Howgills and Limestone Trail

Howgills and Limestone Trail

The Howgills and Limestone Trail (henceforth known as HALT) is a 76 mile long-distance walk from Kirkby Stephen to Settle through  picturesque and, in parts, demanding area of Cumbria and North Yorkshire – with a short diversion into Lancashire.  

The trail passes through much the same area as that of the latter stages of the Pennine Journey but, apart from a few hundred yards above Ingleton Falls, it takes an entirely different route whilst sharing many of the Pennine Journey’s staging posts

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The Howgills and Limestone Trail pictorial guide
The Howgills and Limestone Trail pictorial guide

Drawing its inspiration from Alfred Wainwright’s books Walks in Limestone Country and Walks in the Howgill Fells these two pictorial guides provided virtually all of the background material needed when David and Heather Pitt first sat down to devise the walk and the route that it takes. At the end of the Pennine Journey project Ron Scholes, who drew the maps for the Pennine Journey and Colin Bywater who supplied the illustrations agreed to collaborate on the Howgills and Limestone Trail pictorial guide and in 2013 the book was released.

The route has strong associations with railways both ‘ancient and modern’. It passes over the spectacular Smardale Gill viaduct, and close to the Stainmore Railway, the disused Ingleton and Tebay Railway, and the Settle to Carlisle railway. For the long-distance walker who has a passing interest in railways then the Howgills and Limestone Trail is ‘must’.

Smardale Gill Viaduct
Smardale Gill Viaduct
Looking out over the Lune Valley
Looking out over the Lune Valley
A view of the Howgill Fells
A view of the Howgill Fells

"The Howgill Fells ..... are sleek and smooth, looking, from a distance, like velvet curtains in sunlight, like silken drapes at sunset; they are steep-sided but gently domed, and beautiful in a way that few hilly areas are ...... The compactness of the group is emphasised by a remarkable concentration of summits, often likened to a huddle of squatting elephants ....."

Alfred Wainwright writing about the Howgill Fells
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