Total Distance:- 20.3 Km (12.6 ml)
Ave Speed:- 3.15 Km/hr (1.96 mph) [10.56 am – 17.23 pm]
Max Elevation 411 m (1348ft)
Total ascent:- 503 m (1650 ft)
Tim led, 9 in group. Leaving the bus at the Fat Lamb pub car park (good stop for buses), we zig-zagged NW to Artlegarth Beck, initially across nice grassy fields but then through a very muddy farmyard at Lockholme. Before reaching the beck we had our coffee stop. After the beck, we joined a very minor road and proceeded SSW on the NW bank of the valley. With a clear sky and the sun shining, there were excellent views of the Howgills, particularly Harter Fell. After passing the farm at Adamthwaite, the road changed to a track as we headed around the NW flank of Wandale Hill. At the top of the east side of the Backside Beck valley we had our lunch stop just before reaching Mountain View. On our way again as we headed southwards, we had excellent views of the rounded hills of the Howgills to our right across the valley. At the southern tip of the nose of Wandale Hill, we arrived at Narthwaite where the track swung north as we dropped down to Backside Beck. Now it has to said that this beck could well have been aptly named as there was no footbridge and we had to plodge across the river standing on uneven and slippery stones. Linda decided to remove her boots while the rest of us took a chance although some ended up with wet socks as the water rose above the boots. Fortunately no-one ended up on their “backside” in the water. Continuing on our way, we passed the impressive gully and waterfall of Cautley Spout. Continuing south on a fairly narrow footpath (although marked as a bridleway), we headed down the steep side of the west bank of the R Rawthey. As the valley flattened out we were walking across grassy fields and as we approached the farm of Fawcett Bank we had our afternoon stop on some suitable stones. A short stretch of track then road took us to Buck Bank where we crossed the fields to join a footpath alongside the R Rawthey. We continued along a fairly good footpath on the north side of the river, crossing the A693 after which there were good views of the river and of Winder, the steep flanks of which we have descended on a number of previous walks. On reaching the A684 we crossed to the south side of the river and continued along an attractive path lined in places with meadow flowers. At Millthorp we crossed back to the north bank of the river although three of the group took the road directly into Sedburgh. The rest of us continued on through a wood on the Dales Way before heading north to pass Sedburgh School which was founded in 1525 . From there we continued into the centre of town to find either the pub or the bus whichever people preferred.
A good walk in lovely countryside. Tim deliberately missed out some of the loop to the south of the town due to lack of time, with the result that the walk was shorter than usual. This was surprising, as several said it was a fairly hard walk and we felt we had been walking at a reasonable pace except for the river crossing.