Pike Hill from Hawes.

Start. Hawes.

Route. Hawes - Hayland Bridge - Hardraw - West House - Low Shaw - Stags Fell Quarries - Pike Hill - North Rakes Hill - Shutt Lane - Sedbusk - Haylands Bridge - Hawes.

Notes. Hawes one of the highest market towns in England, locally known as the capital of upper Wensleydale. Sitting on the main trade route between Sedbergh and Leyburn it's name derives from the number of Horse Houses in the village, (be careful how you say that), coaching inns build to provide fresh horses and a service for travellers on the long journey up and down the dale. Today this small village has become a popular tourist attraction, visit the famous Wensleydale Cheese Visitors Centre, Hawes Ropeworks or see pots turned at Wensleydale Pottery, cobbled streets and tumbling waterfalls all add to the charm. The Pennine Way passes through the heart of the village conveying leaden-legged long distance walkers to a place of refuge for the night. Today me and my good wife Sue arrived in town (by car) to sample the delights of Pike Hill to the north of Hawes, on a walk that would carry us through Stags Fell Quarries before ascending to high ground above the cliffs of High and Low Clint.

We left the village following the Pennine Way north, with tarmac under foot we followed Brunt Acres Road before field paths guided us to Hardraw. A steep climb followed on the path to Simonstone, passing through West House Farm, keeping to the farm lane we soon reached the strip of tarmac that leads over the Buttertubs Pass. Directly across the road a finger-post directed us to Low Shaw, the path passed to the right of the barn then entered green pastures for the final pull to the intake wall. After crossing the final intake an indistinct path lead east towards a small copse. On reaching the tree line we stepped onto a green quarry track , this track carried us through the disused Stags Head Quarries before depositing us on the tarmac leading over the Buttertubs Pass, a short walk up hill followed crossing a cattle grid to reach a land rover track on our right.

Ascending the track we soon reached the main bridleway over Pike Hill, an easy walk followed above the limestone cliffs of High and Low Clint before a finger-post pointing the way to Sedbusk. In no time at all we found ourselves descending through fields before entering Shutt Lane, the lane guided us between dry stone walls to the delightful, rarely visited Dale's village of Sedbusk. A short walk west along Sedbusk Lane followed before another finger-post invited us to Haylands Bridge, at the bridge we stepped back onto the Pennine Way to make the short walk back to Hawes.

view route map.


Our day starts with a view up Gayle Beck to the waterfalls at Hawes.

Across the valley to the north the Pike Hill skyline.

The twin arches of Haylands Bridge and the dark waters of the River Ure.

In the distance Widdle Hill seen from the banks of the River Ure.

Taking in the views from the fields en route to Hardraw, looking west to Cotter End.

Reaching across the skyline to the south, Wether Fell seen from green pastures above Hardraw.

Wether Fell as seen from the fields above Low Shaw.

In the shadow of Low Clint, below the Stags Fell Quarries views to Little Fell and Hearne Top.

Stunning views from the Stags Fell Quarries, on the far horizon Baugh Fell with the chiselled face of Cotter End to the right, far right Little Fell leading to Hearne Top.

Sue strides out through a slice of Wensleydale's mining history. Stags Fell Quarries stretch for almost one mile under the cliffs of Low and High Clint, a number of levels were driven into the cliff face for the extraction of Thackstones, stone slabs used to replace ling-thatch (heather) on barn and house roofs.

From the quarries views over upper Wensleydale.

Standing above Low Clint looking to Great Shunner Fell.

As seen from two shapely cairns above High Clint, the valleys of Sleddale and Widdale, on the far horizon 14 miles to the south-west the flat top of Ingleborough.

Wether Fell as viewed over Hawes.

Views over the vast expanse of peat and heather guarding the approach to Lovely Seat.

High Clint seen before the descent to Sedbusk.

The scene over Wensleydale taking in Wether Fell, Dodd Fell and Widdale Fell.

Sue strides out down this ancient track with wonderful views to Addlebrough and Penhill.

Addlebrough across Wensleydale seen from between the dry stone walls of Shutt Lane.

Old barn in Sedbusk High Pasture with High Clint rising behind.

Looking down on the roof tops of Sedbusk, a real Dales backwater.

Packhorse bridge crossed on the descent to Haylands Bridge.

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