Two weeks today at 7.00am St Catherine’s Hospice 3 Peaks of Yorkshire challenge will commence at Chapel-le-Dale. Ahead of them participants face walking an almost marathon distance route and climbing three big hills each over 2000ft in height. It is a daunting prospect and because it is they hope to attract generous sponsorship to help the Hospice raise much needed funds. (Readers wishing to support the challenge please go to for information).
Preparation for meeting such a challenge is vital and not to be done on a whim. In the information for participants issued by the organisers two types of training are recommended – general fitness to be undertaken three times a week; and endurance training which could take in a walking route. Last week I highlighted the West Pennine Moors as an ideal training ground with a suggested route in the Belmont area because it was relatively local to St Catherine’s. This week we go further afield - in fact in the very shadow of the highest peak, Whernside, - with an easy to follow route setting off from the delightful village


Start: Dent village car park LA10 5QL

Fact file: Distance 9 miles 15k

Time: 3 ½ - 4 ½ hours

Summary: Strenuous

Map: OS OL2 The Yorkshire Dales Western and southern areas

Map by kind permission of Johnston Press 

1. From the car park cross to the road opposite its entrance and keep on it through the village


until it brings you to the end of a cul-de-sac and the start of the bridleway leading up besides Flinter Gill.


The steepest climb of the walk follows. The lower section of the gill is heavily wooded so much so that any attractive feature the gill may possess - waterfalls and the like are obscured by foliage most of the year. The ancient lime kiln is not


and will be seen to the left of the main track early in the ascent. As the bridleway breaks clear of the trees look for a view finder on top of the rise to the right of the track. Back on route the way becomes less steep


and in ¼ mile meets Green Lane an old droving road.


2. Green Lane is another bridleway. Turn left. The plan now is to walk to High Moss four miles distant from this point. At first the going is reasonably straightforward


but after the junction with a track leading down to Nun House over a mile from Flinter Gill there is a mark deterioration in the quality of the track underfoot something that becomes more pronounced after wet weather when progress is impeded by stretches of peaty swamp.


Persistence is rewarded as you round the valley above Gastack Beck when a well-made firm broad track


takes you across High Moss and deposits you on road from Kingsdale.

3. Here you stand beneath the looming presence of Whernside which has been in sight ever since you reached Green Lane. On the traverse Ingleborough's distinctive profile would have been seen to the south. The real pay-off comes as you turn left onto the road with what I regard as one of the best views in England looking down into Deepdale - a scene of timeless beauty.


Until this point navigation us been easy. Up Flinter Gill - turn left. Walk 4 miles to the road turn left again. The next section as you descend into Deepdale requires a tad more concentration. After 250yds cross a stile on the right into rough pasture.


The path is quite faint here but there are old waymark posts to keep you on route down to a ladder stile over a wall


with a barn nearby. Keeping the wall to the left follow it down to Deepdale Head Farm.


Here enter the yard and turn right to exit it over a small bridge. Bear left soon picking up bright yellow markers


which will keep you on course past the next farm ( Mirth Garth. )


Four fields after Mirth Garth the route dog legs to the left to cross a wooded gully (50yds down from the right field corner).


From here keep straight for 500yds


to intercept a lane coming down from Blake Rigg.


This leads onto Dyke Hall Lane. At the first road junction turn left to reach Mill Bridge.


4. Now on the Dales Way (and several other long distance paths) turn right onto a footpath just beyond the bridge and follow this to


Church Bridge on the edge of Dent.