Wharfedale Three Peaks Yorkshire Dales challenge walk
With Mark Reid FRGS – author of ‘The Inn Way’ & Mountain Leader
Birks Fell – Buckden Pike – Great Whernside
34 km (21 miles) – 1,200 metres of ascent – 11 hours
The Wharfedale Three Peaks Challenge is a new hill-walking challenge that takes in the summits of Birks Fell (610m), Buckden Pike (702m) and Great Whernside (704m), the three mighty fells that enclose Upper Wharfedale.
Mark Reid knows Upper Wharfedale like the back of his hand and will guide you around this route (whilst sharing his knowledge of the area), so that you can forget about navigation and enjoy the fantastic views and wonderful landscapes instead. It is a demanding walk that must be approached with preparation and training, but it is also an extremely rewarding walk that will be remembered for many years, for the views and landscapes along the way are simply breath-taking, from stunning valleys to wild moors and lonely fells.
Wharfedale Three Peaks
The Wharfedale Three Peaks is a 34-km (34 mile) route with 1,200m of climbing that will take around 11 hours to complete. The routes takes in the three fells that surround Upper Wharfedale including…
- Birks Fell (610m)
- Buckden Pike (702m)
- Great Whernside (704m)
From Kettlewell the route starts with a steep climb up limestone scars onto Old Cote Moor, from where we gradually climb up along the top of this broad moorland ridge between Wharfedale and Littondale to reach Birks Fell, just beyond beautiful Birks Tarn. From Birks Fell, we continue along the top of the moorland ridge (boggy in places) to reach Horse Head Pass, which we follow down into Langstrothdale, as the upper reaches of Wharfedale are known, and the picturesque hamlet of Yockenthwaite. We then follow a lovely path across limestone pavements and flower meadows, with wonderful views, to reach the hamlet of Cray, famed for its waterfalls (refreshments). A steady climb then takes us to the summit of Buckden Pike, and marvellous views for miles around. A long and gradual descent now across heather moorland, passing the Polish WWII Memorial, takes us to the moorland ‘pass’ between Wharfedale and Coverdale known as Great Hunters Sleets, with its Iron Age defensive ditch and monastic road. A short sharp climb now ensues up onto the broad and rocky plateau of Great Whernside, with far-reaching vistas across the southern Yorkshire Dales. From Great Whernside, our route drops down to Hag Dyke (Scout Hut and highest chapel in England) beyond which are stunning views across the ravine of Dowber Gill Beck as we head back into Kettlewell.
This guided walk is designed for solo or small groups of walkers who want to take on the Wharfedale Three Peaks challenge walk, but don’t want to worry about route finding.
- Fully guided walk with Mark Reid (Mountain Leader)
- Experience the camaraderie of walking a challenge route with other like-minded walkers
- Discover the history, heritage, flora and fauna of Wharfedale
- Share your sense of achievement with your fellow walkers
- Small group sizes – maximum 8 people per walk
- You are GUARANTEED not to get lost on our guided walk!
OUTLINE OF THE DAY
7:45am: Meet at Kettlewell, Wharfedale
8am – 7pm: Guided walk around the Wharfedale Three Peaks challenge
7pm: Debrief back at Kettlewell, then head home
NB: All distances, heights and timings are approximate
YOUR GUIDE - MARK REID
MARK REID is the author of 17 walking guidebooks including ‘The Inn Way’ series. He is a qualified Walking Group Leader, Hill & Moorland Leader and Mountain Leader, and has an unrivalled knowledge of the history and geography of the North of England. Mark has a BA (Hons) Geography degree from the University of Lancaster and is a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society (FRGS). Mark has walked over 28,000 miles of footpaths since 1997, and has taken over 17,000 people out walking in the countryside – he’s been an Outdoor Professional for 26 years! Mark has appeared on ITV YORKSHIRE on the TV walks series ‘A Breath of Fresh Air’ along with ITV weatherman Jon Mitchell, as well as ITV1’s The Dales.
EXPERIENCE, FITNESS & INFORMATION
- This is a long distance challenge walk that covers 34-km (21 miles) in a single day, with 1,200m of ascent and three hill/fell summits (one at 610m, two over 700m) that will take around 10 hours to complete.
- It is a long and demanding walk, with rough terrain in places as well as high ground across moorland, hills and fells. There are small streams to cross, boggy and wet ground, mud and peat hags, as well as rocky ground in places. There are some steep and sustained ascents and descents. We may experience adverse weather conditions.
- A good level of fitness and stamina will be required to complete this walk; preparation and training will be necessary.
- Successful completion of this walk will depend upon your own level of fitness, stamina and preparation, as well as good fitting boots and no minor injuries along the walk, such as blisters, pulled muscles or sore knees etc. By taking part in this guided walk, you understand and accept the risks involved in undertaking a long distance challenge walk. Participation of this guided walk is no guarantee of successful completion.
- We are fully insured (public, civil & professional indemnity insurance)
- All of our instructors are fully qualified and experienced Mountain Leaders
- So far, we have taken over 17,000 people out walking, and have a wealth of experience dealing with all ages and abilities.
- Part of the attraction of valley, hill and mountain walking is the challenge of tackling different terrains, landscapes and weather conditions. Every effort is made to minimise potential hazards; however, the very nature of hill and mountain walking involves a certain level of unavoidable risk of accident and/or injury. By taking part in this activity, you are aware of and accept these risks.
- Our walks are suitable for all ages. Under 18s (minimum age 14) may attend if accompanied by a parent or legal guardian. The child must be accompanied at all times during the walk by their parent/legal guardian.
- Terms and Conditions