Martin in Gatineau Park - 2018

Martin in Gatineau Park - 2018

Friday, 17 June 2011

A Dales High Way - Day 7 - Sedbergh to Newbiggin-on-Lune (Brownber Hall)

19km, 850 metres ascent, 5.7hrs incl stops.
Weather: cloudy morning turning to drizzle for a couple of hours from 12 to 2, then sunny periods.

Chris, if you email me via the 'contact us' button on I'll let you know when I've put a suitable 'label' on these blog postings to facilitate a meaningful link from your website.

Good to hear from you, Heather. We had an excellent meal at the Craven Arms, despite Gary's 'Vegetarian Incident' - he's a bit prone to such Incidents, so I wouldn't be concerned, though you may be wise to supplement your tasty meal with a vegetable side dish! And we visited your wedding venue! Wow!

Thanks also for your comment, Roger and Jacky. We hope the Garden Party doesn't turn out too soggy, and we look forward to seeing you again soon. John Hillaby's route through Britain? - an ambitious project - now where's that map?

We were John and Sue's only guests at Holmecroft. We enjoyed a leisurely breakfast and a chat with them both, before setting off to replenish our luncheon supplies at the Spar shop in the main street. Soon a new Spar will open opposite the entrance to The School, which may change the whole feel of the place.

The lane above the high street car park yields several opportunities for false starts through suburban streets, but some clever (boring?) person has placed 'To the Fell' signs that no doubt discourage navigationally challenged visitors from heading up to dead ends.

The Swifts of Sedbergh were doing their best to dispose of the town's unwary insects as we progressed above the roof tops beside the rising waters of Settlebeck Gill.

The 'Three Lads' who are walking this same route zoomed past - Peter (the boss), Paul (springy legs) and Kev (sunburnt legs! [How?]) - all from Sheffield, on a regular sort of trip; it was the Coast to Coast last year.

A slow plod took me over Arant Haw whilst the others went around it, then on over Calders to our 676 metre high point of the day, The Calf. There was a cold wind at our backs; windproof jackets were donned, and in my case gloves - on 17 June!

It was nearly noon. The sky started to leak though the cloud remained high. We made our way through the drizzle along a pleasantly high and cloud free ridge, over Hazelgill Knott and West Fell. The cloud remained high despite the drizzle, but the lunchtime view down the Langdale valley (pictured - badly, but that's how it was) was rather muted on this dull day. However, the forecast downpour failed to materialise - we are happy about that - and as we descended into Bowderdale the mizzle evaporated and we suddenly found ourselves perspiring under a weak sun.

We passed a pair of oyster catchers nesting on a wall, with goldfinches enjoying the nearby gorse, and hedgerows lined with meadow cranesbill and lady's mantle.

A wet field then a narrow lane led to Brownber Hall, where Hilary and Andrew have been the owners of the 150 year old house for just six months. A lovely place, most appropriate for our last B&B of this trip. It's full tonight, with 18 guests, including eight Americans and their three leaders, one of whom is Hugh Westacott, whose writing in The Great Outdoors magazine I remember well. "You must be very old if you remember those" quipped Hugh.

"Hello Peter" - I surprised a man otherwise known as "Mr Grumpy". One of the Americans' leaders is none other than Pete Goddard, vetter and veteran of 22 TGO Challenge walks across Scotland. Sadly he failed to finish this year and is still trying to nurse himself back to health. We all wish him well.

There's no local eating place, and Hilary isn't cooking tonight, so we have a lift from Andrew to the Black Swan in Ravenstonedale, on which I'll report back tomorrow.

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Gayle said...

It's looking suspiciously like the Phreerunner Effect may have run its course!

Putting into practice my threats to become a fair weather walker, so I'm going to be checking the forecast this weekend before we finally commit to next week's plan to hit the Pennine Way. Fingers crossed for good (reasonable?) weather!

PhilW said...

Hugh Westacott - I remember him as well! Seem to think he guides regular Coast to Coast walks and he has a website that has info on route options.