The Lune Valley and Howgills

40 scenic fell, river and woodland walks

By Dennis Kelsall, Jan Kelsall

Guidebook to 40 walks, from 3 to 11 miles, exploring the Lune Valley and Howgill Fells, some of the most unspoilt countryside in north west England. Set mainly within the Yorkshire Dales National Park, and the AONBs of Bowland and Arnside and Silverdale, the walking is hugely rewarding, near the centres of Sedbergh, Kendal and Lancaster.



come spring and early summer, the woodlands, meadows and hedgerows are at their most colourful, and you'll likely get the best weather too. As summer fades, autumnal hues paint another magical time. Crisp winter days can open wonderful distant views, but the weather can sometimes create challenging conditions, even for experienced walkers.


useful facilities exist at the few small towns and larger villages covered by the area, the main centres being Tebay, Sedbergh, Dent, Kirkby Lonsdale and Lancaster.


the lowland walks are generally without difficulty, but venture onto the higher moors and hills of the Howgill Fells and Bowland fringe, and competent navigation skills and stamina become necessary, particularly in winter. Good footwear, wind and waterproofs underlie basic equipment requirements. Non of the routes demand climbing skills, although some steep gradients may be involved.
Must See

Must See

the Howgill Fells are the main area of high ground covered within the book, the highest point of which is The Calf at 672m. Several of the other summits are also included such as Randygill Top, Green Bell and Docker Knott, with walks routed through the long valleys and along the broad ridges that are such a dominant feature of the area. Other satisfying heights include neighbouring Borrowdale, Middleton Fell and Clougha Pike. Elsewhere, the focus is on the River Lune and its immediate tributaries, exploring its changing character as it winds to the sea.
6 Nov 2017
17.2 x 11.6 x 1.2cm
  • Overview

    This guidebook offers a wide range of walks from the source of the river Lune in the Howgill Fells to Glasson Dock, just below Lancaster. The 40 day walks range between 3 and 11 miles in length and are all illustrated with extracts of 1:50,000 OS mapping. They explore the infinitely varied landscape as the river Lune flows between the Lake District and Yorkshire Dales national parks and the Forest of Bowland and Arnside and Silverdale Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty. Also included is a suggested 60-mile, 6-day route walking the River Lune from end to end, with lots of background information about the area's history, geology and also all the local facilities to help you plan your trip. There are magnificent views from the empty hilltops, delightful natural woodlands full of wildlife, stunning secluded side valleys and open moorland vistas to be explored in Yorkshire, Cumbria and Lancashire. And the walks are equally superb at any time of the year.

  • Contents

    Origins and landscape
    Accommodation and facilities
    Navigation and maps
    Planning your walk
    Using this guide
    The Walks
    Walk 1 Weasdale and Randygill Top
    Walk 2 Newbiggin-on-Lune
    Walk 3 Wath to Kelleth
    Walk 4 Bowderdale and The Calf
    Walk 5 Gaisgill to Orton
    Walk 6 Orton Scar
    Walk 7 Birk Beck
    Walk 8 Bretherdale
    Walk 9 Blease Fell
    Walk 10 Jeffrey’s Mount and Borrowdale
    Walk 11 Whinfell and Borrowdale
    Walk 12 Carlin Gill
    Walk 13 Beck Foot
    Walk 14 Firbank and Bridge End
    Walk 15 Winder, Calders and The Calf
    Walk 16 Sedbergh and the River Rawthey
    Walk 17 Frostrow Fells and Dentdale
    Walk 18 Beside the River Dee from Dent
    Walk 19 Killington
    Walk 20 Calf Top
    Walk 21 Barbon Low Fell
    Walk 22 Around Casterton
    Walk 23 Kirkby Lonsdale
    Walk 24 By the Lune from Kirkby Lonsdale
    Walk 25 Leck Beck
    Walk 26 Arkholme and the River Lune
    Walk 27 Melling
    Walk 28 Roeburndale
    Walk 29 Whit Moor
    Walk 30 Littledale
    Walk 31 Clougha Pike
    Walk 32 Aughton and the River Lune
    Walk 33 Halton, the Crook o’Lune and Gray’s Seat
    Walk 34 Slyne and the Lune Aqueduct
    Walk 35 Around Lancaster
    Walk 36 The Lune and the Lancaster Canal
    Walk 37 Glasson Dock and the Lancaster Canal Spur
    Walk 38 Cockersand Abbey
    Walk 39 Overton and Bazil Point
    Walk 40 Sunderland Point

    Appendix A Route summary table
    Appendix B The Lune Valley end to end
    Appendix C Useful contacts

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    We are always grateful to readers for information about any discrepancies between a guidebook and the facts on the ground. If you would like to send some information to us then please use our contact form. They will be published here following review by the author(s).

  • Reviews
    If your walking in the northwest has been concentrated on the Lakes and Dales then this is the book for you. But sssssh! Don't tell everyone or they'll all want to go there.

    The Howgill Fells, that huddle of smooth sided hills that nestle between the grandeur of the Lake District and the beauty of the Yorkshire Dales, is one of the north’s best kept secrets. They are often overlooked as a walking destination in favour of their better known neighbours, but on a clear, dry day there is nowhere that I’d rather be, away from the crowds and alone with the curlews and Fell ponies.

    Dennis and Jan Kelsall share my love of this landscape as their guidebook book Walking in the Lune Valley and Howgills clearly shows. This is the 2nd edition of the book they first wrote in 2012 and it celebrates the inclusion of much of the area into either the Lake District or Yorkshire Dales National Parks. It includes 40 day walks of between 3 and 11 miles in the catchment area of the river Lune, stretching from its emergence near Newbiggin-on-Lune and flowing for some 50 miles to the Irish Sea below Lancaster. To the east of the river lay the Howgill Fells and the Forest of Bowland and it is in these areas that there are some of the finest walks in the book. Base yourself in the lovely market town of Sedbergh and you can tackle anything from a strenuous circular climb over Winder, Calders and the Calf to a gentle stroll around Dent.

    There are also clusters of walks in the north around Orton and Tebay where there are fine examples of limestone pavement, and further south in remote little Barbondale. The final section of the book takes you along the Lancaster canal and out to the Lune estuary were you can see the remains of Cockersand Abbey and explore Glasson Dock, still active after over 200 years, although mainly with pleasure craft these days.

    The book is published by Cicerone and is in their distinctive style; pocket sized with 1:50,000 extracts of OS maps to accompany each route description. Directions in the text are enlivened by the historical and geographical snippets that add interest to any walk. If your walking in the northwest has been concentrated on the Lakes and Dales then this is the book for you. But sssssh! Don't tell everyone or they'll all want to go there.

    Chris Grogan

  • Downloads
Dennis Kelsall A

Dennis Kelsall

Having followed a career in Human Resource management through industry, local government and private consultancy, Dennis Kelsall was led into outdoor writing with a Cicerone commission for a guide to the Pembrokeshire Coast Path, an area he'd loved since childhood. Inevitably, the constraints of the day job proved too onerous and, joining the Outdoor Writers Guild (as it then was), he became established as a full-time freelance writer and photographer.

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Jan Kelsall A

Jan Kelsall

After completing a degree in psychology and sociology, Jan Kelsall embarked upon a local government career, where she met her husband Dennis. A shared passion for walking and the countryside led to a first commission with Cicerone for a guide to the Pembrokeshire Coast Path and she eventually abandoned the security of employment to concentrate on the outdoors. Although based in Lancashire, their collaborative projects have since taken them the length and breadth of Britain.

View Articles and Books by Jan Kelsall