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Howgills Walk
Cautley Spout & the Calf from Sedbergh

Nat Park - Yorkshire Dales - Howgill Fells

Region - Howgills

County/Area - Cumbria

Author - Lou Johnson

Length - 10.0 miles / 16.3 km    Ascent - 2300 feet / 697 metres

Time - 7 hours 20 minutes    Grade - moderate

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Walk Route Description

Photo from the walk - Cautley Spout & the Calf from Sedbergh
Click image to visit gallery of 9 images.

Starting from the small market town of Sedbergh, this walk in the Howgill Fells follows the River Rawthey upstream to Cautley. Turning northwest the walk passes Cautley Spout, one of the most dramatic waterfalls in the area, before climbing into the Howgill Fells. The route then visits the summit of the Calf, which at 676m, is the highest point in this range of hills, before returning to Sedbergh.

The start is the pay and display car park in Sedbergh (Grid ref SD659921) near the Tourist Information Centre. Leave the car park and walk east along Main Street to join Long Lane. Not far after the junction with Castlehaw Lane on your left take the signed footpath left (Grid ref. SD661921). This leads past a housing development on your right to join a lane - Thorns Lane. Continue ahead on this lane to Underbank (Grid ref. SD667925). Here take the footpath on your right that leads across fields passing below Stone Hall to bring you to Hollin Hill, which is passed on your left.

The onward path is generally easy to follow and you soon arrive at Ellerthwaite where you join a tarmac lane. Go left (east) along the lane which becomes a green lane after passing Thursgill. This is a beautiful section of the walk with the River Rawthey below on your right and pleasant views ahead. Hobdale Beck with its waterfalls adds interest as the green lane undulates towards Cautley.

There are few landmarks on this section and nearing Cautley you descend to cross a footbridge over Cautley Back. Just after, turn left (Grid ref. SD693967) and follow the clear road path northwest to reach the foot of Cautley Spout. After rain this waterfall is always an impressive sight and is one of the highlights of the Howgill Fells. The onward path takes you close to the falls and climbs steeply on a well made path on the right hand side of the waterfall. This path offers an intimate view of the falls and improving views down the valley.

Reaching the top follow the beck, taking the left hand stream, Red Gill Beck) at the first junction. A path follows this stream on the north side to reach a reconstructed sheepfold (Grid ref. SD676970). Andy Goldsworthy rebuilt this structure in his famous contemporary style and in many respects it is a pity that this work of art is hidden from view. Just past the sheepfold the stream splits again and this time take the right hand beck (Force Gill Beck) and follow this upstream to its source. Ahead of you is the col between Bram Rigg Top and the Calf with the main ridge path running between the two.

Turn right on this path and walk the short distance to the summit of the Calf from where there is an extensive panorama containing most of the Howgill Fells. After having enjoyed the view return down the path and continue over Bram Rigg Top to Calders. Shortly after this summit the path makes a broad zig-zag down the fellside to cross the narrow ridge of Rowantree Grains (Grid ref. SD669954).

Stay on the main path (ignoring the rising path forking right to the summit of Arant Haw). After just under a kilometre, look out for a distinct path junction (Grid ref. SD660940). Here the main path continues ahead towards Winder with a less obvious path dropping away to your left. Take the latter and descend steadily with a stream, Settlebeck Gill, joining you on your left.

Descend with this path to intake wall and continue down hill to reach a track. Follow this track as it continues to descend to join a residential street (Joss Lane). This is followed down hill to reach the car park at the start.

Other walks nearby

Walk 3008 Winder & Arant Haw from Sedberghmoderate7.0 miles
Walk 1196 The Calf from Sedberghmod/hard10.5 miles
Walk 3007 Fell Head & The Calf, from Howgill, near Sedberghmoderate7.5 miles
Walk 3006 Cautley Spout & The Calf, from Cross Keys, Sedberghmoderate5.5 miles
Walk 1393 Yarlside from Cross Keysmoderate4.0 miles

Recommended Books & eBooks

The Lune Valley and Howgills - A Walking Guide

The Lune Valley and Howgills - A Walking GuideA guidebook to 40 walks, from 3 to 11 miles, exploring the Lune Valley and Howgill Fells, some of the most unspoilt countryside in northwest England. Set between the Lake District and the Yorkshire Dales and two other AONBs, the walking is hugely rewarding, near the centres of Sedbergh, Kirkby Lonsdale, Kendal and Lancaster.
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Further Information

Walk Location Map

Walk location map

Howgills Walking

Situated east of the Lake District, the Howgills lie mostly within the boundaries of the Yorkshire Dales National Park. The Howgills are one of the forgotten walking areas in England. The "hippo like" outlines of the fells are distinctive, most often seen by those tearing up the M6 motorway between Kendal and Penrith. Despite the lack of crags it is great walking country and you can wander for hours in the knowledge you are unlikely to meet more than a handful of other people. Poor parking (except in Sedbergh and a few other areas) helps to keep the number of people wandering the Howgills to a minimum. More Information

Walk grading - Learn how each walk is assessed and select a walk to suit your ability and experience by going to Walk Grading Details.

Accommodation Nearby

Low Branthwaites
1.7 miles / 2.7 km away
Southlakeland Parks
8.5 miles / 13.7 km away
Riverside Hotel
Kendal, Cumbria
8.8 miles / 14.1 km away
Mirefoot Cottages
10.9 miles / 17.4 km away
Goosemire Cottages
Ullswater, Windermere, Eden Valley
14.3 miles / 22.9 km away

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