Lake District


North Yorkshire

North Wales



About Summiteer


29th July 2017

Whernside Summit

Whernside Top

Scroll down for photos and a description of the walk....

Flying Scotsman Hellifieild Station

Today, the world's most famous steam locomotive is due to haul a charter train up the Settle/Carlisle line. Here at Hellifield, the engine plus support coach have arrived from York and await the train (diesel-hauled) to arrive from Derby and the engines will switch. Me 'n Molly catch the 09:40hrs service from Hellifield to Ribblehead to gain a vantage point to watch the main event.

Ribblehead Station

Ribblehead Station

10:12hrs and we say goodbye to the guard and her train. How reassuring for passengers to have a guard on the train, something we have taken for granted for more nearly 200 years! Cloud sits heavily on Whernside where I think we will be heading in due course.

Ribblehead Viaduct

Ribblehead Viaduct

One hour or so until the charter train arrives and a challenge to find somewhere away from everyone else, if possible....

Blea Moor Signal Box

Blea Moor Signal Box

Maybe I will be able to stand here in 20 years time (doubt it somehow) and what will be left?

Blea Moor Tunnel South Portal

Much to my surprise, nobody else was at the southern portal of Blea Moor Tunnel. I know that the prettiest photos of trains come at an angle whereby you can see the front and side of the train, but nothing about today is pretty and I will be the only one to take a picture from here of this train today. If the rain holds off...

Flying Scotsman Blea Moor

Here She Comes

For this amateur photographer, light is a problem and I have chosen to take the photos on a slow shutter speed, rather than trust the automatic setting of the camera. The signal for the southbound line has changed to green which opens up the line, but I'm not expecting any service trains to hinder the view.

Blea Moor Tunnel

Blea Moor Tunnel

This photo from earlier in the year shows roughly where I was taking my photos from. I am above the railway fence, beneath the wall.

LNER A3 Class 4-6-2 no 60103 Flying Scotsman

Steam and Diesel

Then a modern diesel engine emerges from the tunnel with a rake of empty wagons offering a rare opportunity to capture an image of these two trains from vastly different eras.

To Whernside

To Whernside

This is the best time of day and year to get mingling with "Three Peakers". Enpowered by their conquering of Pen-y-Ghent and optimistic about the task ahead, many still wear smiles and offer good company to each other and other walkers.


I am sure the cool and cloudy upland conditions help with completion of the long distance walk.

Molly on top of Whernside

The Summit 2,415ft asl

Molly found an opportunity to get wet.

Ribblehead Viaduct

Ribblehead Viaduct

We took lunch in the shelter of the wall which runs the length of the Whernside summit ridge and then took the regular route down and off the fell.



The "Three Peakers" will continue to Ingleborough, Molly and me will turn left at the farm. Some walkers have support vehicles ready to meet them just past the plantation (centre) and usually one of the farms has a shop open for refreshments etc.




Loads of time until the 15:40hrs train back to Hellifield, so we'll take a gentle stroll across Batty Moss, grab a brew at the roadside tea van, saunter up to the station and have a nap on one of the benches.



Barnado Fundraiser

Just Giving - Barnado's

I met Julie and her friend on their fundraising Three Peaks walk and gave her £1. Then having looked at her page, I was motivated to make it up to £10. A great charity and a fantastic effort - mirrored frequently by many others walking for lots of good causes. The above is a cropped screen-shot, with the kind words of Julie on the right-hand side. There is a link to Julie's page and this may disappear in the course of time.

Walkers: Molly and Me.

Time taken: 4hrs 30mins over a distance of about 10 miles.

Route: Ribblehead (Blea Moor Road), Great Scar, Blea Moor Sidings, Whernside by the usual route. Down to Broadrake and along the marked footpath to Winterscales and Blea Moor Sidings, the viaduct and back to the cars

Weather and conditions: Mainly dull and rather chilly on top.

Whernside earlier this year, 15th February, steam train etc.

Whernside on 23rd January 2016 - train as usual.

Whernside on 12th February 2012 - more trains, much more ice and snow!

All photos copyright Richard Ratcliffe 2017 ©

Take me back to the start ....

Take me home....