GREAT Knoutberry Hill is a cone-shaped fell overlooking Upper Dentdale. The walk, one of my favourites, includes a steady climb to its excellent summit and visits to the Artengill Viaduct and atmospheric Dent Station.

There is some roadside parking near the bridge at the foot of Artengill Viaduct, roughly 300 metres south (updale!) of the Sportsman’s Inn. Cross the bridge and head towards the bridleway heading towards the viaduct.

There is a large board describing one of the thriving (and surprising) industries in the early 19th century, Dent Marble. Dent Marble is not a traditional marble but a hard dark limestone primarily used for fire places and in the construction of large scale Victorian building projects such as the Artengill Viaduct. The viaduct is just one of 20 built to support the construction of the 84-mile Settle Carlisle railway line, surely the most impressive train line in England. Artengill Viaduct is one of the largest, with 11 massive arches and more than 30 metres high.

A few miles further up the dale is another viaduct, Dent Head, which you may have noticed on the drive in. The bridleway climbs past the viaduct as it climbs steeply towards a col. Just before the high point of the path is a proliferation of way markers signifying a meeting with the Pennine Bridleway. Ignore these and carry on the path heading east to a high point at just over 1,700 feet.

At a wall junction cross the wall to your left and climb the faint footpath keeping the wall close as you climb. The climb is not particularly steep and after ¾ a mile the summit of Great Knoutberry Hill is reached.

Great Knoutberry Hill is the summit area of Widdale Fell and marks the boundary of Yorkshire and Cumbria. It is also one of the ‘Dales 30’ mountains, the mountains within the National Park boundary that rise above 2,000 feet, the completion which offers an excellent challenge. Google the ‘Dales 30’ for more details.

The summit is an excellent view point with the views on a clear day down the length of Dentdale particularly impressive. The sketch map offers two descents north to the lonely road from Garsdale to Dentdale. The first follows the fence due west, past some standing stones to meet the Pennine Bridleway track ½ mile distant. From here turn right and enjoy the views on the easy walk to the road. Alternatively, cross the fence at the trig point and head north east towards Widdale Tarns. There are very few tarns in the Dales and these two are extremely peaceful and a pleasant place to linger before striking north west across rough trackless land to the road. Wherever you meet the road turn left towards Dentdale and head along the tarmac as it drops, in places steeply, towards the ‘main’ road in Dentdale, meeting it in the pretty little hamlet of Cowgill. On the route down stop off and explore Dent Station, not only the highest station in England at 1,150 feet, but surely the most inconvenient, being a full 4 ½ miles walk to the village of Dent. From Cowgill turn left and head alongside the embryonic River Dee, past the Sportsman’s Inn and back to the car.

Fact box:

Distance: Roughly 7 miles (slightly longer via the tarns).

Height to Climb: 465m (1,525 feet)

Start: SD 771859. Some roadside parking on the west of the river.

Difficulty: Medium/Hard. The tracks are very good except around Widdale Tarns where there are none.

Refreshments: The Sportsman’s Inn is the nearest pub but check opening hours before coming. Dent is 4 miles away with cafes and pubs.

Be Prepared: The route description and sketch map only provide a guide to the walk. You must take out and be able to read a map (O/S Explorer OL2) and in cloudy/misty conditions a compass. You must also wear the correct clothing and footwear for the outdoors. Whilst every effort is made to provide accurate information, walkers head out at their own risk. Please observe the Countryside Code and park sensibly.

Jonathan Smith runs Where2walk, a walking company in the Yorkshire Dales:

• He has published 2 books on walks in the Dales, ‘The Yorkshire 3 Peaks’ and ‘The Dales 30’ mountains. Available direct from the Where2walk website.

• Book a Navigation Training day (Beginners or Intermediates), First available date 27 March. All dates and information on the website.

• Where2walk also run Navigation weekends in the Dales and the ‘3 Peaks in 3 Days’ guided walks. Full details also on the website

Jonathan’s popular website, also features 100’s of walks across Yorkshire and beyond, from easy strolls to harder climbs