A River Walk With Bluebells

A beautiful day today, as we set out from Sedbergh for a morning walk along the River Rawthey. A gorgeous spring morning, with the fresh leaves on the trees and the shady woodland floor bearing the lovely shade of bluebells and the scent of the wild garlic.

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The River Rawthey (c) John Bainbridge 2017

Sedbergh is a book town, though I’ve noticed that some of the bookshops have shut down in recent years – though there’s still enough to make a visit worthwhile for any bibliophile.

First down to Millthrop Bridge on the Rawthey, where we picked up the Dales Way which we followed for the first part of our walk. The Rawthey deserves to be better known, for the river scenery is very lovely – the water crystal clear, singing merrily as it runs over shillets and around boulders, with the occasional deeper pool where the fish hide.

Soon after passing through the pretty hamlet of Birks we passed the Rawthey’s confluence with the little River Dee. Then under the old railway line – and how good it would be to have them running again, far better than wasting the money on the HS2 millionaire’s high-speed line.

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Birks (c) John Bainbridge 2017

The river path narrows below the hamlet of Briggflatts – worth a diversion here to see the quaker meeting house. You have to do it from the nearby road, as there is no access from the river bank, which is a pity.

We followed the road for a few yards before following a stunning green lane up past Ingmire Hall – a path lined with beech trees and some more bluebells. You can only really see Ingmire Hall from the bottom of the path, though you can admire the grounds beyond the slightly tumbled estate wall.

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Bluebells along the way (c) John Bainbridge 2017

Ingmire Hall is mostly 16th century, built around an older peel tower. It was badly damaged by fire in 1927 but restored. It was the ancestral home of the Upton family.

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The Green Lane at Ingmire (c) John Bainbridge 2017

We followed a footpath up through Underwinder Farm – well named for Winder Hill on the Howgills is in view for much of this walk. A steep path leads through a gate on the right, with opening up views over the valley of the Rawthey and Dentdale as you climb.

The quiet Howgill Lane leads back to Sedbergh, with far views much of the way.

Spring – at last – seems to have sprung in Cumbria – though this walk was once and should be again in Yorkshire. Please restore the old county boundaries.

If you can do walk in our countryside this next week and see the bluebells!


4 thoughts on “A River Walk With Bluebells

  1. I’m glad they’re starting the proper renewing of the roads though so I don’t mind, even though it’s my normal route to Cumbria. They’re shutting the whole road to my new house soon – for several miles and I haven’t thought of a new route to get to it. Have to get the maps out I think…


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