Cautley Spout and The Calf

Walk 12 - A classic walk taking in the impressive Cautley Spout waterfall and an ascent of The Calf [676m] 10 miles - 5 hours by bus or car starting from Sedbergh. Back to Dentdale

  • Cautley Spout

Starting on Sedbergh Main Street walk East towards Kirkby Stephen passing the Tourist Information Centre. At the end of the main street turn right to cross Back Lane and, directly opposite, follow the footpath down the access drive to the Vicarage, alongside the school playing field. At the end of the drive turn left passing through a gap stile and continue along the footpath passing through another gap stile, walking to the rear of Settlebeck School. Bear right just after the tennis courts and follow the path down to the River Rawthey. Pass through a metal gate and then immediately double back through another gate to emerge in a layby on the main road at New Bridge.

Carefully cross the main road and take the riverside footpath directly on the other side to follow the left hand bank of the river. Follow the path through several gates for some ¾ mile eventually climbing up some steps at Straight Bridge. Carefully cross the main road and pass through the stile directly on the other side. Keeping to the right hand side of the field proceed slightly uphill, over a stile and onwards to emerge through a cattle pen at the rear of Buckbank Farm.

The path towards Cautley Bridge across Cautley Holme Beck

Pass through the farm buildings and turn right along the lane. Continue along the lane passing Ellerthwaite and at Thursgill Farm pass through a farm gate and continue onwards along a farm track. This passes through a gate at Hobdale Beck and then climbs uphill to Fawcett Bank. Pass to the right of the barn and through a gate. The path now follows the fellside in an almost straight line all the way to Cautley, initially on the right hand side of the field boundary and then passing to the left. The path briefly crosses open pasture after Rooker Gill before regaining the left hand side of the wall, descending through a gate and over a footbridge crossing Cautley Holme Beck.

The stunning arena of Cautley Spout comes fully into view. This is a place of historical significance being the site of an Iron Age settlement. Now bear left and take the well used path towards the waterfall. Keeping to the right of the ravine the path becomes very steep the best advice being to attack it in short diagonal stretches. However the going gets slightly easier with steps having been formed in the hillside.

The path eventually crosses the stream and emerges in a small hanging valley at the head of the waterfall some 200m (650ft) above the valley floor. Continue with the stream on the left passing a recently remodelled sheepfold. Keeping to the right hand valley, the stream eventually runs out and the path makes a final ascent to emerge at the ridge midway between Bram Rigg Top and The Calf. Turn right and proceed uphill along the well used path to reach the trig point at The Calf (676m) which will soon come into view. The vista from this point is certainly impressive with views out to Morecambe Bay to the west and the Pennines to the north.

The Calf trig point View north of The Calf

After a brief rest retrace steps along the path in a southerly direction and, after a dip, climbing slightly uphill to Bram Rigg Top. After a further short dip, continue up to Calders [674m]. The path now drops steeply down the shoulder of the hill before again climbing uphill towards Arant Haw. A decision can be made whether to follow the ridge over the summit of Arant Haw [605m] whilst the main path keeps slightly to the left. Either way the two paths converge. The path then drops downhill again now with Winder directly ahead.

At the dip in the ridge bear left to take the grassy path down to Settlebeck Gill. This is a gentle slope at first becoming a more steeply graded and stony path emerging at an old cast iron gate. Still following Settlebeck Gill continue downhill along the path through two stiles before passing to the right of an old barn and joining a farm access track. Pass through the farm gate and continue down the lane now between the houses and back into Sedbergh emerging at Joss Lane car park. Turn right at the Main Street walking West to the Dalesman pub for the return bus to Dent Station.

Calders The ridge from Calders towards Arant Haw
Vew from Calders Waterfall in Settlebeck Gill

For current timetables see Western Dales Bus

Important note:- Whilst the author has taken every care in assembling the information on this site, no responsibility can be accepted for any error or omission herein. If in any doubt walkers should always consult the relevant OS map. All timings are approximate and for a person of average fitness and ability.

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This page was last updated on 11-May-2020


©John Carey 2011