingleborough is visible...
Arriving at the unimpressive summit of Green Hill, 628 metres (2,060 feet) - the highest point in Lancashire. I was expecting a stone carving of Wallace and Gromit at least!...

Section 2. Green Hill to Twistleton Scar End.

Continuing now on the boggy path towards Gragareth...
Time for a pit stop at the summit of Gragareth Fell with a few flakes of snow falling now, 627 metres (2,057 feet)...
From the summit of remote feeling Gragareth, the ridge walk continues South West, then its a matter of cutting left from the path across some rough moorland. Here, taking my life into my own hands crossing this poor excuse for a stile...
Here cutting South East now across the boggy moorland towards North End Scar...
Approaching the simply unmissable North End Scar which the path snakes its way through...
Ingleborough from the cairn at North End Scar...
Gragareth from the same spot...
Looking up Kingdale towards Whernside...
Boulder and Inglebrough whilst heading on towards the Trig Point at Tow Scar...
A bitingly cold wind was blowing across the summit of Tow Scar at 383 metres. But still some great views towards Morcambe Bay and Saddle Fell...
The path leads steeply downhill from Tow Scar towards a road that cuts through Kingsdale, I turned left onto the road and walked it for about 300 yards before turning right towards a bridge that crosses over the Kingsdale Beck...
The path from the Kingsdale Beck continues very steeply uphill now towards the much walked route of the famous Ingleton Falls Trail. This was a bit strange to suddenly be in a place so busy so quickly from such a remote feeling place. The ice cream van was a reminder of the last time I was here a few years ago with friends doing the Ingleton Falls Trail, it is parked at the highest point of the walk and makes a roaring trade from the parched tourists...

Section 3. Twistleton Scar to Ribblehead.
Just after where the ice cream van is parked, I cut immediately left up the incredible steep side of Twistleton Scar End. This brings you out onto a path that heads towards Scales Moor - a must for some great views of Ingleborough, and for those wanting to sample a Limestone Pavement up close...
The path cutting through the Limestone Pavement...
Mighty Ingleborough from Scales Moor...
After a good 2 miles of walking across the fantastic Scales Moor you come to the first of a number of farms you need to head past...
Heading past Gunnerfleet farm towards Ribblehead Viaduct, with a glimpse of Pen-y-ghent to the right...
Beasts of the Yorkshire Dales...
Heading through the arches of the viaduct...
And finally to the end of the walk, Ribblehead station...
This is one of those walks that I could do over and over again, taking in three counties, this is fell walking at its best in the Yorkshire Dales. Next time I'd like to try and find the 'Three Men of Gragareth' for a start, and perhaps go crazy and do Calf Top too making the walk a nice round 20 miles. Until then, thank you for reading and happy walking!
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