Of the millions of visitors attracted to Cumbria the majority will turn off the M6 and head westwards into the ravishing beauty of the Lake District. Eastern Cumbria does not display its charms so obviously but for the discerning walker – that is you – dear reader, it rewards with empty moors, quiet villages and lovely valleys.
Start/finish: Ravenstonedale Village centre, close to the church.
Distance: 17k 10 ½ miles
Time: 4 ½ - 6 hours
Map: OS OL 19 The Howgill Fells & Upper Eden Valley.
Map by kind permission of the Blackpool Gazette
Directions. With St Oswald's on your left walk up to the junction and then bear right into Mill Street. In 50m turn right onto a footpath
leading across pastures to the A685 Tebay to Kirkby Stephen Road.
Cross and pick up a path soon leading across large fields to enter a valley. Passing a conifer plantation on the right
keep ahead for a further 15 minutes before dropping to Smardale Bridge.
Over this bear right briefly on the Coast to Coast route
climbing on a path that brings you alongside a disused railway line. At the next bridge join the track by means of a stile
and turn right. For the next 3k 2 miles put away these directions and enjoy the beautiful gorge
and as if travelling back in time imagine what it must have been like to come though on train.
After crossing beneath the viaduct of the Settle - Carlisle railway (regarded as Britain's most scenic line) continue for another 600m before dropping left to a quiet lane.
Turn right. Keep on the lane as it dips to cross a stream and then climb up to reach the village of Crosby Garrett. On entering the village turn right. Walk up the main street keeping left where the road bends
below the church (high up on a knoll). On the bend turn left
onto a path leading past Mains Farm
to climb to a back lane. Turn right and then left onto a path
leading across the railway
and then bearing right to reach Ladle Lane.
Keep on the walled track for the next 15 minutes
climbing gently through pastureland. Follow the track when it turns sharply left heading south to bring you to a metal gate.
Beyond the gate lies a wide featureless ocean of moorland. Keep ahead for 150m before bearing right. There is no definite path to assist you though the walking is not difficult so progress can be made.
After bearing right keep on for 400m to pick up a wide peaty track
leading up from Newclose Lane. Turn left. Keep on the track as it takes you over the brow of the hill and then drops towards the Lune Valley. There is little feature but the odd marker post and a wire fence which crosses the way. 30 minutes of this will bring you back to civilisation. Ahead Bents Farm will come into view. As you near it tracks will multiply after bearing right take a left close to a marker post.
This will take you close to a stone outcrop
and then onto the farm track leading up to the farm. Before you reach the main yard
a permissive path takes you right past the farmhouse onto the farm drive.
This long farm drive takes you down to Brownber.
Turn right and at the hall turn left onto a track that leads under the disused railway
to the A685 and Newbiggin on Lune.
Cross the road enter the village and follow the main street to a junction.
Turn left and then right onto a footpath just beyond a service building.
The footpath leads across fields to the large farm complex around Beckstones.
On reaching a farm track cross a bridge on the right
and continue for 250 metres. At the next farm turn left onto a footpath
that skirts the farm to the right
and then close to a large barn joins a walled track leading uphill to a wooden gate.
The way now crosses a number of fields on a waymarked path to bring you a lane.
Turn left and then right at the next junction for Ravenstonedale.