Two of the Dales 30 mountains lie to the east of the long valley of Mallerstang. The climb and walking on the slopes of High Seat and Little Fell is rough but the views excellent.
The broad ridge on the east side of Mallerstang creates less attention than Wild Boar Fell to the west. However it is an equally enjoyable walk. At least the higher parts of the ridge are. Some of the lower slopes are hard work and are almost exclusively trackless (what ever the O/S maps would have us believe). High Seat is the fourth highest summit in the Dales and receives little more than a handful of visitors a year. A direct comparison can be made to the many thousands that visit the highest three, Whernside, Ingleborough and Great Shunner Fell. It’s a shame because the whole area is full of interest, historical and environmental. Where else can places boast a history including King Arthur, Lady Anne Clifford and Dick Turpin!
I have tackled these fells from both ends of Mallerstang and prefer the route from the south, starting near Garsdale at Aisgill Cottage. The climb is steep and rough to Little Fell. However once the summit is reached it is a lovely walk visiting such intriguingly named summits as Hugh’s Seat and Gregory Chapel. The descent follows the rim of Mallerstang Edge to the broad shoulder of the Riggs. Here there are some great views to the south and west as well as offering a straightforward descent to Hell Gill Bridge.
High Seat and Little Fell are two of the Dales 30 Mountains of the Dales
Walk 1 mile north from Outhgill in Mallerstang to visit Pendragon Castle.
There is also a straightforward climb of High Seat from the north which has some excellent views. Unfortunately for anyone wanting to do both mountains it is not convenient.
On the return down the Riggs head to the stones on Gregory’s Seat. From here leave the path to Little Fell and head just west of south. The Riggs is a broad grassy ridge, keep to the highest part throughout the descent.
We completed this walk yesterday as described, with a 3-generation group from 10-70 years. Only space for 2 cars at the cottage but on a day that was a bit wet and windy we were the only walkers on these fells which felt remote but with lovely views all round.
The climb up-to Little Fell is wet and untracked and hard work with GPS or compass needed. From there it’s only a bit better and featureless over to Hugh Deat but the path is then better up to High Seat.
High Seat along to Mallerstrang Edge is also trackless, easier going though with a bit of climbing is to retrace on the good track back to Gregory chapel then drop down to the edge.
A rewarding if somewhat hard 10 miles and 2 more of the Dales 30 ticked off
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