Lake District


North Yorkshire

North Wales



About Summiteer

~Calders & The Calf~

8th February 2015

Ascending Calders

Ascending Calders

Day 2 of the Dent holiday sees us heading for Sedbergh to take advantage of fine, clear weather and a chance to reach the highest point of the Howgill Fells.

Howgill Fells

Howgill Fells

On the way into Sedbergh from Dent and Winder (left) with Crook (right) introduce the Howgills in fine style. The fell top just showing between the two and behind Crook will be Arant Haw, if I'm not mistaken.

Frozen Field

I parked on the roadside on the eastern edge of Sedbergh and the frozen field marks the start of the walk at 08:20hrs. Up Joss Lane to follow signs to "The Fell" and into the field, heading for Settlebeck Gill bewteen Crook and Winder.

Holme Fell

Holme Fell

Looking back across Sedbergh to Holme Fell, a fine day in prospect!

Settlebeck Gill

Settlebeck Gill

Our route is up to the left (out of shot).

Sedbergh Sunrise


Green Mea

Fantastic territory for free-running dogs and not a sheep in sight. The black dots ahead are fell ponies.

Fell Ponies Calders
Fell Ponies
Route to Calders

It would have been easy to "bag" Arant Haw on the way, but I'm not here for that purpose. Calders is ahead with the lower ground known as Rowantree Grains. The fell ponies were placid, but I kept Molly on the lead and kept well clear with the dog not quite understanding what horses are and how they behave.

Lowgill Viaduct
Lowgill Viaduct
Rowantree Grains

The fence on view was said by Wainwright to be the only one on the Howgill Fells, perhaps it still is? It is well maintained and clearly has continuing purpose.

Arant Haw

Looking Back to Arant Haw

The valleys are hazy, maybe misty.

Calders Summit

Calders Summit 2,212 asl (ish)

To The Calf

To The Calf

An easy walk from Calders to The Calf.

The Calf Summit

The Calf Summit, 2,220ft asl

Great views all around and here towards the Lakeland Fells.

Molly the Collie White Fell
White Fell

Molly loves the snow and the ball, dog heaven! White Fell is the name of the landscape, not a description of the ground conditions. I had decided that I knew better than Wainwright and that a there-and-back could be beaten by a round trip, returning along the foot of the fells.

Fell Head

Fell Head

Many of the Howgill fell tops have simple, maybe prosaic names and perhaps this doesn't draw in the walkers in the same way that the Helvellyns and Dollywaggons do just across the road.

White Fell

White Fell

Looking back at the descent route down White Fell, we are now on the path rising up and heading for Castley.

Cookson's Tenement
Mist Arriving
Cookson's Tenement

Quite quickly mists arrived from the south and soon blocked out the sunshine. I am an early riser and sometimes the mornings offer the best rewards, sometimes they don't - today I was rewarded with this great walk over the Howgills' highest tops.

Chapel Beck Chapel Beck
Chapel Beck
Holy Trinity Church

Part of the appeal of the outdoors for me is discovering new areas. However it has its downside, we walked down the lane at Chapel Beck and past the Holy Trinity Church (which looks out of regular use) and we continued until reaching a sign on a gate : "Footpath Closed by Statutory Order". We were already off course for Sedbergh, trying to keep off the tarmac, so reluctantly, I took us back to Howgill Lane for some more trekking between the hedges on the blackstuff.

Syke Bramaskew
Misty Fields

At the first opportunity we regained access to footpaths across fields. This took us past Syke and Nether Bainbridge before reaching Bramaskew (above right). Then another couple of turns on the crooked route back to Sedbergh and we passed farms at Low Branthwaite and Height of Winder - some of which was on the Dales Way.

Height of Winder

Height of Winder

These latter parts of the walk were a little uninispiring and I have to concede that Wainwright was correct to offer an out-and-back walk to The Calf; there is no easy way back from Castley to Sedbergh, unless you are driving a car or riding a bike.

Smatt's Duo Cafe

Smatts Duo Cafe, Sedbergh

Smatt's offers a fine daytime menu and positively welcomes dogs, I thoroughly recommend this place for its good food, prompt service and reasonable prices.

Approx 11 miles.

The fine weather only lasted until about 11:30hrs and then it was misty for the rest of the day.

All photos are copyright Richard Ratcliffe 2015 ©

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