The tranquility of the Howgill Fells

For lovers of solitude, here on the Howgills, is fell walking par excellence.” Alfred Wainwright

When driving up the M6, through Cumbria, the majority of people will automatically turn left towards the Lake District fells. And you won’t be disappointed. However, we’d like to persuade you to turn right and give the majestic Howgill Fells a try. Locals often call the Howgills ‘The Sleeping Elephants’ because as you drive up the motorway, you see a rounded outline that gives the suggestion of a herd at rest.

The famous Lake District walker and writer, Alfred Wainwright, published a book about the Howgills as part of his iconic collection of walking books in 1972 called, “Walks on the Howgill Fells”. In this very detailed, hand-drawn account of his walks in the area, he has included thirty-two routes that fall between the Lake District and the Yorkshire Dales. In his book, he says “For lovers of solitude, here on the Howgills is fell walking par excellence.”

Just you and the sheep

Walking in the Howgills offers a very different experience compared to the popular Lake District walks. The first thing you’ll notice is how quiet it is. You can walk all day through the Howgills, even in the peak of summer, without meeting anyone except some Rough Fell or Swaledale sheep grazing on the pastures.

The Howgills are more rounded and grassy compared to the dramatic rocky outcrops you find in the Lakes. But the views across the Eden Valley are every bit as spectacular as those you might find on the other side of the motorway. It’s the ideal place to find some solitude and headspace to wash away the stresses of everyday life.

Fabulous walks in The Howgills

There are hundreds of walks in the area of varying difficulty. Here are a few recommended routes. Click the links for full details:

  1. Cautley Spout from The Cross Keys – An easy walk of 2 miles.
  2. Yarlside from The Cross Keys – A moderate walk of 4 miles.
  3. Fell Head & The Calf, from Howgill, close to Sedbergh – A moderate walk of 7.5 miles
  4. Winder & Arant Haw from Sedbergh – A moderate walk of 7 miles
  5. The Calf from Sedbergh – This one is graded as moderate to hard, and is 10.5 miles

When you’ve finished your exertions, there are plenty of award winning places to eat and drink in and around Sedbergh. This page on the Visit Sedbergh website will give you a full list of cafés, pubs and restaurants that will revive you.

If you are interested in Alfred Wainwright’s book, you can purchase it from here.

Visit The Malabar

We hope this selection gives you some inspiration when planning your trip to the The Howgills. Naturally we’d be delighted to welcome you to the Malabar which is the perfect location for your walking holiday.

You can check out our availability here.
You can read more articles from The Malabar here. 

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