Si­mon’s Seat & Ul­dale

If you’re fed up of those eroded paths in the Lake Dis­trict, Roger But­ler sug­gests you head over the M6 and make for the Howgills.

Trail (UK) - - Cumbria -

Fol­low­ing the ex­ten­sion to the York­shire Dales Na­tional Park, all of the Howgill Fells now ben­e­fit from the recog­ni­tion and pro­tec­tion they have long de­served. Wain­wright fa­mously com­pared these empty rolling hills to a hud­dle of squat­ting ele­phants, though he also thought their deeply folded dales looked a bit like a pair of soft velvet cur­tains.

Rough velvet might be the best way to de­scribe the walk­ing here, with miles of wiry grass, lit­tle in the way of heather and more than a few boggy hol­lows. The Lake Dis­trict, ris­ing just across the M6, suddenly seems a world away and this long wrig­gling route ex­plores some of the best scenery as well as peer­ing into dra­matic empty val­leys which run north to the River Lune. It also avoids some of the bet­ter known as­cents which start on the south and east sides of the range.

The Howgills will blow away any cob­webs. The walk­ing is ex­hil­a­rat­ing but straight­for­ward; there are no crags or nasty scram­bles and the un­du­lat­ing up­lands mean you can sim­ply stride out, swing your arms and whis­tle into the wind. How­ever, do be­ware of mist and cloud. Many of the fells and their in­ter­lock­ing spurs look re­mark­ably sim­i­lar and poor vis­i­bil­ity has the abil­ity to con­fuse. Make sure you pick a clear day and you will prob­a­bly re­mem­ber this walk for many years to come.

Sun­shine and shad­ows in the Howgill Fells.

View north to­wards the ridge known as Breaks Head from the de­scent to Blaketh­waite Bot­tom.

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