West Yorkshire – Whernside and the Ribblehead Viaduct

Now, this spot is a little closer to home for us which makes it the perfect spot to disappear to when we only have one night spare. Why waste a night sitting at home when you can be in a van somewhere completely random?!

This particular night, we had just been to a friends Halloween leaving do as he was off to New Zealand (We honestly aren’t even slightly jealous…). We were in fancy dress as dead Minnie and Mickey, including make up and fake blood. The idea was to stay a few hours at the party which was halfway between our chosen destination and home and then drive on to the van spot.

This in theory, was a fantastic idea. However, we forgot how horrendous we would have looked driving the country roads at night dressed as dead Disney characters and covered in fake blood! It got worse.. When we arrived we both pulled out the make up wipes and started sorting our faces out. In the light of the van we both thought we had the situation well and truly under control, turns out we could not have been more wrong!

We woke up in the morning and couldn’t help but laugh at each other. The fake blood had dyed our whole faces bright pink! We tried again with baby wipes and face wash but to no avail. There was only one thing for it. Get dressed and carry on the day as normal. If anyone asked, we both had photographic evidence of the evening before!

Back to the camp spot. This is one I spotted whilst climbing Whernside with my parents one weekend. Its directly opposite Whernside and in perfect view of the Ribblehead Viaduct. Its a large carpark/layby which is used by walkers to climb the three peaks.

Its on a slight angle so we found it best parking sideways on to get the bed as straight as possible. However, we set our alarms to move ourselves straight quite early on in the morning as the surrounding areas fill up very early on a weekend with walkers and we wanted to respect this and not ruin it for others.

Please see below for exact location

ribblehead viaduct

Carpark for Whernside trek is exactly where we camped, there’s quite a lot of space there.

On the Sunday morning, we were quite lazy and had a lie in till around 10. When we got out of the van we were amazed to see that every single ounce of space around us had been filled! Thank god for silver screens otherwise us sleeping would have been the entertainment for the day!

We set off walking up Whernside around 11am. We took the route which goes past the Ribblehead viaduct and follows the train line. Up to the right hand side which is quite a gentle climb up to the top, however the climb may be gradual but its quite a long distance! We decided to make it a circular route and walk back down the other side. I have to say, this is definitely not a gradual climb and not for the faint hearted either!

All in all we did the walk in around 4 hours. Just in time to go to the Station Inn (Also shown on the map above) the food here is lovely and the post walk pint we had wasn’t too bad either!!

For anyone who doesn’t know this area well, it is the base for the Yorkshire 3 peaks. The 3 peaks are made up of Whernside, Ingleborough and Penyghent. It is quite the challenge as the aim is to do it in under 12 hours! Most people do this for charity, the others must do it out of insanity. That is still the only conclusion I have managed to come to!

As mentioned in this blog, this camp spot is by the Ribblehead Viaduct so I feel it would be wrong to not finish off with some facts about the Ribblehead Viaduct.

  1. Its 1320 feet Long
  2. 104 meters high
  3. It took 6000 people and 7 years to complete
  4. The moor below it became a shanty town called Batty Moss
  5. Batty Moss had a selection of schools, churches a hospital, library and a pub.


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