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<Looking back to Green Bell and Knoutberry on the skyline from the bridleway near Greenside
Looking back to Green Bell and Knoutberry on the skyline from the bridleway near Greenside

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Route No. 180 - Friday 5 May 2006
Ravenstonedale, Knoutberry
Green Bell, Stwarth - 10km
Howgill Fells . . .

Around 400m climbing on coarse grass fellside
Map: OS Explorer OL19 Howgill Fells & Upper Eden Valley at 1:25000
Route Map on 'Landranger' base from OS Open Space service


Looking up to Green Bell from the road leaving Town End at Ravenstonedale
Looking up to Green Bell from the road leaving Town End at Ravenstonedale

We set off on a track signposted 'To Green Bell' from the road junction at map ref. NY 720036. We continued along the track for about 1.5km and then turned off to the right to cross Wyegarth Gill and begin the long climb up the grassy slope on to Knoutberry.

This moring the weather was beautiful, with bright sunshine and blue sky and a strong breeze. After breakfast we checked out of the pub and drove about 3km to the edge of Ravenstonedale and parked on a little grass area just out of the village at town end, map ref. NY 721036.

Old stone barn above Wyegarth Gill
Old stone barn above Wyegarth Gill

Crossing Wyegarth Gill
Crossing Wyegarth Gill
Climbing the grassy slopes of Knoutberry
Climbing the grassy slopes of Knoutberry

There is a public footpath shown on the OS map which bypasses Knoutberry and Green Bell in the valley and it is not the route to follow, instead we made our way onto the ridge leading up to Knoutberry at around map ref. NY 710020 and followed the ridge on to the top of Knoutberry at map ref. NY 703013. From there there is a slight dip before starting the last steep climb onto Green Bell. The view from the top was well worth the climb. The breeze was warm but quite strong so we sat just below the top on the north side out of the wind for our lunch.

Looking at the climb onto Green Bell from Knoutberry
Looking at the climb onto Green Bell from Knoutberry

The view south from the trig point on Green Bell
The view south from the trig point on Green Bell
Fell and Dales breed ponies roam free on the Howgill Fells
Fell and Dales breed ponies roam free on the Howgill Fells

After our break we set off down the ridge to the north over a headland called Stwarth on the map. On the way we saw a group of the Dales and Fell breeds of ponies that roam free on the Howgill Fells. I have no idea what the difference is between a Dales pony and a Fell pony, but if you want to find out just follow the links. The paths up here are mostly quad bike tracks and there are lots of them so the routes people walk do not tend to follow the few public footpaths. You have to navigate from the shape of the land, the ridges and valleys. From Stwarth we made our way down the ridge above Pinksey Bottom to emerge from the fell onto a lane at map ref. NY 702042.

Looking north over Pinksey Bottom as we descended from Stwarth below Green Bell
Looking north over Pinksey Bottom as we descended from Stwarth below Green Bell

Rough Fell ewe and lamb - a native breed of sheep in the Howgill Fells
Rough Fell ewe and lamb - a native breed of sheep in the Howgill Fells
Dead carrion crow - similar to a rook but with a black, slightly curved beak for tearing carrion, unlike the grey dagger shaped beak of the rook
Dead carrion crow - similar to a rook but with a black, slightly curved beak
for tearing carrion, unlike the grey dagger shaped beak of the rook

We turned right to walk along the lane for a few hundred metres to map ref. NY 705043. Here we turned off the lane to our right to follow a bridleway across the fields for just over 1km to the road at map ref. NY 716043. At the road we turned right to walk along the road for about 250m to Low Greenside Farm.

Old lime kiln at map ref. NY 704043
Old lime kiln at map ref. NY 704043

Fallen tree on the bridleway near Greenside
Fallen tree on the bridleway near Greenside

Here we took the path through the farm yard and across the fields back to Town End at Ravenstonedale, map ref. NY 720038 and made our way through the village back to the car. The whole route had been about 10km and had taken us three and a half hours to walk. We drove into Kirkby Stephen for a bacon butty and cup of coffee. I know it's a break with tradition but it was lunch time.

Town End at Ravenstonedale
Town End at Ravenstonedale