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Great Shunner Fell

  • Height: 716m (2,340 feet).
  • Highest point of peat-hagged massif between Wensleydale and Swaledale.
  • On the Pennine Way.
  • Across Buttertubs Pass from Lovely Seat.
  • Lies on the watershed of the River Ure and the River Swale.

Great Shunner Fell is the third highest mountain in the National Park and rises from the surrounding moorland to become the highest of the fells bordering Swaledale and Wensleydale.

The main routes to the summit are from Hawes, Hardraw and Thwaite or over Little Shunner Fell from Buttertubs Pass.

There are Millstone Grit outcrops on the top to the north of the mountain, and coal was mined in several places until the 1880s when the introduction of the railway to Hawes made better quality coal more cheaply available. You can still pick up small pieces of it around the summit. Read more about the coal industry in the Yorkshire Dales on our Out of Oblivion website.

Great Shunner Fell is one of only two places in the National Park where the yellow flowers of the rare marsh saxifrage (Saxifraga hirculus) grows, the other being in Arkengarthdale. It can be found in 21 sites in Britain and the two in the Dales are the most southerly.

The views from the triangulation pillar – which is, unusually, built of stone rather than concrete  – include the Lake District hills to the west, with the Howgill Fells in the middle distance. Nine Standards Rigg lies to the north and the road up to the Tan Hill Inn, Britain's highest pub, is also visible. You can see also Swaledale and Lovely Seat and, to the south, Buckden Pike and Pen-y-ghent, Ingleborough and Whernside.

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