Great Hill and Blea Moor 25-02-2018 – Leader Derek

Great Hill and Blea Moor 25-02-2018 – Leader Derek

7 keen walkers met at the lay-by on Blea Moor Road on a crisp winters day, with glorious sunshine and clear views of the stunning landscape.  This walk had barely any mud, on account of the ground being frozen!

We shivered getting our boots on, so Derek led us at a fast pace (after another walker took our group photo) past the very impressive Ribblehead Viaduct  , the first of three incredible viaducts we were to pass, of the 21 on the line. We were struck by how many had lost their lives in the building of this one viaduct. We followed the Settle to Carlisle railway line up to Blea Moor railway station shortly before it disappeared into one of 14 tunnels, and then climbed steadily, shedding layers as we warmed  up. We followed a little of the Three Peaks route, climbing above Winterscales Beck and Waterfall Gill towards Little Dale.  We left the path to the imposing Whernside and continued upwards to a height of 542metres under Rough Gill Brows, and stopped for coffee by a ruin.  The photo of Derek shows Dent Head viaduct behind which we passed under later in the day. The gadget Derek is fiddling with showed the temperature as 2 degrees, but -2 with the windchill, and we felt it! Roy had to play in the snow since there was no mud. We then steadily descended Great Wold to Ring End, before turning north eastwards continuing downhill with Dent station in the distance. Then onward in an easterly direction, stopping for lunch near Clint, in the sunshine against a wall sheltering us from the icy wind. Now on the Dales Way we continued across farmland before dipping down to walk alongside the River Dee with Artengill Viaduct on our left. We went towards Harbourgill and Lea Yeat past Cow Dub Farm until Bridge End Cottage, and then started climbing again right of Dent Head Viaduct and with the Railway tunnel underneath us. After a lot of recent tree felling, as we crossed Blea Moor, and passed 3 air shafts and spoil heaps from the evacuated earth (and one closed off) with Pen-y-Ghent and Ingleborough in the distance. We dropped down to Little Dale and retraced our steps via the Ribbleshead viaduct.

Thanks to Derek for a spectacular and enjoyable walk, and well done to all for completing a challenging walk at quite a pace.

Pics and write up – Judy

Distance – 14.43 miles  Total ascent – 2,352 feet / 717 metres

If you wish to see a static view of the pics all in one go, then click here.

There is a link to the slideshow here. You will need to click within the black page that opens up to see the show – but at least it is full screen!


  1. sara shayovitz

    Thanks Derek for one of the best walks ever. Slept very soundly that night!
    Thanks Judy for the great photos and write up
    I’m sure windchill was lower than-2………

  2. Excellent write up and brilliant pics, Judy – don’t know how you did it without freezing. Apropos of the temperature, when you say “climbed steadily, shedding layers as we warmed up”, did that really include you??

  3. Thanks Judy for a brilliant report and super photos. You are a star! Derek

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