Sedbergh car park, opposite school (grid ref SD 658/920, postcode LA10 5AB)
The Howgill Fells are overlooked by many riders in favour of the Lake District, just the other side of the M6. But these hills, some of which lie within the Yorkshire Dales National Park, provide some epic riding of their own, and are much quieter. Just save them for good weather – or things could get more epic than you might wish!
HOW TO GET THERE
Exit the M6 at junction 37, take the A684 to Sedbergh and follow the signs to the car park.
MAPS AND USEFUL BOOKS
OS Landranger 87, 91 and 98.
South Pennines of West Yorkshire and Lancashire by Stephen Hall (Ernest Press).
There’s lots to choose from, including B&Bs, campsites and bunk barns, all of which are listed on the town website (www.sedbergh.org.uk, 01539 620125). There are shops and takeaways in town and a pub in Ravenstonedale, halfway around the route. Escape Bikes in Ingleton is good (www.escapebikeshop.com, 015242 41226). Stonetrail Holidays hire out bikes and offer skills courses and guided rides (www.stonetrailholidays.com, 01539 623444).
Go back to and left on the A684, then shortly afterwards turn right on Howgill Lane, uphill. Go right at Lockbank Farm, on a steep, rocky trail up the hill.
Go through a couple of gates and bear left then right as the track (briefly) levels out before a long climb. Keep right at the junction by the gap inthe ridge then bear left and continue ahead to the trig point at The Calf.
Go downhill (north-east), keeping to the right of the tarn, along Bowerdale Back. When you eventually get to a T-junction, go right. Keep left, downhill, then right before going under the bridge. After the bridge go right, bearing left on the bridleway after the house.
Continue alongside, and then across, a stream. Go left on the road past some buildings, ahead/right at the fork and right through a gate. Keep left, joining a walled track. Go left on the road, then right through Ravenstonedale.
Keep right, continuing uphill on to the moors, aiming for Adamthwaite. Bear left on a bridleway just over the top of the hill before Adamthwaite. Keep right, through a farm. Go downhill through the trees, then uphill, joining a wide track to a farm. Bear left on a bridleway that goes steeply downhill.
Go through the water and back uphill, joining a path alongside the river. Go left over a footbridge, uphill then downhill, and continue along the valley. Join a track at Fawcett Bank, which becomes a road. Follow this to the A683 and go right, back to Sedbergh. Turn left at the mini roundabout, then left back to the car park.
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