Low Clint from Simonstone

THIS short hill walk above the North Yorkshire town of Hawes offers wonderful views of Wensleydale, writes JOHN EDMONDSON. It starts from Simonstone Hall, visits the pretty village of Sedbusk and goes through quintessential Yorkshire pastures. The walk could easily be extended to start from Hardraw or Hawes.

Start from Simonstone Hall Hotel, map reference SD 871 915, postcode DL8 3LY


Distance: 4.5 miles with 800 feet of ascent.

Time: 2.5 hours

Terrain: grassy paths, tracks, rough fell and 600 yards of road

Map: OS Explorer OL19


1 From the hotel turn left onto the road. Turn left before houses onto the path signed Shaw Gill Wood, taking care descending the cobbles: they are slippery when wet. Follow the paved path along the right side of Hardraw Beck past Shaw Gill. There are three small waterfalls and two footbridges so you could add a small loop and view the falls from both sides. Exit the gill through a gate and turn right onto a lane (Fossdale). Walk up the slope and turn left to go up a stepped footpath signed Sowrey Head. Walk past the caravan and camping site on the left, through a gate and then a gated stile. Cross a ladder stile in front of a wood then turn right to walk beside the beck and over a squeeze stile in the corner. Go up some steps to a squeeze stile then uphill to a barn. Turn right to the road then sharp left and walk up the road for 500 yards past a disused quarry tip and over or around a cattle grid. This area was once an important centre for stone mining, particularly for flagstones.

2 Turn right onto a stony track going up Stags Fell. A sign indicates that the Dales Hang Gliding and Paragliding Club (DHPC) fly from this fell. On the double bend at the top of the steep slope turn right onto a grassy track and walk along the top of Low Clint escarpment. Enjoy views over Upper Wensleydale and of the route followed up from Simonstone. Before reaching the cliff on the left descend steeply to the wall on the right just after a corner above woodland. Walk alongside the wall on the right and turn right through a gate. Follow the grassy path through a gate then descending and turning right past some trees and continuing downhill to meet the walled Shutt Lane. Turn right and descend to the pretty village of Sedbusk.

3 Sedbusk was once a village for quarries producing flagstones used for roofs and for the huge slabs such as those over the outbuilding to Paddock Cottage on the hill below the village. Sedbusk’s name derives from Norse meaning a bush by a summer grazing area. Turn right opposite the phone box onto the footpath signed Simonstone three quarter of a mile. The path goes through 13 paddocks separated by walls with sprung gates, then a gateway and a ladder stile to a stony track leading to the road at Simonstone. This pattern of fields, drystone walls and barns, introduced following land closure acts between1760 and 1840, are quintessential Yorkshire. Turn right onto the road and return to Simonstone Hall.

Next week: a linear walk from Windermere to Kendal

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.