Great Whernside

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Great Whernside
Great Whernside.jpg
Great Whernside from next to Tor Dyke near the road between Kettlewell and Coverdale
Highest point
Elevation 704 m (2,310 ft)
Prominence c. 288 m
Parent peak Whernside
Listing Marilyn, Hewitt, Nuttall
Coordinates 54°09′39″N 1°59′54″W / 54.16091°N 1.99843°W / 54.16091; -1.99843Coordinates: 54°09′39″N 1°59′54″W / 54.16091°N 1.99843°W / 54.16091; -1.99843
Great Whernside is located in Yorkshire Dales
Great Whernside
Great Whernside
OS grid SE002739
Topo map OS Landranger 98

Great Whernside is a fell in the Yorkshire Dales, England, not to be confused with Whernside, some 17 miles (27 km) to the west. Its summit is the highest point of the eastern flank of Wharfedale above Kettlewell. The curving escarpment above the pass between Wharfedale and Coverdale is known as Whernside,[citation needed] of which Great Whernside is the highest point; Little Whernside is a few kilometres to the north-east.

Great Whernside forms the watershed between Wharfedale and Nidderdale, and is on the boundary between the Yorkshire Dales National Park and Nidderdale Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. Little Whernside forms the watershed between Coverdale and Nidderdale. The River Nidd rises on the eastern slopes of Great Whernside, above Angram Reservoir.

The summit of Great Whernside is a plateau strewn with rocks of millstone grit, from which the mountain takes its name (quern meaning "millstone").[1]

Until 1997 no public right of way was established to the summit of Great Whernside. In that year two public footpaths were registered, one from Kettlewell in Wharfedale to the summit and one along the summit ridge.[2] Following the Countryside and Rights of Way Act 2000 large parts of the fell became open access land. Great Whernside can be ascended from Kettlewell,[3] or by a shorter route from Park Rash Pass on the minor road from Kettlewell to Coverdale. It can also be ascended by a longer, less popular, route from Scar House Reservoir.[4] Routes from the East are often boggy even after prolonged dry weather.

Hag Dyke, halfway between Kettlewell and the summit, is a hostel run by 1st Ben Rhydding Scout Group in Ilkley.

The fell is the site of several aircraft crashes.[5]

Tor Dike (situated on the north western flank) is an earthwork with ditch and rampart constructed in the limestone.[6] It appears to have been built either by Iron Age tribes, perhaps in the 1st century AD, to protect themselves from the invading Romans,[7] or in the Dark Ages.[8]


  1. ^ Smith, A.H. (1961). The Place-names of the West Riding of Yorkshire. 5. Cambridge University Press. p. 218. 
  2. ^ Andrew Bibby (2006). Wharfedale and Nidderdale. Freedom to Roam Guides. Frances Lincoln. pp. 79–81. ISBN 0 7112 2553 2. 
  3. ^ Yorkshire Dales National Park website: Kettlewell
  4. ^ "Walk 2:Great Whernside from Nidderdale". Open access walks. North Yorkshire County Council. Retrieved 12 June 2013. 
  5. ^ Peak District Aircrashes website
  6. ^ Photo on Geograph website
  7. ^ Brigantes Nation
  8. ^ Historic England. "Monument No. 47039". PastScape. Retrieved 16 November 2013. }

External links[edit]

Media related to Great Whernside at Wikimedia Commons