Walk date – 23rd April 2021
Distance – 11.25 miles
Weather – warm, dry, sunny, slight breeze
A much longer walk than usual today while we explored a few more of the Howgill fells we haven’t yet visited. We didn’t start out to do such a great distance it was just the result of a combination of factors: an early start, fabulous weather and a ‘we might as well while we’re here’ frame of mind. The very slight breeze moved the air around from time to time keeping the temperature at a comfortable level, the sun shone all day, and there was no reason to rush back home so we just continued on from fell to fell. A glorious day for walking the lovely Howgill fells.
Sedbergh – Howgill Lane – Lockbank Farm – Winder – Rowantree Grains – Calders – The Calf – Bram Rigg Top – Calders – Arant Haw – Nab – Crosdale Beck – Height of Winder – Lockbank Farm – Howgill Lane – Sedbergh
We started out from the car park by the tourist information office in Sedbergh, turning right out of the car park and walking along Main Street until we reached Howgill Lane. We turned right along Howgill Lane and walked up it until we reached this point where we turned off and walked up to Lockbank Farm.
The footpath passes through the farmyard and up the slope to a gate in the intake wall. On passing through the gate we turn left and follow the path onto the open fellside. There are several paths taking a more direct route but as most of them wandered through the prickly gorse bushes up a stiffish slope we kept to the well trodden main track alongside the wall.
At the point where the path carries on alongside the intake wall and forms a junction with this wider path we doubled back up the slope and followed the obvious path along the flank of Winder, pronounced as in ‘to win a race’. Again there are lots of path taking direct routes up to the top of the fell but we’re making for the col between it and Arant Haw to reduce the strain on my back.
We met a Sedbergh resident just out for a morning walk at this point so we had quite a long chat about this and that, as you do, and he also mentioned a number of places where we could park for free, which we duly noted for future reference. He eventually went on his way using the same route as us, up to the col then doubling back to Winder summit. A gentler route for his gammy knee he explained. We met up with him a couple of times after this meeting.
The view down to Sedbergh from our chat stop.
Further along is this view across Settlebeck Gill with Arant Haw on the left and Crook Fell directly across the gill. The paths on both sides of the gill can be accessed from Sedbergh.
The path eventually turns up towards the col and we follow it up to the col where it meets up with the main track coming across from Arant Haw. We aren’t quite on the col just yet but over on the extreme left we can now see the summit of Winder.
Approaching the summit and the chap with his arm in the air is the one we had a chat with earlier on. When we got there another long chat followed between all five of us.
Before gaining the top I took a look back along the col towards Arant Haw.
The trig point and topograph on the summit of Winder. The local resident mentioned that boys from Sedbergh school have some sort of tradition which involves painting the trig column red every year although he had no idea why. Having done so they do come back and paint it white again. Boys will be boys I suppose. The Lake District fells are in the distance behind the trig point but there was a lot of haze around today so distant views weren’t really worth bothering with.
The information plate on the topograph.
Eventually the summit meeting came to an end and we all went our separate ways. We headed off back down to the col towards Arant Haw. On the way we decided that we wouldn’t make a direct ascent on Arant Haw but keep to the darker green path, on the right, fully intending to gain the col and, as at Winder, double back and visit the summit from there. As it turned out we didn’t.
Fell ponies below us as we reach the col above Settlebeck Gill.
We followed the right hand path, up a steady incline, along the flank of Arant Haw until we came to this point, where the guidepost indicates the path back over to Arant Haw. Ahead of us is Calders on the left skyline so we decided to carry on up there and go over to Arant Haw on the way back. The narrow strip of land between us and Calders is known as Rowantree Grains.
The view back to Arant Haw as we carry on towards Calders.
Losing height as we follow the path down Rowantree Grains. The lost height will be tough to win back by the looks of those steep slopes on Calders.
The easy part was dropping down from the guidepost and over Rowantree Grains, we’re now starting the difficult bit, the steep climb up Calders alongside the fence. A couple of cyclists caught up with us, one had some battery power so was able to continue, the other one didn’t so he accompanied us as he pushed his bike up the steep slopes.
The view along Hobdale Gill from the summit of Calders. On the left of the gill is Middle Tongue, over to the right are Knotts, at the end, and Sickers Fell. A large group of motor cyclists and their bikes (of the lightweight motocross variety) had gathered on the summit so photography was curtailed.
From Calders the white trig pint on The Calf was clearly visible on the skyline in the very bright sunshine, although difficult to see in this shot, so this was another of those ‘might as well go over there while we’re here’ moments. Its not a long walk, about three quarters of a mile, with only a couple of ups and downs along the way. Bram Rigg Top is in the middle foreground over to the left. We decided to visit that on the way back.
Not that you’d know it from the photo but there were about a dozen walkers scattered around the summit of The Calf. I’ve never seen anyone hogging the summit here, everyone takes their photo and then moves away to sit on the grass and have a lunch break. That’s exactly what we did too. Walkers were continually arriving during our lunch stop.
After our lunch break we dropped down from The Calf, branched off the main path at the dip and headed on the faint path up to Bram Rigg Top. A gentle walk up on grass.
Looking back to The Calf from Bram Rigg Top.
The small pile of stones marking Bram Rigg Top and the view over to Calders
The motocross bikers have gone so a chance for a shot of the cairn on Calders. From left to right on the skyline are Pen-y-Ghent, Whernside, Ingleborough and Great Coum.
Now for the easy bit, dropping down from Calders and back over to the guidepost and the path over to Arant Haw. From Arant Haw our route will take us over its humps and bumps down to Nab and then down to Crosdale Beck.
Back at the guidepost so we leave the main track and head across to the top of Arant Haw.
On the skyline from left to right – The Calf, Bram Rigg Top and Calders from the summit cairn on Arant Haw.
Fell Head and White Fell from Arant Haw.
A look back at Arant Haw summit as we drop down towards Nab.
Descending to Nab …..
….. with a view of Winder across the Crosdale Beck valley on our left.
Descending steeply now towards Crosdale Wood and beck. There was no easing up on the brakes until we finally crossed Crosdale Beck.
Looking back to Arant Haw, third bump along from the left, after the crossing of Crosdale Beck.
From Crosdale Beck its just a case of following the intake wall southwards back to the gate above Lockbank Farm. The route has a few ups and downs along the way but nothing too severe. This is a look back towards Blease Fell, Linghaw and Fell Head on the right with the fells of the ‘other’ Borrowdale over on the left.
High above the intake wall now as Sedbergh comes back into view.
We reach the gate in the intake wall at Lockbank Farm. After passing through the gate and the farmyard we are back on Howgill Lane and starting the walk back down into town.
Rounding the bend at the bottom of Howgill Lane sees us back on Main Street where we turn left and walk the short distance back to the car park. As I walked along the narrow street, just ahead of J, I heard someone calling out from the opposite side of the road. It turned out to be the local man with whom we had already had the two lengthy conversations when we were on Winder. He was now out shopping with his wife. This time it was only a very brief chat as we passed each other by in the street but the waving and smiling seemed to indicate that he was pleased to see us again. Well, that’s us more or less done for the day and what a lovely day it has been. We always enjoy the Howgills so I expect we’ll be back there sometime during the summer. Finally and just to let you all know that I am aware that the Search function is not working at present, we have been trying to find out what the problem is but it looks as though we’re going to have to start from scratch to get it up and running again. Hope to have it working again soon when I have a minute to sort it all out.