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The south-western corner of the Yorkshire Dales is dominated by remarkable limestone formations and high mountains, to the extent that the triumvirate of famous peaks have given their collective title to the district: Whernside, Ingleborough and Penyghent are very much the beacons that symbolize the area. As in the rest of the Dales, however it is the valleys that really shape the countryside, and the two major dales are those of the Ribble and the Dee. Rising on the same moorland they immediately assume opposite directions, the Dee running north to Sedbergh and the Ribble south to Settle. They share a common disregard for Yorkshire, for these days Dentdale is wholly Cumbrian, while the Ribble is destined to be one of Lancashire’s major rivers.
Whernside, Ingleborough or Penyghent, often all three, are regular backdrops to most scenes in the district, and walkers come from afar to face their collective challenge, even though they offer far more enjoyable individual walks. As a result it is, ironically, often quieter near the valleys. Within these pages can be found classic ascents of each of the Three Peaks, but hard going on the peaty heights is more often than not forsaken for the glories of limestone country. Along the flanks of the great mountains is an array of gleaming scars and pavements, an unparalleled assembly of gaping potholes and labyrinthine caves, and a network of inviting green trackways over the hills. Dentdale, meanwhile, as northern limit of the area, remains enviably enshrouded in near timelessness…. fully revised (7th) Edition 2009
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