There is a Right of Way footpath running from the east at Ribblehead that heads north via Smithy Hill, Grain Ings before turning west to Knoutberry Haw and then south to Whernside itself. From the summit the ROW heads initially south then steeply southwest down a stepped path to the small village of Bruntscar. If climbed as part of the Yorkshire Three Peaks Challenge (which is normally done anti-clockwise) Whernside will be climbed following the route from up Ribblehead to descend to Bruntscar.
There are however other routes up/down the mountain which are not Rights of Way.
A path heads directly west from the triangulation pillar to reach the road that is Deepdale Lane near White Shaw Moss.
An alternative route heads directly north across Knoutberry Haw to pass Whernside Tarns and reaches the Craven Way at Boot of the Wold.
Following the southern descent for 0.76 miles (1.22 km), instead of turning steeply southeast towards Bruntscar a path continues south running adjacent the wall passing Combe Scar and West Fell to reach the limestone pavements at Ewe's Top.
Finally, 275 yards (251 m) south of the triangulation pillar an old route (partly fenced off) descends (initially very steeply) for 1.3 miles (2 km) to reach a road 275 yards (251 m) southwest of Winterscales Farm, this is the old route of the Three Peaks Challenge. Walkers should select this route with care as it is no longer maintained, boggy, badly eroded and requires extreme care over the final steep ascent/descent. The current route of the Three Peaks fell race runs approximately 440 yards (400 m) north of this old ascent along open moor.
All paths are on Access Land and make an interesting change from the Right of Way ascents/descents.
A walk solely around Whernside starting at the road of The Station Inn, to the top of Whernside and back round through the farm gives a distance of roughly 8 and a half miles.
Read more about this topic: Whernside
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