BB1934 : The Hound of the Howgills

Thursday 17th October 2019

We didn’t meet many dogs today.  I remember a Collie at a farm (why is it that farm collies don’t know when to stop barking?), a very docile Jack Russell, a nice Westie but what I shall always remember is the Hound of the Howgills.

That’s the clue to where we went.  The Howgills.  Another week of rapidly changing weather reports ultimately led us to Sedbergh as the best bet.  

Without too much thought being given to an initial target we set off from near Lockbank Farm to Settlebeck Gill where we started the serious business of the climb up the Dales High Way.  You could tell that Stan hadn't been out for some time by the razor sharp crease in his trouser legs.  

When we reached the ridge, he said something to the effect of “Hang on boys, we’ve done this wrong.  We need to go back to Winder if we are going to do the ridge properly.”

We could see his point so turned left and went the extra mile, to and from Winder, adding not just distance but a hundred foot climb that would not have been necessary had we gone there directly.

Arant Haw, Calders and The Calf followed in reasonably steady progression.  

I don't understand those who don't like the Howgills.  Admittedly the terrain underfoot is simple moorland but the folds of the sides of the hills are fascinating.  Hence their nickname- the sleeping elephants.

Although the day was fine, there was a fearsomely cold wind blowing so we decided that we had achieved our objective and dropped down White Fell to get out of the wind and eventually find the shelter of Long Rigg beck.

However first we had to cross the beck which was no easy matter given the quantity of rain deposited recently.

Time at last for lunch.  Refuelled, we continue down the valley and across fields.  In the distance we could see the silent and empty old railway viaduct and the nosiy and busy modern M6.

At the Roman Road we headed south, stopping at the hamlet of Howgill as some had never previously seen its neat little church.  It was there we learned about the Hound.  This was no ordinary hound.  It was a Bloodhound.  Or to be more precise it is The Bloodhound.  It doesn’t have four legs.  It has four wheels.  And plans are afoot for it to attempt to be the first wheeled vehicle to break the 1,000 miles per hour barrier.

The tale of the Hound was related to us by a man we had seen earlier in the day striding the fells in his tee-shirt whilst we were all muffled up against the wind.  He was ex-army and now in a pretty senior position in the RAF with a propensity to flying upside down over the Howgils.  He is also part of the team that is developing the vehicle so that his RAF pal (already the world’s fastest driver) Andy Green can smash that record.  It was a fascinating discussion and you can find out much more about the attempt at BBC’s item Bloodhound: Land speed record car is relaunched.

Anything after that was likely to be an anti-climax but not without humour.  We made our way along the undulating road back to Sedbergh to park outside a salon where Appoiniments Can Be Mad.  We are mad enough already so chose instead a different sort of appoiniment at the Black Bull.

Don, Thursday 17th October 2019

Afternote:  On the way home we stopped at the tiny St Gregory's Church to see its wonderful stained glass windows.

Rainy Day Rambling Terry Style

Whilst the BOOTboys were Rainy Day Rambling last week, Terry was enjoying life in the Outer Hebrides. He reports:  

It was a solo ramble for me today. Up on the cliffs with spectacular highs and lows it could only be accompanied by Led Zeps Ramble On !

Make sure you watch his short video by clicking on either of the above pictures.  There will be more aboout Terry's expedition in our next report.

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Comitibus:  Stan, Mike B, Mike T, Don

Map: OS 1:50k


BB1934 : The Hound of the Howgills


Thursday 18th October 2019


Winder, Arant Haw, Calder, The Calf, Howgill


Don,Mike B, Mike T, Stan

Distance in miles (Garmin):


Height climbed in feet (OMN):


GPX track



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