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Crag Hill and Great Coum

Starting point  and OS Grid reference:

 Dent Village pay and display car park (SD 705871)

Ordnance Survey Map
OL2 Yorkshire Dales – Southern & Western areas.

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Note: If you use OS Maps on-line, you can download this route via this link.

Distance: 7.5 miles Date of Walk: 1 May 2015


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1883ft (574m)
1883ft (574m)

Traffic light rating:   

(For explanation see My Walks page)

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 Click the PDF logo above to give a printable version of this walk without the photos.

Walk from Dent to Crag Hill and Great Coum sketch map

To view route as a dynamic Ordnance Survey map click here.

Introduction: This walk from Dent should not be taken lightly because there is an extremely steep quarter mile section to Crag Hill. No scrambling is involved and the terrain is merely grassy but the incline will make you puff! The descent is also somewhat knee-grinding! However, the views from Crag Hill at 2238ft (682 metres) make the effort worthwhile. You get the panorama of Morecambe Bay round to the Lake District plus a great view to Ingleborough. The route then passes over Great Coum, slightly higher at 2254 ft (687 metres), before dropping down to a bridleway in Deepdale.

The route takes you initially along the course of Flinter Gill, to an old green lane known as The Occupation Road, before turning off Ordnance Survey marked Rights of Way to make its way across Access Land and up the fells to Crag Hill. Although clearly visible,  trodden turf eventually peters out, the route follows walls which the directions refer to, so navigation should not be a problem

The final part of the return journey takes you through the cobbled streets of the very picturesque village of Dent with an opportunity for refreshment at a couple of pubs/cafes. There are no refreshment stops en route other than what you bring with you.

The walk starts from the pay and display car park in Dent where there are public toilets.

There are several ways to get to Dent, depending on from which direction you approach so consult an atlas/sat. nav or check the icon at the top of the page.

Start: From the car park entrance, cross Main Street and continue up the road directly opposite, to the left of the Memorial Hall. When the road bends left at the little green, keep straight ahead, following the fingerpost for Flinter Gill.

Dent village green and Aye Gill Pike

Follow the tarmac to its end when it becomes a steeply climbing stony track (bridleway).

Flinter Gill track

Pass a restored limekiln.

Go through a farm gate and to the right on the grass banking is a topograph (or orientation table, SD 699862) which, on its metal plaque, shows you which hills are in which direction. It is worth the few yards climb to this point, as the views across to the Howgill Fells and up Dentdale are superb.

Topograph above Dent

Howgill Fells view

After going through another gate where there is a bench, at a ‘T’ junction of tracks (SD 698859) turn right following the public bridleway fingerpost for “Keldishaw 1˝ miles”. This track is The Occupation Road, an old “green road” dating back to the Enclosure Acts of the 1850s , which connected Barbondale and Kingsdale, so that landowners could access their newly enclosed lands.

Follow the track for a quarter of a mile and through one more gate, then turn left on to another lesser status walled track.

Great Coum

This track leads to more open pasture. Keep following the wall on the right. This wall gradually curves left and as you get to the steeper section, the track itself becomes more and more faint. Continue to follow the wall up the hill to the ridge. This is the very steep section which earns the walk its “red traffic light”!

View to Ingleborough

At the corner of the wall you have followed and the wall along the ridge is a stone stile (SD 694835). Cross this then immediately cross a wooden stile and turn left to the trig. point on Crag Hill (SD 692833). There are excellent views over Morecambe Bay, to the Lake District and to Ingleborough.

Trig point at Crag Hill summit and view to Morecambe Bay

Crag Hill and view to lake District

Lake District telephoto shot

From the trig. point (SD 692833), retrace your steps to the wooden stile, cross it and turn left along the ridge. There are one or two projecting “through” stones in the wall here where you can perch for a picnic out of the prevailing wind.

Follow the wall on your left along the ridge until it meets another. Cross the stone step stile on the left then turn right (ignoring the second, gated stile), to follow the other side of the ridge wall.

Crag Hill from Great Coum

You might have to weave around a little for the best route but basically follow the wall down the hill into Deepdale, until you meet another wall, topped with barbed wire (SD 709833)! Over the wall you will see a walled track which you need to join. Turn left to follow the wall along until you reach a gate enabling you to join the track.

Descent of Great Coum to Deepdale

Dentdale NE view

At a four way fingerpost, the main track turns left but you continue straight on, over a wooden stile,  down another track, following the fingerpost for “Nun House” and “Outrake 1 Mile” (SD 711846).

Track to Outrake


Look out for a barn in the field to the left and yards after passing it, look out for ladder stile on the left with a yellow public footpath arrow (SD 717852). Cross the stile and pass the barn to another gate with a white direction arrow.

Bear right to drop down in front of the ruined farmhouse and to the right hand side of another barn. Cross the field and over a small stream (which may be dry) then pass to the left of a small copse of trees, through which the stream flows. The continuation of the route is then clear below.

Cross the stream and the path then curves left to a ladder stile. Cross this then go over the gated stile ahead.

Go through a gate to the left of the barn and head to the bottom left hand corner of the field where the yellow footpath arrow indicates your route to the right. Follow the footpath round the back of the houses to the road than turn left.

Follow the road to a junction (SD 716863). Take the track straight ahead down towards the river just along the track a few yards is a fingerpost indicating “Bridleway Double Croft Lane”.

The track turns left to some house by a barn. My original intention was to continue to the river then turn left and follow the river back to Dent. However, there is a sign here which warns that the bridleway is prone to flooding and indeed it proved to be flooded to an above boot depth on my visit. I therefore turned left, through a walkers' gate, along the footpath just before the houses (SD 716865).

Through a second walkers’ gate, turn left.

A combination of worn turf, arrows, gates and stiles now make the rest of the route to Dent obvious. On reaching the road by the bridge, turn left and walk through the pretty village of Dent back to the car park.

Dent images

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