The Calf over Bram Rigg Top.

Start. Sedbergh.

Route. Sedbergh - Howgill Lane - Lockbank Farm - Nursery Wood - Crosdale Beck - Eller Mire Beck - Swarth Greaves Beck - Bram Rigg Beck - Bram Rigg - Bram Rigg Top - The Calf - Calders - Rowantree Grains - Arant Haw - Settlebeck Gill - Joss Lane - Sedbergh.

Notes. I once heard the Howgill Fell described as the forgotten hills, that phrase alone has probably encouraged more walkers to visit the area than any other, all intent on reaching The Calf, the highest point on the fells. That coupled with the Bank Holiday weekend I guessed the main trod would be rather congested, never fear Carl had a plan. The Howgill's have many ridges and secret corners to explore, I opted to make the long walk in from Sedbergh before ascending Bram Rigg Top, then on to The Calf, and I'll guarantee I won't meet a soul until I hit the main trod. Just one doubt, the wind, definitely stronger than yesterday, as I found out.

I left Sedbergh following the tarmac of Howgill Lane, on reaching the drive to Lockbank Farm a finger-post invited me through the farm yard with a promise of a walk on the open fell, I obliged. After crossing the intake wall I turned left, I intended to use the wall to guide me to Bram Rigg Beck, I had nothing to fear a good path lead the way. Striding out making good progress I soon reached Crosdale Beck where I got my first taste of the Howgill wind, caught off balance I was easily cast to one side by the tempest ripping down from the fells, left sitting in the grass wondering if walking on the tops was such a good idea. The wind was cutting down the Lune Valley, I was battling straight into it, Eller Mire presented the next obstacle, the wind tearing out of the high fells stopped me in my tracks. Between gusts I managed to battle my way to the low coll between Seat Knott and Swang Head, descending from the coll I was forced to stop yet again before fording Bram Rigg Beck to start the long steep ascent to Bram Rigg Top.

My ascent was surprisingly sheltered, just as well on a long unforgiving climb like this. I eventually crested the summit to be greeted by the wind once more, not as strong but cooling, I donned another layer before stepping onto the main path for the short pull to the summit of The Calf. My return route followed the main path south, crossing Calders then Rowantree Grains where my friend the wind made it's presence felt once again. Invisible hands pushing me off the ridge, the pressure forcing the air back into my lungs, but most of all incredible noise, like the sound of jungle drums reverberating around my scull, I was forced to crouch by the fence for a while before making a dash for shelter. I left the main path for a breezy walk over Arant Haw before descending in the shelter of Settlebeck Gill, after passing through a metal kissing gate a good path guided me into Joss Lane from where it was a short walk back to the car.

view route map.


Looking over Lockbank Farm, Sedbergh backed by the Middleton Fells.

Heading across the lower slopes of Winder looking over the valley of the River Rawthey.

Stunning views over the green pastures of the Lune Valley.

Standing on the coll between Seat Knott and Swang Head, looking to my ascent route, Bram Rigg backed by White Fell and The Calf.

Seen from the ascent of Bram Rigg, Seat Knott.

Toiling up Bram Rigg with views over Calf Beck, exquisite colours on the slopes of White Fell, to the right White Fell Head leading to The Calf.

Looking back along the Bram Rigg ridge.

Spectacular views from the upper slopes of Bram Rigg, over the Lune Valley Firbank Fell backed by the wind farm on Lambrigg Fell.

Just before stepping onto the summit a view to the white-washed trig point marking the apex of The Calf.

The summit Bram Rigg Top with stunning views to the Lake District skyline.

The summit, The Calf with views to the North Pennines.

Taking in the views from the summit of The Calf, the highest point on the skyline, Cross Fell.

Every so often you take a shot because you like it, when you look later you haven't got a clue what you're looking at, this is on of those shots, after a great deal of deliberation I know I'm looking over the valley of Red Gill Beck and the western slopes of Cautley Crag, so at a guess in the middle distance Swarth Fell drops into Uldale, rising behind Cautley Crag, Baugh Fell, further back the hills of upper Wensleydale over Garsdale Head, maybe?.

The summit Calders.

Stunning views over the valleys of the River Rawthey and Dee, Ingleborough rising between the limestone slopes of Whernside and Crag Hill.

Above the valley of Hobdale looking to the southern slopes of Baugh Fell.

The wonderful rolling ridges of the Howgill Fells.

Above Rowantree Grains looking west to the Lakeland Fells.

Views down Bram Rigg Beck.

Seen from the broad grassy saddle leading to Arant Haw, Rowantree Grains Fold.

From the small cairn marking the summit of Arant Haw views to Arnside Knott and the sands of upper Morecambe Bay.

Settlebeck Gill one of the many deep cut gills in the Howgill Fells.

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