Last Week’s Shoot – Ribblehead in Winter

Here’s the latest in the Last Week’s Shoot series that I would have posted last week if I’d not been caught up in the Great Copyright Infringement Debacle instead!  I picked a day with a rather chilly, but sunny weather forecast – though with the lowest windspeed of the week which made walking around Ribblehead a real joy…

Ribblehead Viaduct and Whernside in Winter, Yorkshire Dales

As I walked down the track from Ribblehead station I could see the shape of Whernside in the distance with a lovely covering of snow. I find Whernside the least attractive and most difficult to photograph of the Yorkshire Three Peaks so I was hoping to get something a bit different in these conditions with snow on the top but easy walking in the valley. In the midday glare when I arrived the lighting was rather harsh but the hill and viaduct still looked rather impressive.

Sheep by a Frozen Pool below the Slopes of Whernside

I continued under the viaduct and along the lane to Ivescar where sheep were grazing between the patches of snow around a frozen pool below the slopes of Whernside and smaller frozen puddles amongst the tufts of grass made and interesting foreground with the hill in the distance.

The Snowcapped Peak of Whernside in the Yorkshire Dales

From here I cut across fields to Philpin Lane, picking up part of the Yorkshire Three Peaks route down to the pub near Chapel-le-Dale before ascending the other side of the valley toward Southerscales in the shadow of Ingleborough.

Lone Tree at Southerscales with Whernside in the Distance

At Southerscales I explored the extensive area of limestone pavement for a while, finding a gnarled old tree which made a nice subject with Whernside beyond.  It would have been even better as the sun descended but I had to walk back to Ribblehead and was hoping for some nice light along the way back around Ivescar.

Wherside at Sunset in Winter near Ivescar

Sure enough, walking back along the valley floor the setting sun caught the tufts of grass in the meadows perfectly and though Whernside gets no direct light as the sun sets the dusting of snow helped to hold some interest in the face of the hill, so I was quite pleased with the result.  As a bonus, the soft pink light was catching the viaduct in the distance rather nicely too! (Featured image, top).

Frozen Pool and Park Fell Simon Fell and Ingleborough at Sunset

Back at the frozen pool I found a great spot for photographing a wintry view towards Park Fell, Simon Fell and Ingleborough in the last rays of the setting sun (there’s a discussion of this compared with spring and summer views of Ingleborough from Ribblehead in my Time of Year and Direction of Light post for the Natural Light Photography Workshops blog).

The Flat Topped Peak of Ingleborough at Sunset in Winter

In twilight I arrived back at the viaduct and headed up above Batty Green to look back down to Ingleborough silhouetted against the winter sky.  A fine way to finish off before catching the train home!



About marksunderland

Mark Sunderland is a retired landscape and travel photographer still taking the occasional photograph! For image licensing and prints see

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