Return to Whittle Wanderer

Howgill Fells, Harter Fell, Wandale, Cumbria
[ 14.2 km] Wed 16 May 2012

SD 6983 9695
It was a sunny morning as I drove through Sedbergh. All the grass verges were covered in ‘no parking’ signs to deter travellers as the Appleby Fair isn’t too far away. There were some Llamas grazing on a hill to the right as I drove north to the Cross Keys Temperance Inn. I left my car and walked north along the main A683 road to Rawthey Bridge. I left the main road here to take the old road over Fell End. After the first steep section it’s a nice long level stretch of road with occasional houses.

Ash Pot

I stopped briefly at the old Quaker burial ground behind the wall but the original sign was no longer there. As I continued along the road I could see what looked like a new dry stone wall running up the side of Harterfell Brow.

Trimmers Trunk donated by Mick and Celia Frost, Kelleth
to commemorate the marriage of William and Kate 29 April 2011

Gillbeck Bridge at Fell End

Where the road rejoins the main A683 I climbed the gate to walk past the ruin of the old church and across some boggy ground to investigate the wall. It had been substantially rebuilt but looked like a lot of the stone had been imported as it was pristine and no sign of weathering. The end of the new wall is also the start of the ridge up to Harter Fell. A well defined green track runs up it but soon vanishes. It was firm and dry underfoot so there were no problems.

Dry stone wall with new stones

A small stone cairn marks the summit. A clear path headed south so I followed it across the fell and down in a circular route to the road that leads to Adamthwaite Farm. At the road I continued to the farm but just before the yard gate stopped to let the farmer get his sheep off the fell and herded into the yard. Once his sheep were in I followed to join the narrow walled track. I stopped briefly to chat to the farmer and among other things spoke of the fild ‘B Monkey’ partly made at ‘Mountain View’ in the next valley. He said he remembered them making it as he was at school at the time.

Lovely mailbox for Adamthwaite
an old ammo box


I continued along the track which follows a high route along the east side of Wandale Fell. It’s a few years since I was here and then I wrote about the ruin of Wandale Farm and the people who lived there. South of the ruin the track had been substantially improved, cleaned out and stoned in places.

Wandale looking north

I followed it to Narthwaite then through the farm yard and down to the ford across Backside Beck. The water level seemed to be higher than on previous occasions but I got over OK. A short walk took me to the footbridge over the River Rawthey and back to the Cross Keys.

Wandale access track