Sedbergh to Garsdale
Walk 12 - A low level linear walk without particular difficulty following Garsdale and the Clough River from Sedbergh to the Moorcock Inn - 11 miles [5 hours] - By train to Dent Station then Saturdays only Western Dales Bus to Sedbergh. This walk can only be easily accomplished from the northbound 0849 ex Leeds train service unless a lift can be arranged. This involves some road walking at the very least and this can be varied depending on preference as the footpaths parallel the Sedbergh-Hawes main road all the way. Indeed, the short field sections at Hole House, Blades and Cross Thwaite could be omitted to save time or adverse muddy conditions. Back to Moorcock Walks
Alight the train at Dent Station. Take the Saturday only from, Dent Station - Kendal bus [1020 as at Oct 2015] and alight in the centre of Sedbergh. This is an excellent service. Remember that the bus may not wait longer than 10 min for a late running train and so it's advisable to have a contingency plan in mind. Do the walk in reverse starting at Garsdale if the train is running late.
Walk along the main street and along the main road towards Kirkby Stephen for a short distance. Turn right on the main road towards Hawes and the River Rawthey at New Bridge. Immediately before the bridge turn left and follow the river bank passing through several gates to emerge at Straight Bridge. Cross the road bridge and immediately turn right along the narrow lane emerging at Garsdale Bridge. Before the bridge turn left across a stile following the riverbank as it twists an turns and passing through several stiles/gates. Do not be tempted to cross the river at the footbridge enroute. Eventually, the path strikes off left of the river climbing slightly across a field with a waymark in the middle, towards a stile and thence to the minor road serving Dovecote Gill. Passing to the right of the entrance to the house follow the track through a fate and then around the hillside climbing slightly uphill eventually to meet the fell edge. Passing through a gate turn right and proceed with the wall on the right to Garsdale Foot, joining a minor road.
At this point turn right and continue downhill along the minor road for 250m or so. Carry straight on at the T junction and after 400m bear right along track to Hole House passing through a gate just beyond the farm and pass across a field to reach Stephen's Farm. The path goes to the right of the farm. The going can be very unpleasant and muddy in wet weather around the farm. If indeed the weather is wet it might be better to stay with the aforementioned minor road which will eventually emerge at the main road below. However assuming the path across the fields is taken continue on the same line across two more fields to arrive at the buildings of a disused fish farm. Turn right immediately and do not try to cross the stream in front. There are no way marks but follow track downhill towards the River Clough following the river bank and on to meet the main road and another 'New' Bridge. If following the road option turn right along the main road for 100m and then left on the farm access road to meet the river.
Cross the main Hawes-Sedbergh Road and now follow left hand bank of Clough River for the next mile or so. Resist the temptation to try and rejoin the main road at Swarthgill. Continue on to join main road at Aye Gill. Follow the main road for 400m and just after passing Slack Cottage look out for a foot path sign on the left. Pass across a field and to the left of the farm buildings at Low House and Blades Farms following the way marks to rejoin the main road briefly at Smarthwaite and the river bridge.
However, keep to the left of the river and pass through the gate and the farm track to Roger Pot. The path follows the river but after passing to the rear of a cottage resist the temptation to walk into the trees [there is a false path at this point!]. Instead clim to the higher ground above the trees crossing a small stream and through a stile. This passes through a private garden and on to West Paradise Nursery [this is the name shown on the OS map - I don't know if it applies to the farm itself]. Immediately after the white farm buildings bear right and through a gate behind a barn.. There are no waymarks. Pass through a small sheep enclosure. This path now continues on to Weggs at the last minute bearing right along the plantation track to rejoin the main road crossing the Clough River by means of the farm/ plantation access bridge.
Continue along the main road for 200m and bear right at footpath sign for Cross Thwaite. An alternative here is to stick with the road. Just before the farm building bear left across fields and pass to the rear of Raygill through a ford. Unfortunately the farm is a bit of a scrapyard. There are no waymarks but the path passes between two buildings and thence down hill to reach the main road. After 150m bear left on to the Old Road which provides access to the remote valley of Grisedale. The Old Road is certainly to be preferred to the main Hawes road and runs parallel at a slightly higher level. Either stay with the Old Road or bear right after 500m crossing several fields to emerge at Low Scales farm. Cross the main road again and passing through a gate bear left to proceed across two fields almost parallel with the road but passing through a stile after the 2nd field turn right to proceed up the hill at the side of a stream. Turn left in front of High Scale and then across 3 fields to emerge just below Garsdale Station. Continue along the Pennine Bridleway to the left of the cottages to reach the Moorcock Inn and a pint.
For the return walk to Garsdale Station, on leaving the Moorcock turn right and retrace steps along the Pennine Bridleway unless the opportunity is taken to use the bus. The station is slightly under a mile from the pub and 35 minutes should be allowed for this uphill walk! Remember that southbound trains run from the farthest platform and it is necessary to pass under the road bridge to gain access.
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This page was last updated on 19-Oct-2015
©John Carey 2009