Crag Hill and Great Coum above Dent.

Start. Dent.

Route. Dent - Flinter Gill - Occupation Road (Green Lane) - Brown Haw - Crag Side - Crag Hill - Great Coum - Binks Brow - Binks - Occupation Road - Flinter Gill - Dent.

Notes. In the days when sea fishing occupied the majority of my time I used to judge the sea and wind conditions by the battering an old oak tree at the top of my garden was taking, when the tree writhed around in the wind and the noise was deafening I knew I was in for a battering on the beach, this theory also works equally well for fell walking. The wind arrived over night, the tree was dancing limbs flaying in all directions by morning, I needed to pick a walk with a modicum of shelter. I opted for Crag Hill above Dentdale, a dry stone wall runs around the head of the combe, linking Crag Hill and Great Coum then on to Gragareth if I felt like extending my day. The hills in this forgotten part of Cumbria seem to be ignored by the majority of walkers, their sights set on more popular Lakeland summits, it's a pity, to me this makes them even more desirable, after all at over 2,000ft they're no easy ramble.

I parked in the public car park at Dent, directly across the road a lane ( I believe is called Dragon Croft) leads past the village green, when the lane narrowed I continued wandering up hill. I rounded a corner to be confronted by a stoney bridleway, steep and loose ascending in the company of Flinter Gill. The first feature I past were some Dancing Stones, then a Wishing Tree. Further up the track a restored lime kiln and field barn greeted me, at the top a memorial seat with wonderful views over Dentdale and the Howgill's, also a gate allowing access to the Occupation Road. I went through the gate to be met by a finger-post, it was the Public Bridleway to Keldishaw for me, but not for very far, after passing through the next gate I left the Occupation Road to ascend between yet more dry stone walls. This lane carried me over Towns Fell and Blea Gill Rigg into open pastures before leading across Hazle Gill Combe, the steep climb that followed was a real lung buster, straight up Crag Side with burning legs and sweat running into my eyes, the top was a most welcome sight.

I wandered south-west to the summit of Crag Hill where I flopped down in the shelter of a dry stone wall to have a well earned brew. Recovered from my ordeal, with a new lease of life I set out for the summit of Great Coum, the wall that guided me provided little shelter and the rain had started, big wet drops, fortunately the wind carried the cloud west to some other unfortunate soul. I crossed Great Coum before descending the east ridge (no path) to reach the old quarry at Binks. This must have been a quite substantial operation by the size of some of the cut stones littering the fell, substantial operation meant good track to follow off the hill. I descended the quarry track to gain access to the Occupation Road once more. The remainder of my day was a delightful walk along this old drove road back to the head of Flinter Gill before making my descent to Dent.

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Cows graze in limestone pastures above Dent.

Looking north to Combe Scar and Barkin Top.

As seen from the head of Flinter Gill, blue/grey across the horizon the Howgill Fells.

A nice new finger-post to guide me on my way.

Viewing Aye Gill Pike from one of Yorkshires many green lanes.

About to enter Hazle Gill Combe looking to Crag Hill.

A little bit more height gained, a little bit more of the Yorkshire Dales tilts into view, Baugh Fell just visible over Aye Gill Pike.

Calf Top and Barking Top seen over Barbondale.

On the steep ascent of Crag Side with views over Hazle Gill Combe.

Taking photos is a good excuse to stop, here we have a hazy view down Barbondale with Castle Knott rising to the right..

Seen over the broken ground of The Crag, Castle Knott leading to the higher Calf Top.

Just visible on the horizon rising above Green Hill, mighty Ingleborough.

The summit Crag Hill with views down Barbondale.

Rising from Barbondale, Castle Knott.

Views from the summit of Crag Hill, Castle Knott, Calf and Barkin Tops across Barbondale.

Gragareth rising above the valley of Ease Gill.

Rising high into a stormy sky, Ingleborough above Green Hill with Whernside to the left.

The ridge leading from Crag Hill to Bull Pot Farm with Gragareth to the left and Barbon Low Fell the right.

The disused quarry at Binks, in the shadow of Great Coum with views over Dentdale.

Looking to the summit of Great Coum, across Combe Bottom and Great Combe.

Sunshine and shade on the lower slopes of Whernside with Great Knoutberry Hill rising behind.

Seen from the Occupation Road Aye Gill Pike rising from Dentdale.

The Wishing Tree in Flinter Gill, walk three times around counterclockwise then make a wish, be sure to keep it to yourself.

At the foot of the gill the Dancing Stones, the weavers of Dent would soak there webs of cloth in the gill, lay them on the limestone slabs and dance on them, this fluffed up the cloth to increase insulation it was known as Felting.

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