THIS walk is one of the Dales classics. Visit the highest point in Yorkshire from one of its most iconic features, the Ribblehead viaduct. Easy to follow and straightforward to climb, there is a bit of a sting on the descent. It all adds up to a memorable day.

Park in the many parking places at the junction of the B6255 and B6479 and head towards the viaduct. This is clearly in view with the large bulk of Whernside behind. The viaduct was built between 1870 and 1874 with over 1,000 navvies involved and includes 24 stone arches towering impressively to over 100 feet above your head. It is best viewed when one of the steam trains passes along the Settle to Carlisle line. Do not pass through the viaduct but keep to the eastern path as it heads north.

Pass Blea Moor station (spooky at dusk) before arriving at the aqueduct that marks the start of not only the climb up Whernside but also the 1 ½ mile Blea Moor Tunnel, simply one of the outstanding achievements of Victorian endeavour. To climb Whernside cross the aqueduct and start to climb just west of north up the slopes of the mountain. On your left is the waterfall at Force Gill, usually so impressive but barely a trickle at the moment due to our exceptional and pleasant summer (to date!). After 350 feet of steady climbing a stile to the left marks a change in direction and a well-constructed footpath heads towards the summit ridge of Whernside. Much of the walking is on vast slabs, carefully laid. They may be hard on the feet but as well as protecting the sensitive peat land around, protect the walker from wading through a knee-high bog!

A mile from the stile the path climbs on to broad summit ridge of Whernside, turn left and follow the ridge south for ¾ a mile to the summit. The trig point is through a narrow gap in the wall and offers great views to the north with the Dales 30 summits of Gregareth (the highest point in Lancashire) and Great Coum prominant and the Howgills and the southern Lakes further afield. As you continue south from the summit it is the distinctive shape of Ingleborough which attracts the eye. ¾ a mile from the summit the path divides, carry on the ridge for a long and pleasant descent to Ingleton but to the left a rougher path drops steeply down towards the Hill Inn. This is your route.

The first and steepest section of the path is most unpleasant, however it is short, just take your time and pick your best route. The path is going to be re-laid (hopefully by the end of the year) and if you wish to know more join the Friends of the 3 Peaks, details of which are on the National Park website.

The path improves and the slope flattens after the first gate.

Pass through two more small gates and arrive at the farm at Bruntscar. Instead of carrying on down the main farm track (this is the route of the Yorkshire 3 Peaks Challenge) turn left in to a field and head north east, contouring the lower slopes of Whernside.

The path passes through the farms of Broadrake and Ivenscar before an obvious track on your right (one mile from Bruntscar) heads towards the viaduct.

Turn left at the farm of Gunnerfleet and under the viaduct back to the start.

Fact file:

Distance: Roughly eight miles.

Height to Climb: 460m (1,500 feet)

Start: SD 765793. Parking places on the roadside near the junction.

Difficulty: Hard.

Refreshments: There may be a butty van at the cross roads or take the few minutes walk to the newly refurbished Station Inn.

Be prepared: Take a map and in cloudy conditions a compass.