One of the common questions from guests is about what walks are there to do in the area and with St Marks Stays being located in the Howgill Fells, we are pretty spoiled for choice here.
Being a walker himself, Damian has maps of the Yorkshire Dales and the Lake District for guests to use and now, thanks to a subscription to Trail magazine, we have more walking guides for you to look through. In this month’s (June 2019) Trail magazine, there was a great article on Walks of a Lifetime that shows what the Howgill Fells has to offer. We have scanned their map for our blog, so this is credited to them, but of course you will need to buy the magazine to read the article details on this walk.
We have walked sections of this trail and still have some more to discover, but we have certainly been up amongst those rolling hills several times and in varying seasons of the year. You can head out on these routes direct from St Marks Stays as there is a public footpath just a minute down the road from our front door.
On this route you get to see Cautley Spout Waterfall, which at a drop of 180m is England’s highest. The Calf is the highest point in the Howgill Fells at 676m with views across to the Lake District on clear days. Plus if you want to avoid the crowds of the Lake District mountains in peak summer, then these fells are the place to walk.
If you decide to follow the valley up from Red Gill Beck, as opposed to crossing it and heading on to the path along Cautley Crag, you do get rewarded with seeing a piece of art. The Sheepfold is one of the 46 created by sculpture artist, Andy Goldsworthy as part of a series between 1996 and 2003. He went to the sites of sheepfolds that had disappeared, or were in disrepair and rebuilt them in his sculptural style.
Many of our guests recommend eating at the Cross Keys Inn and have often ended their walk there to tuck in to some hearty food after a day’s walking. We have even driven up to the inn (2 minute drive) to drop off some wine to our guests so they didn’t have to walk with it – imagine walking along with a few clinking bottles hey! The Cross Keys is a temperance Inn, which means they do not serve alcohol there, but you can take your own, with no charge for opening.
In the article, we did have a giggle at one of the descriptions:
“Cross the impressive River Rawthey, keeping an eye out for dippers (those small, white-breasted, bobbing birds of rocky rivers)”
Given that this is one of the stretches of rivers that Joanne and her friends go cold water swimming, we had to smile at this.
We will let our various photos show you the kind of views you can be treated to in this area of the Howgills and included some tips based on our experience.
- Good footwear is needed as you do have to cross streams.
- It does rain and the weather can change quickly so be prepared for this.
- Do take a map and compass, as the mist can easily obscure the routes even on a sunny day.
- The steps up the side of Cautley Spout can be slippy in frosty weather.
- If you are walking with a dog, please keep them on a lead where the sheep are and do pick up their mess where appropriate.
- The route along Cautley Crag does get close to the edge, just to be warned if the mist is there and you can’t see the view over the edge.