It’s some time since I put anything on this site about the Lake District (in fact it’s some weeks since I uploaded anything at all!) so although I’ve not forgotten my plan to have more about Lancashire and Yorkshire today’s picture is of Bowness on Windermere.
Boats at Bowness on an October afternoon
It was only when writing the first paragraph above that it occurred to me that if I’d been writing it a little over forty years ago then some of the view here would have been Lancashire. Although Bowness was in Westmorland most of the lake itself and the western shore was in Lancashire. Ah, how the world changes.
Anyway, the photo was taken a couple weeks ago in the afternoon of a beautiful day, of which we’ve had quite a lot recently. Yes, the Lake District is great around the seasons.
Although I’ve not been writing much here in recent months I have been assembling a collection of photographs of both Lancashire and Yorkshire, including several of the medieval Cistercian abbeys, as I’ve travelled around. I just have to put some words to them now.
This was intended to be a much more extensive post but problems with my desktop computer mean that I seem to have lost the images from photo sessions at Sawley and Ribchester. Here, though, is a recent picture of the much “younger” Ribble at Gargrave. Hopefully I’ll recover the others and expand this into a longer piece in the near future
I’m still trying to get a decent photograph of the Howgills from the top of Ash Fell. Somehow the weather or the time of day (sun angle) always seems to defeat me. Anyway, here’s my latest and despite its inadequacies I’m using it here to illustrate “Twixt Eden and Lune”.
The Eden and the Lune are the two main rivers of this part of the country, the Lune flowing south and west while the Eden runs north and west. Here at Ravenstonedale is the divide between Lunesdale (or Lonsdale) and the Eden Valley. The streams through Ravestonedale village join and flow as Scandal Beck into the Eden. Anything to the west joins the Lune.
Actually Ravenstonedale needs to be thought of in two different ways. It is a village, but it is also an extensive parish. The parish spans the watershed and supplies both rivers. My second photograph for today (above) is taken from Town Head, at the top of the village, and looks out over that part of the parish to the east, toward Wild Boar Fell where Scandal Beck has its source. The image below is from close to the A683 Kirkby Stephen to Sedbergh road looking up toward Will Boar Fell in the background.
This is fantastic walking country. The combination of the Howgills and the Upper Eden Valley attracts many who love tramping over the lesser known areas of our beautiful country. You don’t find the Lake District crowds here. There are no day trips to Mallerstang, except of course those passing through on the scenic Settle-Carlisle railway line (which has a station at Kirkby Stephen if you’re wondering how to get here without a car).
Some people may choose to stay in Kirkby Stephen, the local “walkers’ town” (above) or in Sedbergh, England’s “book town” at the southern end of the Howgills, but there’s accommodation in Ravestonedale itself and with the Black Swan (below) and the King’s Head there’s no reason to go short of amazing food at the end of the day.
The Howgills are much less well known than many of the Cumbrian fells, and yet they’re more accessible than most, being close to the M6 motorway and the towns of Sedbergh and Kendal. Their western slopes are right alongside the motorway as it passes through the Lune Gorge between Junctions 37 and 38.
The Howgills from the west, viewed across the M6 motorway through the Lune Gorge
Getting to the Howgills
I suppose that most people coming up from other parts of England to Cumbria for an holiday drive up the M6 and either leave at Junction 36 near Kendal for the southern and central lakes such as Windermere and Grasmere or continue a little further up to J40 at Penrith en route to Ullswater, Derwentwater or the Western Lakes. Leaving at J37 and heading east one quickly comes to the small town of Sedbergh (officially a “book town”) and around it is a world of rural quiet very different from the bustling centres of the Lakeland tourist honeypots.
From Sedbergh head out on the road toward Kirkby Stephen and the Eden Valley. As you go north up the valley of the River Rawthey the eastern slopes of the Howgills are on the left.
Looking toward Cautley Spout from Cautley in August
The Howgills in Winter
Below is a 2015 winter scene with Cautley Spout, a long cascade of water crashing down the fellside – in fact England’s longest.
The Howgills and Cautley Spout – a Winter scene
The Howgills from the North
I was looking just now to see whether I’d ever written anything here about the Howgills in the past. The answer is almost nothing. In June 2012 I posted a few photographs of the Upper Lune Valley and one of them shows the Howgills from the north as a range of hills against the distant skyline. I promised then to get some better shots. It’s past time I kept my promise so here’s at least a provisional offering, a snowy scene from this past week.
The Howgills from the North (near Ravenstonedale) in Winter