North Yorkshire

Whernside in North Yorkshire, now the highest hill in Yorkshire (even if the top isn’t)

NORTH YORKSHIRE: Whernside (2415 feet/736 metres)

54° 13′ 39″ N, 2° 24′ 12″ W

After Mickle Fell was gifted to County Durham in 1974, Yorkshire was split into North, South and West Yorkshire, with Humberside feeling like an estranged family member. Each county now had it’s own county top, and Whernside in North Yorkshire was the highest of them all at 736 metres. Nothing controversial about that at all.

Controversy lies in the thousands of photos online of people just like me, arms aloft atop an Ordnance Survey trig point marked OSBM2982 believing themselves to be the highest person at that moment in all of Yorkshire.

It is likely they have followed the relatively easy bridle path to or from Chapel-le-Dale, possibly on the no less controversial Yorkshire Three Peak Challenge, and indeed will have spent all day in the county of North Yorkshire. However, the moment they step through narrow gap in the cliché dry stone wall, they have entered a whole new realm. The air will taste different, the sky a little greyer, for they will find themselves in Cumbria.

That’s right, the trig point atop Whernside is in Cumbria. It’s not even a particularly high point for Cumbria. There are people on top of Scafell Pike, 242 metres higher looking down upon the current incumbents of Whernside’s trig point, literally looking down upon them for their foolishness.

So do visit Whernside. Be the highest person in all of the counties of Yorkshire, but take your photo the other side of the wall. You might see me there, when I go back to replace my current photo.