Grisedale and Hellgill Force
Walk 1 - A moderately easy circular walk from Garsdale Station or the Moorcock Inn suitable for families taking in Grisedale and Hellgill Force waterfall - 8 miles 4 hours [maximum elevation 460m]. By Car or train - equally this could be started from the Moorcock Inn. Back to Moorcock Walks
From Garsdale Station walk down the road to the T junction with the main Hawes - Sedbergh road. Immediately the other side of the T junction look for a stile in the wall.
Note: If starting from the Moorcock Inn proceed along the main road towards Sedbergh. Ignore the first footpath on the right and take 2nd path on right opposite the T junction to Garsdale station and follow as below
Passing through stile proceed uphill across the rough pasture and another stile. The ground starts to level out a bit and proceed for a short while to the right hand side of Blake Mire Farm passing through a gate. Proceed in the same direction across more rough pasture and collapsed walls to Rowantree, crossing a small stream and thence uphill across pasture to Moor Rigg at which point the minor road serving Grisedale is reached. Bear right and follow the road uphill to East House, The road passes through a gate and becomes a track at this point zig-zagging up the hill with a wall on the right. When the track levels out slightly bear left and proceed uphill to the crest of the open pasture [can be difficult to follow] or keep to the track as it works its way around to the crest of Grisedale common and a wall in effect in a large loop. If the latter easier route is followed upon meeting the wall at the top bear left and proceed with the wall on the left. Ignore the first gateway and stile and follow uphill for 1/4 mile Either route should eventually reach a metal bridleway gate on the crest of the ridge. With luck you will pass a few fell ponies enroute.
Passing through the gate proceed down hill bearing left and contouring around the hillside. Sometimes this path is difficult to spot but the objective is to eventually proceed in a northerly direction dropping downwards to meet a wall and barn. At this point the path will be paralleling the railway line all the way to Aisgill. Pass to the right hand side of the barn and continue along an easy path to Aisgill through a gate and to the road. Bear left along the road for 100m and then turn right [just before the cottages] along a track passing over the railway line. The track bears left and at then right. At this change in direction make a slight deviation to Hellgill Force, a spectacular waterfall. This feature is easily missed as it is located below the track. Take the right hand track and proceed up the hill across a bridge through a farm to Hell Gill Bridge turning right to cross a very narrow and deep ravine. This track is the old coach road known as Lady Anne Highway.
Follow the gently undulating 'highway' taking the left hand fork [at a vehicle prohibition sign] eventually with a wall to the right. After 1 mile the ruin of High Hall is reached and a ford. Another 2/3 mile further along the highway reaching a gate across the track. There are two main options for the return either using the Pennine Bridleway or via Lunds.
The easiest involves passing through the gate and carrying on along the highway. The track dips into a small ravine and has been subject to landslip in the past. About 1/4 mile after the ravine look for a new gate in the wall. Pass through the gate with a lime kiln on the left. This is the new Pennine Bridleway and is waymarked with wooden posts down to the side of Cobbles Plantation and emerging at Ure Force waterfalls. Cross the bridge and follow the bridleway to the Moorcock Inn.
The second option takes in Shaws Waterfall and Lunds Church: Passing through the stile immediately before the aforementioned gate Lady Anne Highway proceed diagonally downhill to a gate at the rear of Shaws and the by steps down to a wooden footbridge in front of the waterfall. Shaws, now a private house was formerly the Garsdale Youth Hostel until the 1970s. Continue downhill across another footbridge and passing through a deserted farmyard to the little hamlet of Lunds with it's now disused church.
Note there are various ways back from Lunds - an alternative more straightforward way is to cross the river by the footbridge at the perimeter of the churchyard and follow plantation access track up to the main road, turn left and thence back to the Moorcock. The downside is 1/2 mile of road walking! Alternatively:-
Bear left from the church and passing through a stile over Cowshaw Hill and two more stiles heading towards Blades, a small hamlet of cottages. The path goes to the left hand side [rear] of the main house and crossing a small stream joins the farm track. At a bend in the track bear left following the left hand bank of the River Ure. Eventually the path will meet Ure Force waterfalls and an old bridge with it's modern replacement. Cross the bridge and follow the bridleway to the Moorcock Inn. This latter option can be unpleasantly muddy between Lunds and Blades Farm.
For the return walk to Garsdale Station, on leaving the Moorcock turn right and proceed along the main road towards Sedbergh for a very short while then turning left through a gate to follow the recently opened Pennine Bridleway which proceeds directly to the rear of the station passing under Dandry Mire Viaduct enroute. The station is slightly under a mile from the pub and 30 minutes should be allowed for this uphill walk! Remember that southbound trains run from the farthest platform and it is necessary to pass under the road bridge to gain access.
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This page was last updated on 16-Nov-2014
©John Carey 2010