4.3 of 5 (7 votes)

Across the Howgills - Ravenstonedale to Sedburgh

A moderate walk (mountain (above 600m)) in national park Yorkshire Dales starting and finishing in Cumbria, England, about 18.60km (11.56 mi) long with an estimated walking time of about 7:15h. It is unsuitable for families with children, prams & pushchairs, wheelchairs.
Elevation Profile
Ascent 660m (2165ft)
Descent 793m (2601ft)
Max. Elevation 680m (2230ft)
Altitude Gain & Loss 1453m (4766ft)
Distance 18.60km
Duration ~7:15h
Car Free Walks TeamCreated by Timwoods on 22 May 2009
The Howgills are overlooked by many walkers heading for the northwest of England. Just outside the Lake District and only half in the Yorkshire Dales, they attract few of the crowds that flock to these places, and are all the better for it. The best way to enjoy these lonely hills is to lose yourself in them for a two day hike. There are plenty of places to wild camp, and there is little apart from sheep to disturb you.

Walk Functions


Nearby Walks

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Green Bell from Kirkby Stephen

★★★★★ ★★★★★
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Walk Map

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OS Grid NY725041
The walk starts in Ravenstonedale, to the northern side of the Howgills. There are buses here from Kirkby Stephen and Sedburgh, although they are fairly infrequent. It's easy enough to walk in from Kirkby Stephen railway station, though - just 40 minutes away over Smardale Fell.
OS Grid NY699011
Once past Tarn Riggs, you can pick your own line up on to the first summit of the day, Green Bell. It's open access land with few clear paths, so you can hug the valley or the ridge line as you climb.
About 3.96 km (~2.46 miles) from
OS Grid NY687001
Stick to the high ground and continue on to Randygill Top. Already you will feel a long way from civilisation, despite being less than five miles from one of Europe's biggest motorways!
About 1.56 km (~0.97 miles) from
OS Grid SD679996
The route drops sharply down the hillside, which could come as a bit of a wake up to the old calfs. Head south when you reach the valley floor.
About 0.87 km (~0.54 miles) from
OS Grid SD668971
This is the highest point in the Howgills, although the joy is in the sense of solitude rather than reaching a dramatic summit. From here, there are valleys north, south, east and west - scan the surroundings for a suitable camping spot away from the windy tops.
About 2.78 km (~1.73 miles) from
OS Grid SD679968
Day Two starts with a climb back up from wherever you pitched down for the night. Head for Cautley Crag, and an early morning wake-up call as you look down the steep face of Cautley Crag. Head for Cautley Spout, the spectacular waterfall at the northern end of the crag.
About 1.15 km (~0.71 miles) from
OS Grid SD694967
Follow the steep path that descends alongside the Cautley Spout falls. Before reaching Low Haygarth, cross the river and follow the bridleway that runs along the River Rawthey.
About 1.51 km (~0.94 miles) from
OS Grid SD679930
This may seem a timid way to finish a dramatic walk, but it is actually a lovely stroll - a peaceful valley and a chance to enjoy the splendour of the Howgills from below.
About 3.95 km (~2.45 miles) from
OS Grid SD657919
The path leads right into the town of Sedburgh, with good bus links to the surrounding towns in Yorkshire and Cumbria. Easy to head off for more walking in the Lakes or Dales!
About 2.44 km (~1.52 miles) from

3 comments... join the discussion!

06 Jan 2015
Reverse The Route

Another option of course would be to start at Sedburgh, with the early bus in, and finish at Kirkby Stephen, where there are more transport options... You would just need to extend the route by including Ash Fell to reach the station.

06 Jan 2015
Buses From Sedburgh

Yes, it's not the best connected place. As the walk ends here, it might make sense to plan an overnight stay and get the bus the next day - fortunately it's a great little town! A few other options according to this website, but probably worth ringing to check connections before setting off. www.sedbergh.org.uk/travel/bus.html Another option would be to add on a day and walk out through Dentdale to Dent station.

06 Jan 2015
Public Transport

Unfortunately in 2015 the bus services to/from Sedbergh are pretty awful really. There's a limited service to Kendal Mon-Sat and a limited Saturday only service between Kendal-Sedbergh-Dent to connect with trains on the Settle-Carlisle line plus a Wednesday only service between Dent(village)-Sedbergh-Kendall.

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