Yorkshire Dales Walks
Great Knoutberry Hill
Date: 21st Oct 2012
Distance: 7.9 miles
Ascent: 1497 feet
Time: 4 hours 20 mins
With: On my own
Start Grid Ref: SD763875
A visit to Great Knoutberry Hill and the two lovely Widdale Tarns - great views on the route back via Galloway Gate.
Route Summary: Dent Station - Coal Road - Crosshills Wold - Great Knoutberry Hill - - Great Widdale Tarn - Little Widdale Tarn - Great Knoutberry Hill - Arten Gill Head - Galloway Gate - Coal Road - Dent Station
1. Great Coum at the far end of Dentdale
2. Looking towards Rise Hill
3. On the top of Great Knoutberry Hill
4. Great Widdale Tarn
5. Little Widdale Tarn with Wild Boar Fell and High Seat in the distance
6. The grouse butt in the middle of Little Widdale Tarn
7. Garsdale and a distant Lakeland skyline
8. Widdale from below Arten Gill Moss
9. Arten Gill Viaduct from Galloway Gate
10. The old drove road known as Galloway Gate
11. Wold Fell
12. Dent Station
13. The super view of Dentdale from Galloway Gate
14. Baugh Fell
15. Dent Station
Walk Detail: Although it is the area that over the last eight years I'd spent the most time walking I'd only been to the Yorkshire Dales a couple of times this year prior to this walk which may explain why I'd felt a sudden overwhelming urge to visit the Dales again. Deciding where to go occupied me most of Saturday evening and in the end I plumped for this walk, mainly because I wanted to re-visit Great Widdale Tarn and Little Widdale Tarn - which over eight years before were the first moorland tarns I'd come across on a walk.
On my previous visit to Great Knoutberry Hill I'd started the walk from Widdale, this time I parked up alongside Dent Station giving me the chance to have a look at what us, at an altitude of 1150ft, the highest mainline train station in England.
From Dent Station I followed the Coal Road up the fellside before turning off where the bridleway of Galloway Gate joins the road. Forsaking the bridleway (which I was using on my route of return) my plan was to follow the fence or wall marked on the map directly to the summit. As it happened there was no sign of the fence / wall and so I climbed up the pathless fellside crossing along the way a fence that isn't marked on the map.
The top of the fell is marked by a stubby stone built trig point (surrounded by a pool of water), a shelter and a fence junction. It was a bright sunny day with good visibility and the views were excellent, especially of the hills above Dentdale, Garsdale and Mallerstang. To the north-west there was a superb long distance vista of the Lakeland hills that included Black Combe, the Coniston Fells, the Scafells and Great Gable.
From the summit I made a detour to visit the two tarns. Whilst I'm sure connoisseurs of Lakeland tarns wouldn't be particularly impressed I think the two Widdale tarns are lovely. Since my last visit someone has built a grouse butt in the middle of Little Widdale Tarn. With the addition of a small stone causeway leading out to it I couldn't resist sitting in the butt, in the middle of the tarn, to eat my lunch. I've since found out the butt was built by a local game keeper about four or five years ago.
After soaking up the atmosphere of the tarns I made my way back to the top of the hill before following the fence south-east partly retracing the route I'd used to ascend up on my previous visit. Reaching Arten Gill Moss I turned right on the bridleway a short while before turning right again on to Galloway Gate, part of an old drove road that was used to herd cattle south from Scotland.
This section proved to be one of the highlights of the walk with some great views of the surrounding fells and particularly of Dentdale, one of my favourite valleys. In fact this contouring path was something of a classic. Eventually I reached the Coal Road and returned back down to Dent Station savouring some final views of Dentdale on what had been a very enjoyable expedition.