I managed to take a day off work mid week to make the most of some decent weather and get out for a walk. I didn’t fancy driving too far so decided on Sedbergh. After my walk up Seat Sandal I realised I wasn’t “fell fit” so opted for a less strenuous walk exploring the hills to the south of the small town rather than attempting the Howgills and also explore an area I’d never been to before – Dentdale. I’d spotted a route on the Sedbergh town website and based my plans on that, extending the walk to start from Sedbergh town centre and taking in Dent village before looping back. It crossed the low fell of Frostwick but wouldn’t involve too much strenuous climbing. I should, however have taken more notice of a comment in the walk description
“The path, can be very boggy in places”
and taken a closer look at the Harvey map which is very good at showing boggy areas.
It was a Wednesday and I hadn’t realised it was market day in Sedbergh, but I managed to find a space in the Market Square Car park – the small town wasn’t exactly heaving. I had a quick look over the small number of stalls, mainly selling local produce – meat, cheese and vegetables – and wish now that I’d picked up some of the tempting goodies on offer!
I booted up and then walked through the town and crossed the “New Bridge” over the River Rawthey. I passed a snack van parked in the lay by just after the bridge and, although it was only about 11 o’clock, the aroma of the bacon was just too tempting, so I had to stop and buy myself a bacon buttie. Very good it was too.
I carried on along the A684 for a short distance and then turned up the lane that led up to Frostrow, passing a number of houses and farms.
After the last farm, the tarmaced lane turned into a stoney track and then, after climbing a ladder stile I was on the path that would take me up over the moor.
As i started to climb there was a great view back to Sedbergh and the Howgills
This part of the route was part of the Dales High Way and is was easy to follow on the ground. But there were substantial stretches of boggy land to traverse, despite the weather being reasonably dry of late.
It was impossible to keep my boots dry as I tried to hop from one patch of drier land to another, but for much of the way it was a lost cause. However, I didn’t get sucked in to the peat (well, not too often or too deep, anyway) and although my boots got wet they’re waterproof so my feet stayed dry.
It was quiet and lonely up on the moor. There wasn’t another soul up there. Real “social isolation”.
As I was walking up the moor, cloud had been coming in and patches of the sky looked pretty dark for a while. But the cloud didn’t persist too long and largely cleared during the afternoon.
Enjoying the walk and deep in thought as I walked across the moor, I missed my turning that would take me down in Dentdale, continuing to climb Aye Gill Pike. I’d gone probably a mile walking through the boggiest section of the moor before I realised my mistake and had to retrace my steps. There was a sign by the path announing the start of the area of Open access land, and this is where I should have turned right and gone through the gate to start descending off the moor. I didn’t miss it again, though, as I came back down from the bog.
I could see Dent village down in the valley as I descended down the path, which was still part of the Dales High Way.
I passed a farm
where the path turned into a lane which then took me down hill as far as the road from Sedbergh to Dent
After walking along a short stretch of road I reached the bridge which took the road over the River Dee (not, of course the one that runs through Chester). However, I continued straight on along a minor road that ran close to the right bank of the river
Looking over towards Aye Gill Pike .
After about a mile I took a path that cut across a field and then crossed the bridge and walked down the road into Dent. I needed to be careful now and keep my eyes open for one of those Terrible Knitters.
Dent is a small village and is one of those places that are frozen in time, with lots of attractive old cottages and other buildings and with minimal more modern development.
I passed the old chuch of St Andrews, built in the12th Century but obviously having undergone several modifications since then.
I spotted a branch of Martins bank. I was definitely in a time warp then, as Martins was taken over by barclays in 1969!
After wansering around the streets of the village (which didn’t take long) I set off on the return leg of my journey. I’d now be following the Dales way back to Sedbergh which initially took me along the south bank of the river
After a couple of miles the route left the riverbank and joined a quiet road for about a mile.
At brackensgill farm I turned off the road on to a path through the fields
and on to a footbridge where I crossed the river.
The path then took me to the Sedbergh to Dent road which I crossed and then took the track that started to climb the fell. The Dales Way, which I was still following, then veered to the left gradually climbing and contouring along the side of the hill heading towards Sedbergh.
After a while Sedbergh, backed by the Howgills came into view
I came down off the fell into the small settlement of Millthrop, a very pleasant former mill village
I walked down to the road and crossed over Millthrop Bridge. Built in the 17th Century it’s a listed building.
A short distance after the bridge I took a path that cut across the fields up to towards Winder House, which is part of the Sedbergh Public School
The path then took me past sport fields down to the centre of the village.
It was almost 6 o’clock now, so, as everything in Sedbergh shuts no later than 4 o’clock, there was nowhere to stop and treat myself to a brew. So it was off with the boots and back in the car for the drive home.