Slightly gippy ankles and slightly gippy knees, we are choosing the soft options on this walk if they are available. So today we had the choice of a 6 mile ridge walk, which would probably have been spectacular, but rose to 750 metres, or the alternative ‘low route’.
I would be interested to know just how much we climbed. The low route went up to 500 metres anyway, and pretty much none of it was flat – constant undulations. I suspect the high route may have been easier!
The walk started out of Sedbergh, following the river and soon climbed to hug the side of hill, with the river valley below to one side. The walk, despite being up and down, had a really relaxed feel to it. The Howgill Fells through which we were walking are gentle rolling hills (or at least the bit we were walking through), there were meadows and babbling brooks, tracks and farms. No drama, no breathtaking, heartstopping views. But really lovely. And as peaceful as you can imagine. After 10 minutes we saw an old man walking along the river with his shopping, presumably on his way back from market to his home, but other than that – no-one. Absolutely no-one, all day.
The sun stayed with us to about 2pm, but with a cool breeze and in an out of cloud, it was gentle too. We stopped for lunch at a gorgeous river stop. Not a soul around, the water gently trickling over the rocks, the sun warming our shoulders – I even had a little snooze. The last hour started to look ominously like rain. We are still hugging the hillside, but now with quite a tough climb with a bit more ‘up’ round every corner. This is when we reached 500m. Eventually, Ravenstonedale pops into view, and it is a short drop into the village.
It is a tiny village, and there is still hardly anyone around. Our hotel – the local pub – is at the end of the village, and the whole village were in their (probably) watching the football. Great atmosphere, and a lovely end to another brilliant day. It is our last day tomorrow – and it’s a long one. 16 miles. Wish us luck.