North of the Cross Keys Inn near Sedbergh lies lonely Wandale Hill. It is possible to climb it but the more interesting walk circles the mountain, past an attractive waterfall and views across the Howgills.
This was the first walk I had done all year where I started absolutely convinced that I would meet no-one. I was right! Once Cautley Spout had receded in to the distance I was on my own. Not strictly true as the wild ponies were in evidence, sheep were on the fells and the farmyards at Adamthwaite and Narthwaite had clearly been the recent residence of large numbers of cows.
The views from the bridleway showcase the northern Howgills and Wild Boar Fell to good effect particularly as the circular nature of the walk means that they are constantly changing. The hills are not craggy but smooth and undulating but more than anything else they totally dominate the views. Towards the watershed on the far side of Wandale Hill the land rises quite steeply (the summit being only a few hundred feet higher but not still not worthy of a visit) and displays an excellent waterfall as well as some increasing evidence of tree plantations. The bleak landscape is starting to change!
After rains the river crossing is difficult below Narthwaite (wet feet minimum) and the detour is via the inconvenient farm road. Best to leave this walk for dryer conditions.
If you feel a need to climb lonely Wandale Hill access it from directly north. It is a higher start, the ground is dryer and there are no walls in the way.
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