The Lune Valley and Howgills
40 scenic fell, river and woodland walks
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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
- 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.
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.
Origins and landscape
Accommodation and facilities
Navigation and maps
Planning your walk
Using this guide
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
Navigation and maps
The mapping extracts (1:50,000) accompanying each walk in this guide indicate the outline of the route and are not intended as a substitute for taking the map itself with you. The context of the wider area given by the larger scale (1:25,000) OS Explorer maps will not only add to the enjoyment of identifying neighbouring hills and other features, but is vital should you wander off course or need to find an alternative way back. Reference to the route description and appropriate map will avoid most navigational difficulties, but on upland routes competence in the use of a compass is necessary, particularly if there is a risk of poor visibility.
A GPS receiver (and spare batteries) can be a useful additional aid, but you should know how to use it and be conscious of its shortcomings. Be aware of your own limitations and do not start out if anticipated conditions are likely to be beyond your experience. If the weather unexpectedly deteriorates, always be prepared to turn back.
The area is covered by Ordnance Survey maps at both 1:25,000 and 1:50,000 scales, but the larger scale shows a greater detail that is often invaluable.
The Ordnance Survey Explorer maps for the walks in this guide are listed below.
- OL19 (Howgill Fells and Upper Eden Valley)
- OL7 (The English Lakes, South Eastern area)
- OL2 (Yorkshire Dales, Southern and Western areas)
- OL41 (Forest of Bowland and Ribblesdale)
- 296 (Lancaster, Morecambe and Fleetwood)
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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.View Articles and Books by Dennis 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
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