Explore a magnificent, virtually unknown hilly landscape above the Lake District’s River Sprint 

Published: April 23rd, 2014 at 5:31 pm

This modest hill and moorland ramble starts from the utterly sublime valley of Longsleddale, and is an opportunity to plunder some of the Lake District National Park’s most secluded countryside. This was the inspiration for the fictitious Greendale, which local author John Cunliffe created as Postman Pat’s patch, inspired by these hamlets and hills.


A single track lane peters out at the heart of the highest eastern fells, where soaring peaks such as Kentmere Pike and Harter Fell lord it over countless lesser hills, knots
and crags.

This undulating route circles some of these sub-summits on a picture-perfect round, offering mouth-watering views of this secret quarter of old Westmorland. But beware: it
will be boggy in places.

Up the hill

Turn right from the car park and continue up Longsleddale for 600m to find a rough bridleway track on the left. Follow it and turn right off the nearby bridge, walking past the buildings at Hollin Root (keep right), then Well Foot (keep left).

The old track skirts the River Sprint before passing further houses, cutting off a river bend (ignore the lane on the right, to a bridge) to reach another bridge by Till’s Hole farm. Cross the concrete-parapet bridge, and go left on the footpath to regain the valley road, then turn left.

The immense rugged walls of Shipman Knotts and Sleddale Fell frame the magnificent prospect of the upper valley narrowing to Gatescarth Pass.

Rambling and rolling

At Sadgill Bridge, cross the river and turn left at the bend on the track (for Stile End) that passes through a gate above the buildings at Low Sadgill.

A gentle climb reaches a second gate beside a tall fir. Turn left after the gate onto a lesser wall-side track. Through a cross-wall the old, occasionally indistinct track curls up away from the wall to the far-top corner, continuing gently across Cocklaw Fell to a wall/fence junction. Walk down to the ruin visible on the left.

Giants of rock

Some 100m past this is a low waymarked post. Turn right and follow the old wall on your left. Shadow this wall through a cross-wall, then up beside the fence until the prospect down into Kentmere appears at Hollow Moor.

Indulge in this spectacular view into the heart of the renowned Kentmere Horseshoe of mountain giants such as Mardale Ill Bell, High Street, Froswick and Ill Bell, whiles countless central and southern fells form a rippling horizon.

Return back to the main track, use the gate; and then a gate-less gap to arrive below another ruin. Divert left here on a good path to reach lily-splattered, reed-fringed Skeggles Water, home to gulls, grebes and other visiting water birds. Rejoin the main path and turn left, passing between two isolated thorn trees. The well-established track slides across the reedy moor, dropping through a wall to a junction of ways (watch out) by a scant low ruin, about 1km from the last ruin. Here, the views down the Kent Valley are idyllic.

On the right path

Turn back-left on the lesser track (small stone cairn here), go through a gate before presently crossing a beck on a flat bridge, continuing through a wall beside old wooden sheepfolds, on the improving track across heathery moor. Drift right (waymarked) with a wall on your right.

Beyond a kissing gate the track falls to a gateway above woodlands. Descend gradually left along the track down into Longsleddale, reaching Hollin Root beyond the end of Spring Wood. Return down the road, over the bridge and back along the lane to the church.

Useful Information


Longsleddale is eight miles north of Kendal. The walk starts from the car park opposite St Mary’s Church, half-way up the dale. The single track road is signposted off the A6 at Garnett Bridge, four miles north of Kendal.


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