Great Shunner Fell and Lovely Seat make a long but entertaining circuit between Wensleydale and Swaledale. The climb up Great Shunner Fell is straightforward, the crossing over Buttertubs to Lovely Seat less so.
Two wild and lonely Yorkshire Dales’ peaks can be collected in a long walk from either Hardraw in Wensleydale or Thwaite in Swaledale. Many thousands will have traipsed over the summit of Great Shunner Fell (being on the Pennine Way). However I cannot believe many but the most intrepid have been up its neighbour Lovely Seat. It is a lonely place, trackless and the place of bird watchers, navigation trainers and summit baggers.
For whatever reason I tend to do this walk in winter conditions. The advantage being the partly frozen ground meant that I avoided the often marshy conditions (at least when I hear stories from Pennine Way walkers). The ascent has been improved however by the addition of some large slabs and duck boards on the most marshy places. In addition the frozen conditions made the descent straightforward and fun, particularly from the summit of Lovely Seat. At no stage was it too steep. On a warm summer’s evening this must be great descent.
Great Shunner Fell and Lovely Seat are two of the Dales 30 Mountains
It is very easy to bag both mountains from the high pass, Buttertubs. As a result there is no appreciation of the vastness of the moors of this area.
Following the line of the broken fence is the most important think to do when crossing between the two mountains. Follow it to Buttertubs and then across the bog straight up Lovely Seat. From the summit of Lovely Seat the route is pathless. Take a southerly bearing and you may get wet feet but you will reach the bridleway after one and a half miles.
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