The Howgills: The Less-Trodden Cumbrian Fells

by David Murray on 24 January 2015

in Cumbria, Mountains and Hills

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.

Howgills Cumbria

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.

Cautley Spout Howgills Cumbria

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.

Cautley Spout and the Howgills in Snow

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.

Howgills Ravenstonedale Cumbria Winter

The Howgills from the North (near Ravenstonedale) in Winter

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