Great Shunner Fell

Walk 6 - An excellent but strenuous day out taking in the peaks of Great Shunner Fell [716m] and Hugh Seat [689m] starting from Hardraw or Hawes and finishing at The Moorcock Inn and on to Garsdale Station - 12 or 14 Miles [6 or 7 hours]. By Car or train using the Little White Bus from Garsdale to either Hardraw or Hawes. Back to Moorcock Walks

Great Shunner Fell View across to Wild Boar Fell

This walk starts from Garsdale Station where it is necessary to get the Little White Bus which meets the Northbound and south bound morning trains. Failing that the walk can be started from Hawes following the Pennine Way to Hardraw which will add an extra mile or so. If arriving by car the bus could be picked up near the Moorcock Inn thus saving a further mile.

From Hardraw depart the village in a westerly direction and soon turn right onto the Pennine Way track. Follow the well defined and signposted track for nearly 5 miles ascending gradually all the way to reach the summit windbreak on Great Shunner Fell [716m]. The views into upper Swaledale are excellent. The Tarn seen in the distance is Birkdale Tarn.

The path up to Great Shunner fell  

From the summit bear due west following a fence on the right. The route is easily followed for the next 2 miles down to a gate known as Market Place negotiating a few boggy bits. Passing through the gate bear slightly right [still with the fence on the right] and continue up to Hugh Seat [694m] although beware of a couple of deceptively boggy bits. The terrain is otherwise quite good. Hugh Seat is an excellent vantage point overlooking the Eden Valley and Wild Boar Fell. Note the date inscription of 1880 in the cairn.

Leave the cairn in a westerly direction heading for a further cairn on the shoulder of hill below with a ravine in the distance - the best plan is to follow the shoulder of hill and descend to where two becks meet crossing one of these to reach the righthand bank. These are in fact the early tributaries of the River Eden. Using a convenient ramp climb to higher ground and proceed with the beck on the left to reach Lady Anne Highway at Hellgill Bridge.

View from Hugh Seat Ravine above Hellgill Bridge


Turn left to pass over Hell Gill and about 1/4 mile further on take the left had fork with the vehicles prohibited sign. Follow the highway for nearly 2 miles passing the remains of High Hall and High Dyke with a gate enroute. After High Dyke dip into a ravine with obvious signs of landslips in the past and after 1/4 mile look for a new signpost and bridleway gate to the right. This is in fact the new Pennine Bridleway. Pass through the gate and follow the timber waymark posts down to Cobble Plantation and ten through a gate. Turn left passing Ure Force waterfall and then right over the old bridge, From here follow the bridleway diagonally across the rough pasture to reach the Moorcock Inn.

There are various routes back to the Moorcock from the Lady Anne Highway some of which I have described on earlier walks. One of these is to descend via Shaws waterfall and Lunds Church either following the rough footpath through Blades or heading for the road,

For the return walk to Garsdale Station, on leaving the Moorcock turn right and proceed along the main road towards Sedbergh for a very short while then turning left through a gate to follow the recently opened Pennine Bridleway which proceeds directly to the rear of the station passing under Dandry Mire Viaduct enroute. The station is slightly under a mile from the pub and 30-35 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.

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 28-Nov-2021


©John Carey 2009