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 Sedbergh to Winder

Starting point  and OS Grid reference:

Roadside parking on Howgill Lane, Sedberg (SD 653923)

Ordnance Survey Map
OL19 – Howgill Fells and upper Eden Valley.

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

Distance: 6.4 miles Date of Walk: 13 April 2012


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1363ft (415m)
1363ft (415m)

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

Yorkshire Dales walk Sedberg to Winder - sketch map

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

Introduction: This nicely varied walk starts from the self styled “book town” of Sedbergh, an ancient market town famous for its public school founded in 1552. By some quirk of bureaucracy, it is both in Cumbria and within the Yorkshire Dales National Park and so is listed under both areas on this site.

Sedbergh is an attractive spot with narrow quaint streets and plenty of refreshment opportunities after your walk. Winder is the attractive grassy hill behind the town rising to 1552 feet (473 metres). It is one of the Howgills and probably the most easily accessible. From its summit, there are perfect views of Sedbergh itself, other surrounding hills and through to the fells of the Lake District.

Our route takes in the summit then descends to the River Rawthey which is followed to the outskirts of Sedbergh and through the grounds of the public school back to the town.

One unusual and pleasing aspect of Winder is that the paths are smooth and grassy which means you can pay plenty of attention to the views rather than continually looking at where you are putting your feet!

There are pay and display car parks but also free street parking on Howgill Lane, more convenient for the start of the walk, at the junction with a cul-de-sac called Hevera, by a telephone box, where there is also a handy bench for boot changing.

To get there, turn north off Sedbergh’s Main Street on to Howgill Lane (next to the Dalesman pub) and follow the road past the Peoples Hall and children’s playing field until you get to the phone box.

Sedbergh itself is on the A684 between Kendal and Hawes.

Start: With our back to the telephone box, turn left and walk along Howgill Lane for about 100 yards then turn right to Lockbank Farm indicated by a fingerpost *Permissive Path to the Fell” (SD 652093).

Looking over Lockbank Farm to Holme Knott

Go through the farm and a metal gate signed “Bridleway to the Fell”. Go through the second gate on to the open fell then turn left but almost immediately, go right to follow the obvious track (SD 652925) which winds up the fell, turning right when you meet a grassy track (SD 651927).

View over Sedbergh

The smmoth paths of Winder

There are a few tracks here and there which might confuse but essentially just follow the main climbing track until you reach the broad col, meeting a broad track running along its top (SD 658937). Turn left to the summit, the trig point and orientation plaque (SD 654934). There are marvellous views in all directions and the Lake District peaks are clearly visible. Sedbergh is laid out before you. It is perhaps worth mentioning that the “official footpath” on the OS map circles rather than crosses the summit but the route I describe is clear and well walked.

Summit of Winder

Lake District fells from Winder

Lune Viaduct

At the trig. point, the path forks. Take the right hand fork.

When the path forks again, keep on the visibly main path, left (SD 647931). Follow this as it winds down the hill until you reach a wall. Turn right and follow this along. Ignore the first gate (which is padlocked and barb wired) and go through the second gate (with an “Open Access” sign) which is just after a wooden bench (SD 644931). You enter a walled lane which you follow to the road.

Turn left at the road (SD 642930) and follow it for about ¼ mile until you come to a stile with a finger post “Slacks Lane 3/8 mile”. Turn right here off the road (SD 645927).

Go down the right hand side of the field to the gate in the bottom right hand corner and at the farm (Underwinder), turn left on to the tarmac drive. Follow this down to the road, crossing an old railway bridge.


At the road, turn left then almost immediately left again along the A684 (SD 636922). You need to beware the traffic here as the road can be quite busy. However, you only follow it for ¼ mile. Pass two large stone gateposts and after another 200 yards or so, as the road bends left, turn right off the road along a narrow walled track indicated with a fingerpost “Bridleway to A683 ½ mile” (SD 638919). You pass the impressive Ingmire Hall with its stone tower.

Ingmire Hall

On reaching a broad track which leads to the Hall, turn left and follow this to the road (A683) where you turn right. After 100 yards, go left through a metal kissing gate following the fingerpost “Birks Mill 1¼ miles” and “Dalesway”               (SD 637913).

The path now follows the River Rawthey. At the rather impressive old metal railway bridge (SD 643909), it diverts briefly to cross the disused line then returns to the riverside. Pass the confluence with the River Dee.

Railway bridge over the river Rawthey

At Birks Mill, pass and ignore the footbridge with a fingerpost to Catholes and continue along the tarmac track past the mill, also ignoring a footpath to Brigflatts. At Birks House on the right where there is a cattle grid, turn right through a kissing gate to pass in front of the house, by the garden wall, initially following the fingerpost for “Millthrop Bridge ¾ mile” (SD 652915).

Ignore a path off to the right, swing round left in front of Birks House and follow the clear path to the road. Go across the road and through the metal kissing gate into the grounds of Sedbergh School. Follow the clear track and once past the school buildings, ignore the fingerpost for  “A684 400 yards” to the left and turn right.

Walk up the left hand side of the church on the flagged path. This brings you on to Sedbergh Main Street opposite the Dalesman pub. Follow Howgill Lane to its left back to your starting point.

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All information on this site is given in good faith and no liability is accepted in respect of any damage, loss or injury which might result from acting on it.