If you enjoy being away from the busy crowds of the Lake District and want to undertake peaceful, tranquil walks with astounding views, then you should consider the hills/fells called ‘Howgills’. Below we have listed a range of fell walks as well as ‘pub pit stop’ walks for those preferring a ‘wander with refreshments!’
The Howgills are hills in Northern England between the Lake District and the Yorkshire Dales lying roughly in between the vertices of a triangle made by the towns of Sedbergh, Kirkby Stephen and Tebay.
The name Howgills derives from the Old Norse word ‘haugr’ meaning a hill or barrow, plus gil meaning a narrow valley. Source: Wikepedia
The Howgills are the rolling green giants you see to your right as you speed along the M6, northwards between J37 and J38. The Fell tops glitter with snow and frost in the winter and shed this for their beautiful green coats in the Summer months.
The region, although mostly comprised of rolling green hills, has a surprisingly diverse landscape and there are several very impressive waterfalls, lovely hidden valleys with rocky beck-side paths, a few towering crags and an abundance of high, lofty and airy paths.
There are 19 fells inside the border, of which The Calf (15) at 676m is the highest with stunning views when the weather is clear. The Calf can be ascended from Cautley Spout which is England’s highest cascade waterfall above ground.
- Arant Haw
- Bram Rigg Top (Nutt)
- Bush Howe (Nutt)
- Calders (Hew, Nutt)
- Fell Head (Hew, Nutt)
- Green Bell (Trig)
- Hand Lake
- Harter Fell
- Hazelgill Knott
- Randygill Top (Hew, Nutt)
- Simon’s Seat
- The Calf (Trig, Mar, Hew, Nutt)
- Uldale Head
- Wandale Hill
- West Fell
- Yarlside (Mar, Hew, Nutt)
Maps for the above can be bought from the Tourist Information Centre along the Main High Street, please click here
- Bottom of the Fell wall
Exit the apartments and as you are looking at the street (face on) turn left, down Bainbridge Road. As you get to the end of Bainbridge Road, turn right on to Howgill Lane. Go past the play park (a great stop off for the kids). Continue past the park and up the hill. As you reach the top of the hill you will see a path leading to the right which is marked as a public footpath. Go up this path and through the gates through the farm yard. This will take you to the bottom of the Fell, Winder. You can turn right which is a beautiful walk along the fell wall and will lead you back in to the middle of Sedbergh (where I then like a well deserved coffee and cake – lots of cafes along the main high street). This will take about 30 minutes. To reach this walk from the Barn, exit the Barn and turn left and go through the gate in the wall.
- Or an alternative route, once, you have gone through the farm yard – you can turn left and do a fell hike up Winder (bit more challenging and about 45 – 60 minutes, steepish climb). On your way back down you can call in at the ice cream farm which sells home made ice cream made from the cows on the farm. Click here for more information To walk up Winder from our Barn; turn right as you exit the Barn. Just before you go across the narrow bridge over the river, there is a small path with a gate on your right. This will lead you up to Winder.
- River walk
Go along the main high street and as you get to the end of the high street turn left at the junction (past Westwood books). Continue down this road for 10 minutes and you will see Settlebeck school on the right. Cross over the road and turn right (past Settlebeck School). As you continue on this road (for a few minutes) you will see a large parking lay-by on your right. There is a gate with a public footpath sign and you can walk a lovely loop around the river. There are picnic tables along the river and lots of wildlife to spot!
Pub pit stop walks…
Nigel Close (owner of Howgills Accommodation) has lived in Sedbergh his entire life and provides his recommendations for walks with a ‘pub pit stop!’
Some great walks in the area. Dent is 5 miles away by car but a walk route will take you over the fells and into the Dale and village, where there are 2 pubs (George & Dragon and The Sun Inn). Then after lunch, walk back down the Dent valley and into Sedbergh. That’s an easy 10 miles.
The longer one takes you over Middleton Fell and drops down into Barbon where a great atmospheric Inn awaits at Barbon Inn. That would be a little further and maybe 15-16 miles but a great walk and views and then walk back up the Lune valley ‘back lanes’ into Sedbergh where you can again enjoy another couple before returning to the Apartments.
The other (and maybe requiring dropping off some ale prior as The Cross Keys on route, is a Temperance Inn and doesn’t serve ale), would be a walk over the Howgills dropping down by Cautley Spout (highest waterfall in England I think) and having a pre ordered ‘ham n eggs’ or something there before walking back along the valley bottom back to the Apartments. This used to take me about 3 hours at a good pace (without stopping off at the Cross Keys.) Maps and walking guides can be bought at the Sleepy Elephant or the Tourist Information Centre, both along the main high street.
For YouTube videos and further details of great walks click here
Before undertaking any long hikes or walks please make account for the following!
- Check the weather metcheck.com. This site gives forecast for 3 hour periods throughout the day. The weather can change quickly whilst walking on the Fells, so please keep a close eye on the forecast.
- Sedbergh is a great place to stay but as in any town within the North of England, you should always be well equipped with wellies, rain coats and a change of socks and shoes!
- A map. Sat nav is sometimes temperamental in the countryside, so it’s always handy to have a map in the car and is an essential on a walk too! On the Main High Street in Sedbergh there is ‘The Sleepy Elephant’ which sells a variety of maps and guides as well as the Tourist Information Centre (again on the main High Street). The Tourist Information Centre is open Monday to Saturday 10am to 4pm, Sunday 12 noon to 4pm or call 015396 20125.