HALT Day 2 Route Summary
Ravonstonedale to Cautley
Distance: 9.5 miles
Highest Point: 1,422 ft
Ascent: 1,299 ft
Map: OS Explorer OL19
There are several factors that are common to places along the Howgills and Limestone Trail and the Pennine Journey – lead mining and knitting. Lead was mined in the area in the 1820/30’s by the ubiquitous London Lead Company and knitting was also a well established means of supplementing low incomes. Lord Brougham, at an election meeting at the Black Swan in 1826 is said to have quipped ‘This parish ought to be called Knitting Dale’.
The major part of this stage’s route is very straightforward once the trail, which skirts the Howgill Fells, has passed through the nurseries at Weasdale and arrives at Bowderdale Foot with its lovely old farmhouse. A delightful, long lonely walk up Bowderdale leads to the heart of the Howgills climbing very gradually to Bowderdale Head. On the approach the impressive cliffs of Cautley Crag suddenly come into view.
On the descent down to Cautley more and more of the falls of Cautley Spout are revealed and soon the River Rawthey is crossed by the Cross Keys Inn, Cautley. This was a favourite place for sustenance for Alfred Wainwright whilst he was walking in the area prior to writing his book ‘Walks on the Howgill Fells‘. The book contains a sketch by him of the inn with a ‘Ham and Eggs” sign on the roadside verge prominent in the foreground – still there many years later.
All of the photographs on the Howgills and Limestone Trail site were taken by Derek Cockell when he and his wife Alison helped to test walk the route in 2011 and 2012. All photos are strictly copyright of Derek Cockell.
Kirkby Stephen to Ravenstonedale
Cautley to Sedbergh