Trees and Grasses

From M6, junction 37 take the A684 to Sedbergh (5 miles). There are two large car parks in Sedbergh.

This is a lovely ramble with mainly level walking on field and riverside paths with good views of the surrounding fells. It offers plenty of pretty picnic spots.

It takes you to the Quaker Meeting House of Brigflatts, which was built in 1675 and is the oldest Meeting House in Northern England. George Fox who founded the Quaker movement preached there and many visitors feel a deep sense of peace and stillness here.

 1. From St.Andrew's Church in Sedbergh walk down Finkle Street to the end of the church railings. Turn right and follow the footpath marked for Busk Lane. Cross Busk Lane and turn right for approx 150 yards to the lane on your left. Follow this lane through the little hamlet of Birks until you come to a stile through the wall on your right. It is signed Brigflatts. Cross the field, bearing left to a wall. Keep this wall on your left while you cross several fields, each with a stone stair-stile in the corner.

After maybe the third of these, aim for the middle of the opposite wall as you drop into the next field. Here the stile takes you across a track into another field.

2. From this point you will see, ahead, a tunnel under the old railway embankment. Go through the tunnel and follow the path across three more fields. In the field nearest the house go through the gate, then another gate in the opposite hedge, to get onto the lane. Turn left and just ahead, on the left, you will see the Quaker Meeting House. It is usually open and there is plenty of information about its history.

3. Go back up the lane to the main road. This can be a busy road, with no pavement, so the obvious precautions apply. Turn left, walk for approx. 500 yards when you will see a footpath on the left through a metal kissing gate. Shortly after starting down this path, resist the temptation to turn right, sharply down the embankment, keep with the main path. This will take you alongside the River Rawthey. The path leads to an old railway bridge. Bear left along the bottom of the embankment for 100 yards to a path leading up and over. The path down the other side is steep but there are shallow steps so even in wet weather it’s passable. The footpath from here is very clearly marked along its' route back to Birks.

4. Follow the road through Birks and look for a metal kissing gate on the right signed Rawthey Way. Take this path down to the river, crossing Sedbergh School's playing field. The path continues across a meadow before entering a wooded area. Here there are criss-crossing trails but it's not difficult to keep to the main path which, after a sharp turn up the bank to a wall, stays above, and roughly parallel to the river until meeting a gate stile in a wall. Go through and keep with the wall on your left around and down the field to an iron gate onto the road. Turn right, cross Millthrop Bridge to a little gate in the bridge wall on the left. This riverside path, which gives great views of the Howgills to the left and Wild Boar Fell ahead, leads to New Bridge (approx half a mile).

5. Cross left over the bridge and left again along the wall to a gap which brings you to a  path on the other side of the Rawthey. Just after passing the weir look for a right turn to a stile. Walk up the field to find two stiles. You want the stile on the right which follows along the school building. At the lane, turn left passing more buildings. Keep eyes right to enjoy views over Sedbergh to the Howgills. At the junction with the main road turn right to take you back to the town centre.          

Map: OS Outdoor Leisure Map 19 - Howgill Fells and Upper Eden Valley
Distance: 4 miles
Time: 2 - 3 hours
Terrain: Easy, mainly level walking

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