Winder, Arant Haw and Crook above Sedbergh.

Start. Sedbergh (Back Lane).

Route. Sedbergh (Back Lane) - Howgill Lane - Lockbank Farm - Winder - Green Mea - Arant Haw - Rain Gauge - Swere Gill Well - Crook - Settlebeck Gill - Hill Farm - Sedbergh (Joss Lane) - Main Street - Sedbergh (Back Lane).

Notes. This triptych above the quiet streets of Sedbergh makes up the majority of the Southern Howgill’s, I’ve missed a couple, Sickers and Knott, two for another day. The hills unusual shapes are a result of layers of sandstone, siltstone and mudstone, all exhibiting a similar resistance to erosion, hence the rolling tops and airy ridge lines we see today. Most of the fells in this massif are covered in arctic grassland, heather and blanket bog grazed by sheep and wild ponies, deep cut gills lined with hawthorn, ash and alder. It’s not the Lake District or the limestone Dales but it’s a stunning landscape to walk through, not forgetting the views, after all is that not why we put the effort in to climb these hills.

I parked the car on Back Lane which is actually the main road through Sedbergh, once suited and booted I made my way to the Dalesman Inn next to which Howgill Lane rises, this I followed, passed the village hall and recreation ground to access the lane leading to Lockbank Farm, here a finger-post invited me to the fells. Way-marked paths ushered me up the farm lane, through the farm yard then onto the fell side of the final intake wall, with good paths under foot and the wall to guide me I headed west climbing gently with every step.

From the trod guiding me a number of paths ascend Winder, when I’d had enough gentle climbing I bit the bullet turning sharp right and attacked the steep slopes of the hill. With leg muscles and lungs working overtime I made my way to the summit, a trig pillar, view indicator and biting wind welcomed me, but best of all, from this the southern most of the Howgill Fells the views. Stunning as they were I didn’t hang around, north I walked across the coll at Green Mea then up another steep ascent, the southern ridge of Arant Haw, another leg burner. As I crested the summit the running of ridges to the north gave me an idea for another walk in these stunning fells. Already plotting my next excursion I wandered north passed a rain gauge (pile of wood) to access the main trod running over these ridge lines and rolling summits, I swung south joining the main trod, heading down, I was but not just yet.

After passing Swere Gill Well I left the main path, my route continued over pathless ground my aiming point Crook. The hill may be christened Crook but you won’t feel cheated, it’s twin summit gifts the lucky visitor with impressive views up Garsdale, over Lunesdale and down Dentdale, I sat a while out of the wind, I had the hill to myself, this is one of the lesser frequented tops in the Howgill Fells. Once I made a move it was with a faint green trod under foot, this unclear path guided me to the head of Settlebeck Gill, I forded the gill to join a well trod path descending in it’s company.

As I lost height the gill got considerably deeper and wider, I soon found myself passing through a metal kissing gate. The path continued guided by the gill, on reaching Hill Farm it swung right entering the quiet streets of Sedbergh, all that remained to descend Joss Lane and slowly make my way back to the parked car.

view route map.


Arant Haw rising above the quiet streets of Sedbergh.

On the lower slopes of Winder enjoying stunning views over Sedbergh and Frostrow Fell to the massive bulk of the Middleton Fells.

Rising to the south, seen across Rawthey Dale the Middleton Fells.

Gain a little height and wonderful views like this one over Lunesdale open out.

Gracing the summit of Winder a trig pillar and view indicator.

The stunning view north from Winder, over the ridge of Nab the Lune Gorge where roads, railway and river cut through the narrow gap.

Arant Haw looms above Crosdale.

On the steep slopes of Arant Haw looking to Winder and the stunning view beyond.

Views down Crosdale.

The summit Arant Haw.

Romping along the broad grassy saddle of Arant Haw looking to the many ridges of Calders.

Viewing to the many ridges of the Howgill Fells.

The solitude of the Howgill Fells, not a soul in site, looking to the summit of Crook backed by Crag Hill and the Middleton Fells.

A ragged mattress of wild moorland guards the summit of Crook.

Arant Haw rising into a blue sky, viewed from the summit of Crook.

The summit Crook, you won't feel cheated take a look around.

The southern most of the Howgill tops, Winder.

Fabulous views over the mosaic of green fields that make up the Rawthey valley, on the far horizon the highest hill in Yorkshire, Whernside.

Adventures for another day, Sickers Fell and Knott, and for a longer day out across the horizon Wild Boar Fell and Swarth Fell.

Rising from Dentdale, Middleton Fell.

Views down Settleback Gill.

Soaking up views from my descent route.

Hemmed in by Settleback Gill to my left and a row of fence posts my right, almost back in the streets of Sedbergh.

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