Although we’ve walked from Sedbergh north on to the wonderful Howgill Fells, we’d never gone in the other direction from the town, up on to Frostrow Fell, though we later returned through the more familiar edges of lower Dentdale – a modest walk of under seven miles.
Well worth it though – the feel of the terrain is very different from the Howgill side.
From Sedbergh we set out along the Hawes road and then following a no through road lane of old farmhouses up on to the edge of Frostrow Fell.
The joy of the fell is in the surrounding views, particularly back towards the Howgills and over the town of Sedbergh, but also towards the vast stretch of wild country around Baugh Fell.
Frostrow Fell itself was very wet underfoot, but then we’ve had a lot of rain this year. It reminded me of some of the soggier stretches of Dartmoor, bleak and not particularly aesthetically beautiful, but a joy for those who love moorland walking.
One thing we did notice, and I don’t know whether it’s just the time of year – the almost complete absence of birds. We didn’t see any all the way across the Frostrow watershed.
A very wet but obvious trod brought us to the little water of Holebeck Gill, and then up to a long line of stone wall, where we met with the line of the Dales High Way path.
We descended then into Dentdale at Helm Farm, where we watched and talked to a shepherd with his two dogs bringing the sheep down into the dale. Take away the quad bike and you’d be seeing a scene unchanged for centuries.
Our path followed the lane for a half mile between Helm and Craggs Farms, and then we took field paths through Leakses Farm to Burton Hill Farm.
At the next farm, Hewthwaite, we picked up the track of the Dales Way – a very obvious and clearly ancient track. It must have a history, but I don’t know what it is. The kind of clear wide path used by drovers, or jaggers with their packhorses. A beautiful old walk in any case as it made its way through the fringes of Gap Wood, over a slight spur of Frostrow and down to the hamlet of Millthrop.
From here paths and lanes took us back into Sedbergh, where – given that this is a book town – we spent a happy hour or two browsing in a couple of the antiquarian bookshops, where there are always pleasant discoveries to be made.