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Sedbergh, the Howgill Fells

Although it is less easy to access without a car (the best way there is from the West Coast main railway line from London, Manchester or Preston via Oxenholme and Kendal to catch the 564 bus) once you arrive in Sedbergh there are wonderful opportunities to explore this quiet corner of the Yorkshire Dales by bus or on foot. And for the cyclist there are lovely traffic free lanes, especially in the Lune valley.

The town, famous for its public school and for being one of Britain’s leading “Book Towns”, enjoys an enviable position close to where Garsdale and Dentdale meet, under the massive backdrop of the Howgill Fells, a magnificent area of rolling hills and open common land, which is a walker's paradise. The steep summit of Winder Fell (473 metres) overlooks the compact little town with its fine medieval church and ruined mott and bailey castle. Farfield Mill Arts & Heritage Centre (opens in new window) is also a wonderful attraction for art and craft lovers.

There is an excellent network of footpaths to explore here, along the riverside into Dentdale where paths form part of the Dales Way long distance route, further westwards into the Killington Access area and along the Upper Lune Valley, or eastwards into Garsdale. A favourite walk from the town is to the remarkable Brigflatts, a 17th pioneering century Quaker Meeting House, close to where the two rivers, the Dee and the Rawthey meet, before joining the Lune.

Bus services are limited and forward planning is therefore essential. On Wednesdays and Saturdays service 564A/B is extended to Dent Village, the Wednesday 564B going as far as Cowgill close to the Settle-Carlisle Railway. Service 564 also links Sedbergh with the fine old town of Kendal which offers shopping, the excellent Brewery Centre and the Abbot Hall Art Gallery and Museum. In the other direction the same service continues to Kirkby Stephen and Brough, allowing walkers to take this service as far as the old Cross Keys Inn for a spectacular walk along valley paths or across the summit of The Calf back into Sedbergh via Cautley Spout waterfall. On Thursdays there is a morning bus (567A) down the Lune valley via Barbon to Kirkby Lonsdale.

Bus times can be checked at the Transport Direct website (link opens in new window).

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