Fell Head and The Calf, from Howgill, near Sedbergh

This walk climbs to the Calf via Fell Head. Starting from the small hamlet of Howgill, near Sedbergh, this route sees few walkers. Offering good views to the Shap Fells and the higher hills of the Yorkshire Dales, this is a walk for the connoiseur.

Technical sheet
No. 293277
A Sedbergh walk posted on 04/07/16 by Walking Britain. Update : 09/03/21
Calculated time Calculated time: 4h45[?]
Distance Distance : 6.84mi
Vertical gain Vertical gain : 1811ft
Vertical drop Vertical drop : 1677ft
Highest point Highest point : 2198ft
Lowest point Lowest point : 614ft
Average Difficulty : Average
Back to starting point Back to starting point : No
Walking Walking
Area Area : Yorkshire Dales
Location Location : Sedbergh
Starting point Starting point : N 54.357302° / W 2.567067°
Arrival Arrival : N 54.357509° / W 2.561222°
Download : -
Looking South from Bram Rigg Looking South from Bram Rigg


The start is problematic as there is very restricted parking. You may be lucky to find a space near to Four Lane Ends (grid ref. SD632958) either on Howgill Lane or the lane that drops down to Lowgill. If this is not possible then park on the grass verge above Fairmile Gate (grid ref. 629980) although this option adds over a mile and a half to the length of the route.

(D/A) From Four Lane Ends head north along Howgill Lane. Just before Gate House on the left, turn right along the drive that leads through Beck Houses. Passing the farm, continue on the signed right of way crossing a stream to reach the intake wall at Beck Houses Gate. From here follow the rising path that leads in a wide arc to reach Whin's End. Note - if you have parked at Fairmile Gate then a more direct path will bring you to this same point.

(1) Continue on the main path that heads northeast to cross Blind Gill before it turns to head north to reach the col between Linghaw and Fell Head. At the Col turn right up a feint path that leads northeasterly onto Blake Ridge before veering south towards the summit of Fell Head, which is marked by a cairn. Now that you have gained some height you soon appreciate the complexity of the topography in this area with deep valleys separated by lofty ridges. Note there is a direct path from Whin's End to the summit of Fell Head but the route described is far more pleasant.

(2) Leave Fell Head on the main path heading east and then north east descending to arrive at Breaks Head. From here there is a steeper descent to the Col of Windscarth Wyke before a climb south east to Bush Howe. Staying on the ridge path continue over White Fell Head to reach the trig column on the Calf where you may actually meet another walker enjoying the superb all round view!

(3) Retrace your steps towards White Fell Head from where a descent southwest on a feint path leads you down to a crossing of Chapel Beck. If for some reason you fail to locate the path used on this descent then you should encounter no problems by just walking down over grass. Cross Chapel Beck and pick up the track that leads past Castley Farm and Cookson's Tenement to reach the start(D/A).

Waypoints :
D : mi 0 - alt. 630ft - Howgill
1 : mi 1.54 - alt. 1260ft - Whin's End
2 : mi 2.65 - alt. 1988ft - Fell Head
3 : mi 4.52 - alt. 2198ft - The Calf
A : mi 6.84 - alt. 735ft

Useful Information

This route is easy to follow in good visibility. However if there is any likelihood of low cloud then those with a poor sense of direction should head back down the fell. Even when the sun is shining the complex ridge structure is confusing and it is imperative that you ensure you are equipped with the 1:25000 map, which has been studied before setting out.

Visorando and this author cannot be held responsible in the case of accidents or problems occuring on this walk.

Opinions and comments


Global average : 5/5
Number of opinions : 1
Description quality : 5/5
Routemap quality : 5/5
Walk interest : 5/5

on Tue 09 Mar 2021 01:27:36 CET

Global average : 5 / 5

Date of walk : 28/02/21
Description quality : Very good
Routemap quality : Very good
Walk interest : Very good

Spring made an early appearance today with clear cobalt blue skies from start to finish. The Sky Lark thought it was spring too and sang his high sweet tune for the first time this year. The rivers sparkled and the grass on the valley bottoms was green and verdant. It's hard to believe that not much more than 10 days ago these hills were snow clad. There were still one or two remote specks of white in the places where the sun has yet to warm the ground.

We had high hopes for this walk of the connoiseurs and it didn't disappoint. The Howgills were dressed in their best panoramic outfits with clear views out tothe Pennines, the Cumbrian Coast, and the Kent Estuary shining like a national guitar in the morning sun. Even those super models of the North West that are the Lakeland Fells had seen fit to get out of bed today.

A word to the wise for those coming at this walk from J37 of the M6. If you have a vehicle much bigger than a Smart Car or a super mini then park on the M6 side (West Bank) of the River Lune just before the Crook o' Lune Bridge. This bridge was built for pack horses not modern cars on steroids. Not only is it incredibly narrow (8 feet at best) it's at an awkward angle with a switchback to navigate before you get on the bridge proper. If you do manage to cross without incident, potential parking spots on the other side are no more than scrapes in the hedge.

There is ample parking for a couple or three cars just before the bridge on the Lune's west bank and it might just save you the cost of a bumper or a wing mirror.

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The GPS track and description are the property of the author.