Roman Road

Kirkby Lonsdale and Casterton circular

5.0 miles | 8.1km | 164 m Ascent | 5.9 Naismith miles | Don Cartledge
This is one of our shorter walks – partly because we revised part of the route on the day to avoid flooding, and partly because sometimes it’s just nice to offer an easier route that can be used to fill a Sunday afternoon or a spare couple of hours on a balmy summer evening.
Despite being quite compact, this walk packs a lot in – we get to see the dismantled railway line that once linked Ingleton and Sedbergh, via Barbon, we walk on a Roman road, pass a number of Andy Goldsworthy art installations, catch a distant glimpse of a stone circle, visit the beautiful Holy Trinity Church in Casterton, walk on the access road to coal mines that can be traced back to the reign of Charles I, and all still have time left to get some shopping in Kirkby.

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Barbon Beck and Brownthwaite

8.2 miles | 13.3 km | 385 m Ascent | 10.2 Naismith miles | Rick Clapham
Barbon is great place to start and end a walk. Not only is there convenient parking – either at the layby at Hodge Bridge, or at the Village Hall – but there is a great deli and a highly rated pub, the remains of a Roman Road, the course of a disused railway, grand houses, ancient stone circles, and a motor sport venue.
This moderately challenging walk offers all that, plus artworks by Andy Goldsworthy, great views down the Lune Valley, an invigorating climb up Brownthwaite, a very attractive waterfall, and then an easy finish along the banks of Barbon Beck in the grounds of Barbon Manor.

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Tatham Fells

6.4 miles | 10.4km | 344 m Ascent | 8.2 Naismith miles | Mary Taylor
Members of the Bentham Footpath Group tend to consider the Yorkshire Dales, the Forest of Bowland, and the South Lakes as their walking territory. This relatively easy walk is at the North end of the Forest of Bowland and is very local to Bentham – so much so that many of the farms, and other buildings that we passed along the way hold important personal memories for those in the group lucky enough to be born and bred in and around Bentham.
For the rest of us, this is still a great walk in a timeless landscape that never gets busy – despite the idyllic autumn weather we enjoyed, we passed no other walkers, and the only people we met all day were residents pottering in their gardens and making the most of the sunshine before winter sets in.
Although we consider this walk to be “easy” based on the total distance and elevation change, you should be aware that Tatham Fells are poorly drained, and so the ground can be very wet. This can make the walk feel longer than stated but on the other hand wet weather makes the rivers and becks we cross so much more attractive.

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Ribblehead & Chapel-le-Dale

7.8 miles | 12.5 km | 206 m Ascent | 8.8 Naismith miles | Valerie Eccles & Mary Pickstone
The Ribblehead Viaduct is probably the most photographed railway bridge in the UK, and an icon of the Yorkshire Dales. It’s more than just a bridge though; surrounded by stunning countryside, and with traces of industrial archaeology dating back to its construction, there’s lots to see. So where better to start a walk?
From Ribblehead, we head under the viaduct and over to Gunnerfleet before following Winterscales Beck down to the intriguing Haws Gill Wheel where the river disappears and then reappears. After a very short section of road walk, we pause at the lovely St Leonards Church, before heading up to Ellerbeck, passing a sculpture as we go, and from there take the Dales Highway back to the railway. After a brief look at the Signal Box at Blea Moor, we return via the Viaduct with views over to Ingleborough and Simon Fell.
The Dales’ favourite railway, that bridge, a disappearing river, a beautiful church, art, and great views.

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Blease Fell & Tebay Gill

6.2 miles | 10.0 km | 321 m Ascent | 7.8 Naismith miles | George Sheridan
The Howgills are a great place to walk – and a firm favourite of the Bentham Footpath Group. The hills here are formed from Ordovician and Silurian rocks, rather than the Carboniferous limestone elsewhere in the Yorkshire Dales, giving them a characteristic rounded appearance and a lovely velvety texture.
The Howgills are found in the triangle between Sedbergh, Kirkby Stephen and Tebay, and its to the latter that we go for this walk.
We start in Tebay village, and then head up onto the hills following the edge of Tebay Fell to the south with great views over the valley to Borrowdale until we get to the peak of Blease Fell where the vista down the Lune Valley as far as Morecambe Bay makes the climb seem well worthwhile. We then head round the fell, and back over a flattish top via Hare Shaw cairn, Weather Hill, and Waskew Head to cross Tebaygill Beck at a picturesque stone bridge, before returning to Tebay.

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Dunsop Bridge

7.6 miles | 12.3 km | 234 m Ascent | 8.8 Naismith miles | Peter Lennard
Within the Bentham Footpath Group, we tend to think of ourselves as living “up North”, and indeed we do – but only by a few miles: It turns out that the geographic centre of Great Britain is (according to the Ordnance Survey) in Dunsop Bridge. Given this curious fact, how can we decline the temptation to start a walk right from the centre of the country?
That curiosity aside, Dunsop Bridge is a great place to walk, and is often described as being at the heart of the Forest of Bowland. This gentle walk heads out from the village up the banks of the Dunsop before striking out to the isolated farms at Beatrix. From there, we cross Rough Syke at the bottom of Oxenhurst Clough and then after a brief but steep climb, follow green lanes and a very minor road to the lovely village of Newton where we pick up the Hodder, to follow it downstream back to Dunsop Bridge.
En route, we follow the Ribble Valley Jubilee Trail over Giddy Bridge, and then past Knowlmere Manor, and Thorneyholme Hall where we see the confluence of the Dunsop and the Hodder. The walk ends back at Dunsop Bridge where ice cream beckons.
We recommend that you take waterproofs on this walk – be aware that Dunsop Bridge holds the record for the most intense rainfall in the UK with 117mm (4.6 in) falling in just 90 minutes on 8th August 1967.

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Hawes Mosaics (Part 2)

7.2 miles | 11.6 km | 261 m Ascent | 8.5 Naismith miles | Kate Rowe
In January 2023, Bentham Footpath Group enjoyed a fine walk from Appersett exploring parts of the Hawes 2000 Mosaic project. We saw about half of the 22 mosaics on that day, and we finish the task with this equally fine walk.
Starting from Hawes town centre, we head up to Burtersett, take Shaws Lane to Gayle, then head up Sleddale to see Aysgill Force. We return along a Green Lane back toward Gayle, before taking a final detour along Bands Lane and then the Cam Road.
A (very) brief section on the B6255 brings us to a path back over fields into Hawes. This is a great walk with fine views, add in the mosaics, a roman road, an impressive waterfall, and all the delights of Hawes, and we have a recipe for a perfect day.

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Furnessford & Hindburn Bridges

8.5 miles | 13.6 km | 361 m Ascent | 10.3 Naismith miles | Susan Badley
Bentham Footpath Group Walks generally start within an hour’s drive of Bentham – there is so much wonderful walking country within that radius that we are always spoiled for choice. This excellent walk – aided by near perfect weather – highlights the fact that Bentham itself is a great place to start a walk.
We start in low Bentham and cross the Wenning at the pedestrian bridge were the Silk Mills once stood, and then head up Mill Lane as far as Kirkbeck where we take paths across fields to Mewith lane and then across to Spens Farm.
We cross the Hindburn for the first time at Furnessford Bridge, and then head over to Cragg Hall, before descending back to the river to cross at Hindburn Bridge. From there we head up to Mealbank and take paths across fields to follow the Wenning Valley upstream with great views across to Ingleborough and Whernside along the way. Passing Robert Hall, we head down Eskew Lane and back to Low Bentham.

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Dent Foot

8.1 miles | 13.0 km | 234 m Ascent | 9.3 Naismith miles | David Longton
Sedbergh is a favourite location for The Bentham Footpath Group, as is Dent, so surely there’s a walk based between the two that captures the best of both? There is – and this is it -typical Yorkshire Dales walking but with views of the Howgills.
We start next to the River Rawthey, just north of where it merges with the Lune, and track upstream toward Sedbergh, passing the confluence with the Dee, but staying with the Rawthey at first. We then cross the river and head to Millthrop, to pick up the Dales Way path which takes us down to Gate Manor in Dentdale. We then cross the Dee to return along the other side of Dentdale via Rash and Dent Foot, before skirting Holme Fell to arrive at Middleton Bridge via a Roman road. A short stroll back along the Rawthey concludes the walk.

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