The Howgill Fells in Cumbria

 

Looking up Great Swindale from Hunthoof Pike – a typical Howgills valley.

The Howgill Fells are a small group of hills in Cumbria in northern England, bounded approximately by a triangle drawn between SedberghKirkby Stephen and Tebay. The southern half of the Howgill Fells is in the northwest corner of the Yorkshire Dales national park, although the northern Howgills are outside the National Park.

 

They are separated from the Lake District to the west by the River Lune (along which runs the M6), and in the east by the Dent fault, and are formed from Ordovician and Silurian rocks, rather than the Carboniferous limestone elsewhere in the Yorkshire Dales, and are characterised by a general lack of walls and fences.

 

The southern Howgill Fells are also the only part of the National Park to be outside the county of North Yorkshire, being just over the Cumbrian border. Due to their position, the Howgill Fells give fine views of both the Lake District and the Yorkshire Dales.

 

Cautley Spout.

Cautley Spout, a waterfall in the south of the area, is considered to be England’s highest waterfall, with a drop of about 180 m.

 

Just north of Sedburgh there is, with increasing height, Winder at 473 metres, then Sickers Fell at 498 metres, Arant Haw at 605 metres, Great Dummacks at 663 metres, Calders at 674 metres and The Calf at 676 metres. Further north is Yarlside at 639 metres and Randygill Top at 625 metres with, to the west of these, Simon’s Seat on Langdale Fell at 587 metres and Docker Knott at 530 metres.

 

Not in the Howgills, but a few miles to the north of Baugh Fell, are two fells which exceed the highest in the Howgills. These are Wild Boar Fell at 708 metres, and High Seat at 709 metres at the top of Mallerstang Edge with the picturesque Carlisle to Settle railway line running between them.

 

Looking north across the M6 to the Howgills.

The celebrated fellwalker A. Wainwright described the Howgills as looking like a herd of sleeping elephants. In 1972 he published his book “Walks on the Howgill Fells”.

 
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