Carlingill - A Howgill Odyssey

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The Howgills aren't the biggest hills in England, though hovering at around 600 metres at their highest points they aren't tiddlers either. They must be amongst the most recognisable (and recognised) English hills however, as the M6 motorway goes right along their western edge and the number of people passing in a day must be in the thousands. The Howgills don't see many walkers, though - the proximity of the Lake District and the Yorkshire Dales see to that; and that's a pity, because these are real walkers' hills.

If an odyssey is an 'adventurous journey', then this walk qualifies as a Howgill Odyssey. It's quite important not to take things for granted, or to underestimate these hills. This walk is not long or hugely serious, but you will need navigation skills and the ability to select a safe route. If the weather is wet you may have to exercise judgement regarding stream crossings. If you try the optional scramble you will need confidence on steep ground and route-finding ability. There are no signs, no manicured paths, in fact this is real wilderness walking, but in miniature.

The walk starts at Gibbet Hill. You start by contouring round the end of the ridge of Back Balk to arrive at Carlin Gill. You follow the beck, with few stream crossings, to the foot of Black Force. This is unmistakable and gives a Grade 1 scramble for those who want more adventure.

For those who don't, the route continues up the beck, with stream crossings becoming more numerous. Soon after Black Force, the way is seemingly barred by a smaller waterfall (The Spout) but this can be by-passed. It isn't a pushover, though and the ability to read the ground here is important. After the incident of The Spout the walk becomes high-level and goes on a bit of a Howgill wander before heading back to the road and eventually back to your car.

These are grand little hills, with an air of remoteness and wildness about them. This short walk is a good introduction.

England - North England - Cumbria - Howgills

Features

Great Views, Hills or Fells, Waterfall

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30.5 Miles