STROLL down the River Sprint then ramble across the treeless moss of Sleddale Forest, writes JOHN EDMONDSON. After enjoying a dramatic view of Kentmere valley, visit the remote Skeggles Water then follow a clear path back down to Longsleddale. This is a challenging walk across remote open fells, requiring clear visibility, a large scale map, good navigation skills, boots and suitable clothing.

Start from the car park (£2 honesty box and toilets) opposite St Mary’s Church, Longsleddale. Grid reference NY 501029, postcode LA8 9BB.


Distance: 9.2 miles with 1,700 feet of ascent

Time: 4.5 hours

Terrain: stony tracks and open fell, boggy in parts.

Maps: OS Explorer OL7


1 From the car park turn right to head up Longsleddale valley along the road. Turn left at Little Wadshowe onto the bridleway signed Ullthwaite Bridge by the garage with a green door. Go through two gates and at the gate to Hollin Root turn immediately left to double back at a higher level. Turn right through a gate immediately before a white cottage, past the front of the cottage and a wooden barn to a gate. Follow the stony track through a metal gate and continue along the grassy track going close to the River Sprint opposite the church. Keep to the wall on the left; go through a gate then alongside a fence on the right, through a gate and across a field to Kilnstones (a white house). After passing woods on the right turn right at the three-way fingerpost signed 'public bridleway ends in one mile.' Walk past Docker Nook Farm and up the lane leading to Open Access land starting at a gate on the left of a derelict barn.

2 Keep straight along the shallow valley, continuing on the grassy track as it follows the line of a wall to the left and bends right going uphill. Go through a metal gate, keep to the wall on the left for a further 100 yards then turn left to go through a gate. Walk to the top of the 1,400-feet hill ahead then continue at a high level and cross a step stile (with a dog gate) through a fence. Continue in the same direction then bear right to walk downhill alongside a wall on the left and with views over Kentmere valley. Use quad tracks to find the best route down to the left corner. Go through sheep pens and continue in the same direction along the other side of the wall. Cross Skeggleswater Dike (in two streams) and ascend the other side of the valley. Cross the first path to merge with a main path at a gate in the wall corner. After the next wall gap bear left off the track. Go through a gate on the left then continue uphill, roughly parallel to a wall on the right. At the top of Hollow Moor a splendid view of the head of Kentmere valley opens ahead.

3 Turn right, cross a fence stile then descend on the other side of the fence. Bear left, aiming towards Skeggles Water; cross Shaw Beck then a stile next to a gate on the main bridleway in a corner of the enclosure. Turn right and head to the left side of Skeggles Water to an ash tree sprouting from rocks. Step over a fence at the water’s edge then head south easterly to meet the main track. Turn left and follow the track back to Hollin Root. Turn right and return to Longsleddale using the route followed on the way out.

Next week: Crooklands and Nook

NB: restrictions on space mean that this article provides a general summary of the route. It is advisable for anyone who plans to follow the walk to take a copy of the relevant Ordnance Survey map.