LMG Howgill Fells Trip.
February 20th to 22nd 2009
Nothing makes life seem to pass more quickly than turning up at Euston station in London to join the LMG annual trip to Northern England. These journeys come round ever more quickly, and at the moment the trains too are travelling more quickly, thanks to taxpayer investment sufficient to rescue a small clearing bank. Such investment does not however protect the passenger from low-tech operational faults like a broken seat on a preceding train, which caused your correspondent to miss the bus connection from Oxenholme rail station into Sedbergh, our base for the weekend.
Sedbergh is a pleasant Yorkshire market town well known to the Club, so it was a relative simple matter to locate Steve Tolson and Harry Critchlow in a central teashop on the Friday afternoon. Moving on from coffee and cake to somewhat stronger stuff as other members rolled into town, we followed usual LMG practice by disposing of the serious ale drinking on the Friday night. I recall Hawkshead bitter, and Ringwood, a strong beer from southern England before we sat down in the Bull Hotel for dinner. The Bull is a somewhat overheated establishment, rather like staying in a sauna, so members were able to overindulge during the weekend without danger of putting on weight.
Saturday brought a long circular walk from the hotel. We headed upstream for some four miles along north bank of the River Rawthey to Cautley, before following Cautley Holme Beck up to Bowderdale Head and onto the high plateau of the Howgill Fells. Summit for the day was The Calf, at 2220 feet. From the plateau streams run off in all directions into valleys, but all these streams seem ultimately to feed into the River Lune. After descending from the summit by White Fell Head to Four Lanes End we followed the Lune valley southwards before striking out east to return to the Rawthey valley and Sedbergh.
Saturday night at the Bull was enlivened by an attempted break-in. At least we all assumed it was a break-in, rather than an escape bid by the seriously overheated. This excitement caused a delayed start on Sunday morning, but eventually we drove over to Dent, and walked up the western side of Dentdale to join a green lane on the high ground above the valley. The walk then took us on a loop to the south of the village before we headed back along the banks of the Dee for an excellent lunch at the Sun Inn. By 4pm I was back at Oxenholme station, kindly dropped off by Harry, and waiting the departure of the London train.
Thanks as always are due to Steve and Harry for organising the trip and managing the finances.