Howgills help?

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  • Howgills help?
  • Premier Icon Mugboo

    I’ve done something clockwise and it was superb. I remember it was a lot of pushing up to the calf on the first BW out the back of Sedburgh. Then a long singletrack descent to the road (actually v pedally towards the end).

    It took us 4hrs to get halfway round at which point we were bricking it as we only had two hours of daylight to get back! As it turns out this was enough and the return leg after the road section is really good fun and a nice contrast. There’s even a shop at the furthest point.

    I believe it was an MBR killer loop.



    A couple of mates and I are planning a day out in the Howgills in mid-October. We have a back-up plan in place if the weather is iffy as we’re led to believe the area is pretty remote and not a place to be if it closes in.

    We did a 40 mile crossing of the Yorkshire Dales in July, so we’re not total novices, but none of us has ever been to the Howgills before.

    However, assumming all is well, we plan to start in Sedbergh. All the routes I can see seem to want to climb the Calf from Sedbergh and drop down the other side into Bowderdale – is this the best way to do it?

    Also, which is the better way to climb the Calf – Brant Rigg or White Fell?

    As far as I can see, you then have two basic choices, turn right at the top to make it a clockwise loop of 23-27 miles or turn left to cross the motorway and take in Borrowdale, a loop of 30+ miles. We will probably opt for the clockwise route back – again I can see a couple of options coming back SW this way – either hold the height by keeping right at Adamthwaite or do a drop to Murthwaite and rejoin at the foot of Ben End – any advice on this?

    Any help will be gratefully accepted – I did something similar for our Dales day out and the responses were very useful indeed.


    what you said and turn right = one of the longest [ but pedally] descents and mainly singletrack

    the climb is cleanable as well and not super hard for someone fit [ i am not a riding god]
    I think we took White fell

    Cracking ride and a deffo tick box one that is actually enjoyable as well.
    Dont recall the return being that bad but there were a couple of climbs
    Probably all very draggy if it is wet

    Premier Icon ton

    done this route 5 times over the years…..the last time with 20 odd stw’rs.
    clockwise from sedbergh up the calf, down bowderdale is the way to go.
    the murthwaite way is the best, most fun route.

    it is a fantastic route and well worth the effort of the slog up.



    If you want a 42k loop starting from Sedbergh that you can do in either direction then drop me an e-mail and I’ll send you a GPX file.

    I’ve done it in both directions. Can’t say which I prefer. Loved comming off the Calf down to Sedbergh but that means climbing up the valley.

    It’s not too bad weather wise. The Calf is the highest point but its not as exposed as the rest of the Lakes.

    Extra points if you can clear the ford !


    A few times from Sedbergh to Calf, down pedally Bowderdale & returning via Murthwaite. After all the effort to get to Bowderdale village you then realise you’re only halfway round. Also dropped off down White Fell a couple of times.

    Arant Haw towards Calders

    The climb up White Fell from Howgill


    The howgills are ace and deadly when its icy planning the same route soon!

    Going up and up! by Richard Munro, on Flickr

    Premier Icon Trekster

    the climb is cleanable as well and not super hard for someone fit [ i am not a riding god]

    Not be me or antone I know, which makes you a riding god imo 😉

    Done it both ways and my preference is anti-clock, up Bowderdale and down Calf 😀
    The Borrowdale bit isn’t worth the effort i.m.o.

    My preferred route is up Borrowdale on the parallel track at West Fell and Hazlegill Knott. Then down to Sedburgh at Lockbank Farm.

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