Jamie McHale

Walking the Dales to Lakes

I joined my good friend Aileen for the last two days of her walk along the Dales Way, a walking route that runs from Ilkley to Bowness-on-Windermere.

We spent the first night camped at Ewegales Farm in Cowgill. The facilities were a little basic — a farmers field and a lean-to toilet and shower room at the farm cottage. Not somewhere you’d want to go on a family camping holiday, but fine for pitching, sleeping and getting going with walking.

It was misty and wet — but the day soon improved.

We walked first to Dent, and then on to Sedbergh to catch a (very) late lunch. Cafe Duo in Sedbergh was excellent for food and coffee, with a butchers shop around the corner for pies and rolls for the journey.

We made a quick visit to the Pepperpot, a recently restored Sedbergh historical site (guided by Sedbergh School archivist Katy de la Rivière, thanks Katy!) and continued on alongside the River Lune.

The sun started to go down, and our late start caught up with us. Although we saw beautiful sunsets and layered purples across the Dales, we did end up in the middle of a field in the dark. Not a great place to be without a detailed map!

We camped at Low Barn that night, making use of their small caravan. It was very friendly, and lovely location.

The next day was rainy, heading through rolling hills towards the Lake District. We stopped in at Staveley and ate lunch at Wilf’s Cafe, next to the Hawkshead Brewery. I visited the Brewery Shop to pick up a couple of victory beers for the end of the journey.

The last few miles to Bowness-on-Windermere were very wet and muddy. We ended the walk at the Royal Oak Pub, who provided us with beer, food and an open fire. An excellent couple of days.