Walking In The Lune Valley and Howgills: 40 scenic fell, river and woodland walks by Dennis and Jan Kelsall – book review -
The Lune Valley lies between the two national parks of the Lake District and the Yorkshire Dales, taking in both the Bowland and the Arnside and Silverdale Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty, and offering a panorama of magnificent views from empty hilltops.
And there is no better place to enjoy the vistas than from the Howgill Fells which sit amongst some of the most unspoilt countryside in the North West and where, in spring and early summer, the woodlands, meadows and hedgerows are at their most colourful.
So if walks in natural woodlands full of wildlife, secluded valleys, and open moorlands are inspiring you to pull on your walking boots, make sure you don’t leave home without this brilliant guide from Cicerone Press which steers you through forty accessible walks ranging from three miles through to eleven miles.
Cicerone – an enthusiastic publisher based in Kendal and specialising in outdoor activities guidebooks – has a range of nearly 400 books for walking, trekking, climbing, mountaineering and cycling, covering the UK, Europe and other regions of the world.
And like the other books in their super pocket-sized guide series, The Lune Valley and Howgills: 40 scenic fell, river and woodland walks contains crystal-clear OS mapping and directions, and has been written by native Lancastrians Dennis and Jan Kelsall who regularly contribute to various outdoor magazines.
From riverside paths to felltops and fields, the walks are arranged geographically, following the Lune as it flows from near Kirkby Stephen in Cumbria, around the Howgill Fells and downstream towards its mouth at Morecambe Bay.
The Howgills are the main area of high ground covered within the guide book with the highest point being The Calf at 672m. Several of the other summits are also included such as Randygill Top, Green Bell and Docker Knott, with walks routed through the long valleys and along the broad ridges that are such a dominant feature of the area.
Other satisfying heights include neighbouring Borrowdale, Middleton Fell and Clougha Pike but elsewhere, the focus is on the River Lune and its immediate tributaries, exploring its changing character as it winds to the sea.
The lowland walks are generally without difficulty but on the higher moors and hills of the Howgill Fells and Bowland fringe, competent navigation skills and stamina are needed, and good footwear, wind and waterproofs are basic equipment requirements.
Suitable for all abilities, the walks can be enjoyed all year round with key areas including Lancaster, Kirkby Lonsdale, Kirkby Stephen, Tebay, Sedbergh, Dent and Kendal. More ambitious walkers can embark on a six-day end-to-end walk of the River Lune covering sixty miles.
These hand-picked walks involve no complicated navigation or challenging terrain, come with clear route descriptions, GPX files available for download, lots of images, plus information on geology, history, wildlife, local beauty spots and tasty refreshment stops.
So round up the family, grab your handy guide, and step this way!
(Cicerone Press, paperback, £12.95)