Pete's Walks - The Dales Way

Day 4 30/06/04 Far Gearstones to Sedbergh (15.8 miles)

Again Im afraid I only took a couple of photos. It was a very wet morning as we made our way down from the high moors to the village of Dent, though it was dry in the afternoon as we continued to Sedbergh.

From the road at Far Gearstones we went uphill and turned right, following a wall along the edge of a moor. If I remember correctly, it was grey and misty, if not actually raining, and visibility was very limited. The path followed the wall, and then we merged with a better path more or less in the same direction and eventually reached a minor road at the head of Dentdale.

We turned left and headed off down the road and it was down too, quite a steep descent that took us through the arches of the Dent Head Viaduct. Im pretty sure it was raining now as we trudged down the road into the valley. We stopped at the Dent Youth Hostel for a mid-morning coffee, which made a nice break I had stayed here when I walked the Pennine Way in 1976.

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One of the two railway viaducts near Dent Head

We then carried on through the rain, still on the longest section of road walking of the whole Dales Way. The river Dee was usually close to the road, and we had some nice views of it at times. I think the rain eased off eventually, as we reached the village of Cowgill. Here we briefly followed footpaths on the left bank of the river, before rejoining a road. We were soon back on a path, passing a few isolated farms and cottages.

We stopped for lunch in a meadow, just before crossing to the right bank of the river. We passed through a few fields and pastures, and before long crossed back to the left bank. A mile or two further on, we all took a detour to explore the charming village of Dent, with its cobbled streets. Id been there several times before when a child, but was more than happy to see it again. A few of us had a good look round the impressive St Andrews church.

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Looking towards Sedbergh, backed by the Howgill Fells

Before long we were on our way again, heading towards Sedbergh. There was one steepish climb in these last few miles, but any effort was worth it when a lovely view opened up ahead of Sedbergh, backed by the beautiful Howgill Fells. We didnt quite reach Sedbergh, as the minibus was to pick us up at Millthrop on the edge of the town I remember seeing a house decorated with amazing flower boxes here.

Incidentally, I believe HF Holidays also do this holiday from their house at Sedbergh, where Ive stayed a couple of times including when I did A Dales Walk.