Over Hartsop above How.

Start. Deepdale Bridge.

Route. Deepdale Bridge - Bleaberry Knott - Hogghill Brow - Hartsop above How - Blake Brow - Houndshope Cove - Dovedale - Hartsop Hall - Brothers Water - Cow Bridge - Deepdale Bridge.

Notes. Hartsop above How, the long undulating northeast ridge leading from Hart Crag, three miles of ups and downs cutting between the very different valleys of Deepdale, rather dreary and marshy, and lovely Dovedale with it's picturesque woodlands and waterfalls, I don't think I've ever walked a ridge with so many false summits. Fortunately for me my route steered clear of Hart Crag in favour of a crossing of Houndshope Cove before starting my descent.

I left Deepdale Bridge following a path on the east bank of Deepdale Beck, marker posts guided me off the farm track into Low Wood, the ascent started here. Traversing above Bleaberry Knott, Gale Crag, over Hogghill Brow, above Holly Crag, across Hartsop above How and Blake Brow before deciding I'd climbed high enough. Turning south following a faint path I traversed Houndshope Cove heading for the steep descent into Dovedale, when the path disappeared at a patch of wet ground I just kept to the higher, soon descending to a small tarn, or muddy puddle depending on the weather. A large boulder marked the start of the steep descent, on an engineered path, a staircase leading to the head of one of Lakeland's secret corners, Dovedale, no road just a path a stream and solitude.

I took my time wandering down this unspoiled valley, the sound of the mountain wind now replaced by the many voices of Dovedale's streams, I became aware of birdsong on the air, a sign spring is just a few days away, waterfalls tumbled over rocky ridges in a never ending hurry to reach lower pastures. After fording the beck at a fine footbridge I wandered down the east bank before crossing another footbridge, now following an obvious farm track I soon reached and passed Hartsop Hall, the track lead along the shore of Brothers Water to Cow Bridge. On a permissive path, sign posted to Patterdale, I wandered on through Low Wood above the main valley road and the waters of Goldrill Beck, I exited the woods just a few hundred yards from the parked car.

view route map.


Seen from the start of the hartsop above How ridge, Hart Crag and Fairfield over Deepdale.

The sharp summit of Lord's Seat with the cliffs of Aiken Crag to the right.

Standing in Low Wood one of the few natural woodlands left in the Lake District, looking to the steep heather and scree slopes falling from Arnison Crag.

The grey bowl of mountains to the west, Dove Crag on the left, centre Hart Crag with Fairfield to the right.

Above Patterdale looking to Arnison Crag with sunlight dancing across the face of Place Fell.

Viewing Brock Crag across Patterdale with the dark ridge of The Knott leading to High Street.

Wild skies above Coudale Moor.

The route ahead, views along the Hartsop above How ridge taking in Dove Crag, Hart Crag and Fairfield.

Looking rather foreboding in this light, the Kirkstone Pass in the shadow of Red Screes, in the middle distance High Hartsop Dodd.

Near the summit of Hartsop above How with wonderful views over the eastern Lake District.

Viewing Dovedale trapped in time, a gem in an overcrowded corner of England.

It's been a long time coming but when you get to the summit the view is certainly worth the effort, dappled sunlight across the summits of Place Fell and Angletarn Pikes.

Sunlight waltzes across the Deepdale face of St Sunday Crag.

Traversing Houndshope Cove an area of glacier moraine, easily crossed just keep to high ground.

This boulder's probably got a name, it certainly commands exceptional views, across the skyline the long ridge leading to High Street, Loadpot and Wether Hills, High Raise in shadow carrying the eye to Rampsgill Head, in the foreground Hartsop Dodd backed by Gray Crag, to the left Hartsop above How, beyond that Angletarn Pikes and Brock Crags, a dizzy view before a dizzy descent.

Sunlight catches the summit of Ill Bell with the fearsome cliffs of Dove Crag's north buttress dark rising to the right.

The head of Dovedale looking to Hartsop above How, folk law tells us this old quarry building was once a meeting house for members of the Society of Friends, members of the Quaker movement.

Hartsop Dodd seen down Dovedale.

Looking back to the north buttress of Dove Crag.

Coudale Moor seen over Dovedale with sunlight on the steep slopes of High Hartsop Dodd.

Looking to the Bull Crag face of High Hartsop Dodd.

This is what Dovedale's all about, waterfalls and unspoiled woodland.

Dovedale Beck in a never ending hurry to reach the valley far below.

With heavy weather sweeping in over the high fells, views back up my descent route.

Across Brothers Water, Angletarn Pikes.

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