Walk 3385 - printer friendly version
Carlingill Beck, Black Force & Whin's End Walk
Author - Lou Johnson
Length - 6.5 miles / 10.6 km
Ascent - 1200 feet / 364 metres
Grade - mod/hard
Start - OS grid reference SD624995
Lat 54.3895850 + Long -2.5805241
Postcode LA8 9DG (approx. location only)
This walk in the Howgill Fells starts from Carlingill Bridge and initially follows Carlingill Beck upstream to reach Black Force waterfall which tumbles down in a series of cascades. From here the route follows paths and tracks over Whin's End to descend to follow Howgill Lane and then Fairmile Road back to the start. For the most part it is a relaxing walk. However, the ascent beside Black Force is a rough scramble. After heavy rain, this route can, in places, be impassable or difficult to make progress.
The start is a grassy lay-by on the south side of Carlingill Bridge (grid ref. SD624995). After parking walk back to the bridge and turn right dropping down to pick up the path on the south side of Carlingill Beck (beck on your left). As you make progress upstream you will need to cross the beck to find the easiest route. If the stream is running deep, then you can make progress by heading steeply up to your right to join a feint path that descends across the fell to re-join the beck near Green Knott Gill. After two kilometres from the start you arrive at the foot of the Black Force ravine on your right. It is worth noting that the final 200 metres before Black Force you may have to wade along the stream bed.
The scramble starts at the foot of the ravine. The preferred route is to the left of the cascades. It is steep in places and needs care. As you make progress up the steep slope you reach a grassy arete. After this the slope starts to ease and you should cross Little Ulgill Beck where convenient towards a narrow path that leads up to an obvious track (grid ref. SD645990).
Turn south and follow the track across the western flank of Blake Ridge to reach a col (grid ref. SD640985). Continue south with the slopes of Fell Head rising to your right. As you make progress you can fully appreciate the rounded contours of the Howgill Fells. After crossing Blind Gill, the path descends gently to Whin's End. From here initially head left before heading south to cross two small becks. Just beyond the second beck follow a narrow path that descends parallel to the beck to reach Beck Houses Gate (grid ref. SD638969). Joining a tarmac track, you soon pass Gate House before reaching Howgill Lane.
Turn right along Howgill lane which passes between fields for about 1.5 kilometres to reach open country. The lane becomes Fairmile Road and leads easily back to the start. The road walking is pleasant, and you have a fine view along the Lune Valley on your right.