Yorkshire Dales Walks
Lovely Seat & High Clint
Date: 10th October 2015
Distance: 11.5 miles
Ascent: 1900 feet
Time: 5 hours 40 mins
With: On my own
Start Grid Ref: SD877897
A walk from Hawes contrasting the limestone heights of High Clint with a rough moorland crossing to and from Lovely Seat.
Route Summary: Hawes - Haylands Bridge - Brunt Acres Road - Sedbusk - Shutt Lane - Little Fell Clint - Sargill Beck - Black Bank - Coal Gill Hags - Lovely Seat - High Millstones - Low Millstones - Pike Hill - High Clint - Shutt Gate - Shutt Lane - Sedbusk - Haylands Bridge - Hawes.
Photos: Click on the photos below to enlarge.
Walk Detail: This was my second walk of a long weekend in upper Wensleydale and my first visit to Lovely Seat for over ten years. On both the previous occasions I'd been up there I'd climbed up to the summit from the top of the Buttertubs Pass. On this occasion I wanted to find a route up all the way from the valley bottom.
Starting from Hawes the beginning of the walk was a simple stroll north along the road over Haylands Bridge and then, after turning right at the top of Brunt Acre Road, climbing up to the small village of Sedbusk on a steep field path.
The early valley mist had cleared before I'd set off but as I left Sedbusk, to begin climbing up Shutt Lane, it began reforming again behind me. By the time I'd continued up the bridleway to arrive at Little Fell Clint much of Wensleydale was now shrouded in mist with only the hill tops visible above.
After a quick detour from the path to have a look at Little Fell Clint I continued on the bridleway a short way before breaking off to head north-east on a solid shooters track. After dropping down to ford Sargill Beck the track climbed up and around Black Bank to arrive at a shooting house. From there I turned west on a more peaty track until I reached some grouse butts pointing almost directly to the now visible top of Lovely Seat.
The path between the butts soon deteriorated as it encountered peaty hags and bog. Small footbridges eased the crossing of some of the worst bits. After the tenth grouse butt the path gave up completely and I continued on a beeline for the top with the going underfoot gradually improving.
I was delighted to find that the seat-shaped summit cairn was still intact and so, metaphorically crowning myself 'King of the Dales', I enthroned myself and enjoyed the panorama. Although visibility wasn't brilliant most of the high points in the Dales were in view with Great Shunner Fell looking particularly large to the west.
From the summit I continued west for a short way to reach a dilapidated cairn before swinging south for a rough three quarters of a mile of bog trotting across High Abbotside to reach High Millstones. After walking along the length of this modest gritstone edge I next visited the slightly more substantial Low Gritstones. Just five minutes further along I finally escaped the heather and bog to reach the track running across Pike Hill.
Turning east on this I enjoyed a super walk along the top of the steep limestone cliffs of High Clint, the highest of a number of fine limestone scars on the northern side of Wensleydale. The views of Wensleydale from High Clint would have been superb if visibility hadn't still been quite murky.
Eventually I dropped down the eastern end of High Clint to a bridleway which led me through Shutt Gate and down some pastures to reach Shutt Lane. After walking back down in to Sedbusk I varied the route back to Hayland Bridge slightly before following the road back in to Hawes. I still wasn't finished for the day though, after topping up on supplies and having a little look around the shops I next set off on a second walk, to view Aysgill Force.
This walk was a mixture of very good tracks and paths and some really quite rough and pathless terrain and is probably only suitable for those who don't mind a bit of bog trotting. Still it was good to finally go back to Lovely Seat and to walk along the top of High Clint. I'll have to return to the latter in better weather and next time I go up Lovely Seat I'll have to try it from Swaledale.