A walk of contrasts, starting through green fields along the quiet Dent valley, then climbing up onto the exposed shoulder of Whernside and past the unexpected tarns high on the north end of the ridge. You'll need navigational skills as parts of this route are not well used and paths are not always obvious on the ground.
Take the train from Ribblehead one stop to Dent station, the highest main line station in England. There are no facilities at the station which is over 4 miles from Dent village. To be on the safe side you should proabably allow an hour to walk from Broadrake to Ribblehead to catch the train.
From the station take the road left heading steeply downhill to the hamlet of Cowgill. On reaching the valley cross the bridge over the River Dee and immediately take the footpath on the right along the river bank. This is part of the Dales Way long distance walk. When the path rejoins the road at Ewegales Bridge after about 1km take the quiet back road on the left for another 1km until the Dales Way path forks off left.
Keep going along the Dales Way as it works it's way along the south side of the valley through fields and past farms. After Swarthwaite farm leave the Dales Way and take the footpath which swings left climbing over rough fellside to reach the bridleway from Ribblehead to Dent. This section is not well frequented and paths are not obvious on the ground so take care with navigation.
On reaching the bridleway turn left up hill and follow it until the track breaks free from walls and starts heading across open fell. At this point turn right following the wall side up hill to reach the wall corner. From here keep heading in the same direction up hill to reach Whernside Tarns on a plateau on the shoulder the hill. Skirt to the left of the tarns and follow the indistinct path which goes on to join the main ridge path. Up to this point you probably won't have seen many other walkers but from here on you are following the Three Peaks route which can get very busy on summer weekends.
Follow the obvious path straight on towards the summit and from there keep going along the ridge as it descends gradually. After about 1km you descend three steps along the ridge, each a little bigger and steeper than the one before. At the bottom of the third step the path drops off steeply to the left to a gate in a wall. Take care on this section. Through the gate the gradient eases slightly as a partially flagged path leads down off the hill. If it's clear you can see Broadrake as you descend.
Go through the gate at the bottom, then almost immediately left through another gate by an old barn and cross the field to get back to Broadrake.