Aye Gill Pike above Dent.

Start. Dent.

Route. Dent - Barth Bridge - Hole House - Lunds - Aye Gill Pike - Rise Hill - Little Snaizwold Fell - Black Hill - Cowgill - Ewegales Bridge - Ewegales - Riving - Little Town - Hackergill Farm - Coat Faw - Laithbank - Sike Fold - Whernside Manor - Mill Bridge - Deepdale Beck - River Dee - Church Bridge - Dent.

Notes. At a mere 1,824ft Aye Gill Pike is the highest point on the ridge of Rise Hill, around four miles of stunning high level walking. Don't under estimate this traverse, wet ground makes for an energy sapping ascent, but your efforts are rewarded with magnificent views over lush green dales adorned with a mosaic of meadows bordered by limestone walls, small communities shadowed by the immense bulk of Yorkshire's hills, and you'll probably have them all to yourself, go on be greedy, take a wander over Aye Gill Pike.

I left Dent via the road to Sedbergh, when the road kissed the river a finger-post invited me to Barth Bridge. Once across said bridge I made for the second junction on the right, with a narrow tarmac lane under foot I started on what turned out to be a long ascent, a lot longer than anticipated. Passed a number of farmsteads I climbed, once I reached Lunds a walled lane ushered me onto the fell, this lane terminated at a sheep fold, from there a dry stone wall was to be my friendly guide. West over marshy ground we picked our way before swinging north to reach the final intake, I crossed a stile in the field corner before starting the long traverse over Rise Hill.

With my new found friend to my right I wandered east, stiles allowed safe crossing of the many walls strung across the fellside from Garsdale, the climb was long but every step guided me into fine vistas, I stopped many times to drink them in. I shunned the trig point gracing the summit, instead wandering north to a disused quarry, the views over Garsdale were staggering, again I drank them in before re-joining my friend. Back on track we crossed Rise Hill before descending to civilized Snaizwold Fell, this top is dry, lush and green with limestone scars cutting through the shallow top soil, a perfect spot to brew tea and rest aching muscles.

Refreshed I descended along the edge of a forestry plantation, here I bid farewell to my friend, replacing him with a fence line, fences aren't as interesting as dry stone walls, we descended in silence, over Black Hill to reach Cowgill. Between the dry stone walls of this ancient track I continued descending, eventually stepping onto the valley road at Cowgill village (a few houses and a church). My route back followed the Dales Way, an 81 mile foot-path linking Ilkley with Bowness on Windermere, I'm told it's an excellent walk, the stretch through Dentdale certainly was. Way-marked paths ushered me passed Dales farmsteads, I stopped to drain my flask at the entrance to historic Whernside Manor (a couple of handy benches accommodated aching limbs) before joining the banks of Deepdale Beck at Mill Bridge. Deepdale Beck gave way to the River Dee which in turn guided me to Church Bridge from where I made straight for the bar of the Sun Inn at Dent.

view route map.


Seen from the banks of the River Dee, Combe Scar.

The River Dee looking to High Barth and the lower slopes of Rise Hill.

Approaching Barth Bridge.

The high corrie of Combe Scar overlooking Dentdale marks the end of the broad ridge of the Middleton Fells.

Above Lunds with a wonderful view to Crag Hill and the Barbon High Fells.

Dappled light across the Howgill Fells.

Seen across the mosses of Frostrow, Sedbergh forever in the shadow of Winder.

On the long ascent of Aye Gill Pike, views to the eastern Howgills.

Breath-taking views across the Lune Valley, just visible reaching across the skyline the hills of the English Lake District.

Baugh Fell across Garsdale.

Pausing for breath with this view for company, Winder above Sedbergh with Firbank Fell and Lanbrigh Fell across the Lune Valley to the left.

High and lofty the many ridges of the Howgill Fells.

Garsdale on view from near the summit of Aye Gill Pike.

The Garsdale face of Baugh Fell dwarfs the tiny communities in the valley below.

Follow my friend to Snaizwold Fell, to the right it's summit in shadow Great Knoutberry Hill.

The summit Snaizwold Fell looking back to Aye Gill Pike.

The commanding presence of Whernside as seen from Snaizwold Fell.

Looking to Dent Station across Cowgill.

The River Dee below Cowgill.

Rise Hill on view from the Dales Way.

The dry stream bed of Deepdale Beck with views back to Whernside.

The great sprawling mass of Whernside seen from near Double Croft.

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