Guided Walking for Solos at Sedbergh
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Hills & moorland
Difficulty is measured on many factors such as distance, ascent/descent, terrain, weather and more. There's no magic formula, but from our experience we use yellow for easy, orange for medium and red for hard. Challenger holidays require a high level of fitness and stamina.
Country walking is a great way to meet new friends, and the convivial atmosphere of our Country Houses will make sure you have an enjoyable time.
- Sedbergh is a small Cumbrian market town, now England’s ‘book town’
- Easy access by road and rail; an ideal location for a short break or longer holiday
- Settle-to-Carlisle railway with Ribblehead Viaduct and Dent, the highest mainline station in England
- Wensleydale and Swaledale made famous by the James Herriot books and TV series
- Countryside criss-crossed with dry stone walls and dotted with quaint villages of sturdy stone
Great reasons to join us
- For Solos: no single room charge and double rooms are available at no extra cost. Twin rooms are also available for sole occupancy at a special reduced price of £10 per night
- Exclusivity: we welcome individual travellers on all of our holidays, but on Guided Walking for Solos the entire holiday is especially for single guests
- Great value: all prices include Full Board en-suite accommodation, a full programme of walks with all transport to and from the walks, and light-hearted evening activities
- Choice: choose from up to 3 guided walks each walking day, with expert guides
- Accommodation: small and friendly manor house at the foot of the Howgill Fells
- Sociability: we pride ourselves on the social atmosphere of our holidays - walk together, eat together and relax together
Dating from 1535, the small manor house of Thorns Hall retains its historic charm with wood-panelled public rooms, fireplaces and a cobbled courtyard outside.
Thorns Hall has 25 bedrooms. Some are located in the main house, with others in the cottages across the courtyard.
Our classic bedrooms offer comfortable accommodation and an en-suite bathroom with bath or shower. They also have TV, hairdryer, and tea and coffee making facilities. Single rooms are available for an extra £8 per night.
You can enjoy extra space or exceptional views plus additional facilities including a towelling robe and complimentary slippers when you upgrade to a premium bedroom. Premium rooms are available at just £5 extra per person per night.
If you are travelling with your family, we have a selection of 3 and 4-bedded family bedrooms. These have all the facilities of our classic rooms plus full sized twin or double beds for adults and bunk beds or occasional beds for children.
A limited number of value twin rooms are available at a discount of £8 per person per night and value single rooms with a £5 per night discount. Our value rooms have the same facilities as our classic rooms, but bathroom facilities are nearby rather than en-suite.
All holidays at our Country Houses are Full Board, with all meals included between evening meal on arrival to breakfast on departure.
There is a welcoming reception hall plus two cosy lounges, with wood panelling and open fires, one of which also contains the bar. Free WiFi is available in the public rooms. There is also a range of board games and books. Upstairs, the dining room is light and airy with exposed wooden beams.
At the front and side of the house is a formal garden which makes a pleasant spot to relax after your walks or activities.
All holidays at our Country Houses are Full Board with all meals included, from dinner on arrival to breakfast on the day of your departure.
Start your day with our extensive breakfast. Choose from a wide selection on the cold buffet and/or a full cooked breakfast. Maybe enjoy a lighter option of fruit and yoghurt followed by scrambled egg, go for porridge followed by a full English breakfast, or select something in between.
Choose from our famous self-select picnic lunches - everything you need to keep you going on a day outdoors. Your own choice of sandwiches is prepared to order, and you can add crisps and snacks, fruit, nuts, chocolate bars, sweets and biscuits as you wish.
Our house-based Leisure Activities include an in-house lunch (generally soup, sandwiches etc).
The relaxed dinner is a highlight of any stay at our Country Houses. With tables seating up to 10 and no seating plan, it offers a great opportunity to get to know your fellow guests. There is always a choice of dishes for every course, featuring good British cooking and often local specialities. A vegetarian option is always available.
All our Country Houses have a well-stocked bar serving local beers, wine and spirits.
Guided Walking: enjoy a glass of wine or local beer in the bar before a talk about the next day's walks. After dinner there will be an activity or entertainment which you will be welcome to join. These vary from week to week but could include a talk about local wildlife from a visiting speaker or a team quiz. Alternatively if you prefer, feel free to just relax in our lounge or bar.
Leisure Activities: many of our Leisure Activities holidays continue into the evening with programmed sessions. Other holidays will have the evenings free, and you will be welcome to join in other social activities that may be happening in the house.
Self-Guided Walking: there may be evening social activities happening in the house during your holiday, and you will be most welcome to join in. However, not all self-guided holidays will have evening activities available – if these are important to you, please check before booking.
Due to the layout and the age of Thorns Hall, it is not recommended for wheelchair users and guests with restricted mobility.
Arrival & car parking facilities
- 2 disabled bays in the cobbled courtyard, 20 yards from the rear entrance
- There is parking available for 24 cars in the main car park. The car park is lit during the hours of darkness
- The car park surface is gravel and the entrance to the house is via gravel path, which is 25 yards long (to the main entrance)
- It is possible to load and unload cars directly at the rear entrance and assistance can be provided with luggage
Main entrance & reception
- The main entrance has 7 steps, each step is 20cm high, 150cm wide with hand rails. The main entrance has double doors, 128cm wide by 168cm high
- A second door leads into the entrance hall. This door is 92cm wide by 204cm high
- The rear entrance has double doors, 197cm high by 153cm wide. There is an interior door of 202cm high by 88cm wide. There are 4 steps into the entrance hall, each step being between 16-22cm high
- The entrance hall measures 6.1m x 6.2m and has parquet flooring.
- The hall is well lit by wall lights and a large window
- There is no actual reception desk as the manager's office is situated off the entrance hall
Public areas - hall, stairs, landing, corridors etc
- The main staircase leads off from the entrance hall
- The staircase is U-shaped and consists of three sets of stairs. The first set of stairs has 6 steps to a landing of 1.2m x 1.1m. The second set of stairs has 5 steps to a landing of 1.2m x 1.1m. The final set of stairs has 6 steps to the main landing of 2.4m x 3.5m
- The stairs are 28cm deep, 16cm high and 120cm wide
- There is a handrail on the left hand side up the entire staircase
- The staircase is well lit. All stairs and corridors are carpeted
Public areas - sitting room, lounges, lobbies etc
- The main lounge and bar are on the ground floor. The bar is entered from the entrance hall through a wooden fire door, which is 75cm wide
- The lounge is through another wooden fire door (75cm wide) and a single step of 13cm high, 60cm high.
- The size of the lounge is approx 20 x 10 ft.
- The lounge / bar area is well lit, it has a short-pile carpet and the furniture is easily movable
- There is a public toilet on the ground floor off the main lounge
- Access is via 4 steps. Each step is 23cm high, 30cm deep and 99cm wide. There is a handrail on the right for the first three steps and a fire door (73cm wide) on the
- top of the steps
- The size of the toilet is 1m x 1.6m, with free space of 1m x 0.9m. Toilet seat height is 51cm
- The hand basin is 80cm high and it is rounded at the front
- The entrance door to the public toilets is 74cm wide and the cubicle door width is 75cm.
Restaurant / dining room
- The dining room is on the second floor
- From the first floor landing there are two flights of stairs. The first flight of stairs has 7 steps, each step being 15cm high, 25cm deep and 100cm wide
- There is a handrail on the right hand side
- At the top of the stairs is a glass fire door, 88cm wide. A second fire door leads to 2 more steps, each step is 17cm high, 28cm deep and 82cm wide
- The final stairs are 92cm wide, 26cm deep and 17cm high. Handrail on the left
- The dining room has round tables, with 4 legs. The tables are 74cm high
- The chairs are straight backed with no arms and the seat is 49cm high
- The room seats 38. The approx room size is 35ft x 20ft
- Special diets catered for, but should be advised pre or on arrival
- Assistance is always available, if required
Bedrooms & sleeping areas
- There are 11 bedrooms in the main house and 13 bedrooms in the annexe in the courtyard
- None of the rooms has been specifically designed for wheelchair users
- Most of the rooms are en-suite. The en-suite rooms have a shower, no baths available
Room 22 (annexe bedroom)
- Room 22 can be accessed straight from the courtyard without any steps
- Access is from the courtyard, the door is 90cm wide
- There are 2 beds, which are 50cm high, but can be raised on request. There is a clear space of minimum 68cm between the furniture and the beds.
- Duvet bedding and the floor is carpeted.
- The shower room is 180cm x 160cm and has a 76cm wide door
- The free floor space is 100cm x 120cm
- The shower is semi-circular and 66cm in diameter, its door opens 40cm wide
- There is a 30cm lip into the shower
- Pedestal hand basin is 78cm high and the toilet seat is 40cm high
- Flooring is non-slip
Grounds and gardens
- Large walled garden with a mixture of shrubs, flower beds and mature trees
- There is a gravel footpath around the whole garden. Seating available
- Uncovered pond and parts of the garden are unlit at night
- Fire procedure is displayed in each room and explained to guests on arrival. Guests requiring assistance at an evacuation are identified at this time and door hanger cards are issued
- Mobile phone reception is generally good from the main building
- Assistance dogs accompanying visually or hearing impaired guests are welcome; dogs must be kept on a lead or harness at all times
- Information can be provided in large print
- Staff have received disability awareness training
- Special diets can be catered for. Specialist food can be obtained with prior notice
- Fridge for medication can be supplied
Group A: The Howgill Fells and Sedbergh
Easier Walk: Initially following the banks of the River Rawthey to Millthrop, we then divert across country to Danny Bridge and Farfield Mill before we return to Sedbergh. There is an option to extend the walk along the Sedgwick Geological Trail. 7 miles (11km) with 500 feet (150m) of ascent.
Medium Walk: We will loop over Arant Haw, then descend over the Nab to join the Dales Way and return to Sedbergh along the River Rawthey. 9 miles (14.5km) with 1,900 feet (570m) of ascent.
Harder Walk: Heading north along the lower slopes of the Howgills we ascend beside Cautley Holme Beck to the 700ft waterfalls of Cautley Spout and the buttresses of Cautley Crag. The path then leads to The Calf – the highest point of the Howgills – before returning to Sedbergh. 11 miles (17.5km) with 2,800 feet (840m) of ascent.
Group B: Above and along the River Lune
Easier Walk: High up on Barbon Beck we begin a descent through woodland to Barbon village with its 17th century inn. Then on to Casterton to finish in the ancient market town of Kirkby Lonsdale. 7 miles (11km) with 400 feet (120m) of ascent.
Medium Walk: Starting at Barbon we’ll head for Blindbeck Bridge and south over Hogs Hill and Casterton Fell into Kirkby Lonsdale. 9 miles (14.5km) with 1,300 feet (390m) of ascent.
Harder Walk: From Barbon village we head northeast on to the ridge of Middleton Fell – high above Barbondale – then over Devil’s Crag, Castle Knott and Calf Top before descending the fellside back to Sedbergh. 10 miles (16km) with 2,200 feet (660m) of ascent.
Group C: Wensleydale and Wild Boar Fell
Easier Walk: From Askrigg village (where TV’s All Creatures Great and Small was filmed) we walk to Hardraw Force, the highest single drop in England at 100ft (small cost to view). We follow the Pennine Way into Hawes, home to Wensleydale cheese. 7 miles (11km) with 500 feet (150m) of ascent.
Medium Walk: This walk starts from Bainbridge and heads south to Semer Water, Yorkshire’s only true natural lake. From Marsett we climb a ridge above Wensleydale before dropping into Hawes. 8 miles (13km) with 1,400 feet (420m) of ascent.
Harder Walk: After viewing Pendragon Castle we head on to the open hillside to reach Wild Boar Fell, to traverse the summit plateau and Swarth Fell before commencing the long descent to the Moorcock Inn. 10 miles (16km) with 2,000 feet (600m) of ascent.
Group D: Upper Swaledale
Easier Walk: This walk includes the villages of Thwaite, Muker and Keld, together with the waterfall of East Gill Force and the centuries-old lead mine at Crackpot Hall. 7 miles (11km) with 1,000 feet (300m) of ascent.
Medium Walk: Starting from Thwaite we head northwest to reach Black Hill and the upper Swale valley. We follow a beautiful route to Muker, also via Crackpot Hall, and finish along a spectacular terrace above the river. 8 miles (13km) with 1,500 feet (450m) of ascent.
Harder Walk: From the remote Moorcock Inn we follow the River Ure down to Thwaite Bridge. Then a short ascent to secretive Cotterdale, before a steady ascent to reach the Pennine Way, which we follow north to the summit of Great Shunner Fell and on towards the village of Muker. 11 miles (17.5km) with 1,800 feet (540m) of ascent.
Group F: The Howgill Fells and the Lune Valley
Easier Walk: A delightful walk alongside the River Lune using part of the Dales Way north of Sedbergh, before returning to Thorns Hall across fields and paths via Brigflatts and Birks. 7 miles (11km) with 400 feet (120m) of ascent.
Medium Walk: We first visit Fox’s Pulpit, a rocky outcrop where Quaker George Fox preached. After viewing Lily Mere and Killington Reservoir, we return to Sedbergh along the River Rawthey. 9 miles (14.5km) with 600 feet (180m) of ascent.
Harder Walk: From Bowderdale we take an undulating ridge over Westfell and Hazelgill Knott to the summit of The Calf, the highest point in the Howgills. We return to Sedbergh along the ridge spanning Calders, Arant Haw and Settlefellbeck Gill. 9 miles (14.5km) with 1,800 feet (540m) of ascent.
Group G: Mallerstang - myths and legends
Easier Walk: Starting at the Thrang we enjoy walking in the Mallerstang and Eden Valleys to finish at the market town of Kirkby Stephen. Highlights include Pendragon Castle, Lammerside Castle and Wharton Hall. 7 miles (11km) with 500 feet (150m) of ascent.
Medium Walk: Walking from Aisgill Moor along Lady Anne’s Way, we’ll pass Hell Gill Bridge and the Thrang on the way to Kirkby Stephen. 10 miles (16km) with 800 feet (240m) of ascent.
Harder Walk: Following a bridleway from Shaw Paddock to Hell Gill Bridge we ascend gradually onto Mallerstang Edge and over High Seat and High Pike Hill with fabulous views. We descend to Nateby and Kirkby Stephen. 10 miles (16km) with 1,400 feet (420m) of ascent.
Group H: Rawthey Valley and Baugh Fell
Easier Walk: Our route contours the lower slopes of the Howgills, on generally good paths, following the attractive Rawthey Valley from Fell End back to Thorns Hall. A good view may be expected of Cautley Spout, with a possible short detour to the Farfield Mill Art & Heritage Centre. 7 miles (12km) with 700 feet (210m) of ascent.
Medium Walk: From Rawthey Bridge we start along a terrace offering great views of the Howgills. The terrain then becomes wilder, with some roughness underfoot, as the route makes a series of gill crossings, before heading down towards Thorns Hall. 9 miles (14.5km) with 1,000 feet (300m) of ascent.
Harder Walk: Initially we follow the Pennine Bridleway from the Moorcock Inn alongside the Settle Carlisle Railway. Then from Garsdale Stn the walk takes on a much more rugged character as we head into Grisedale and commence the traverse of Baugh Fell, across faint and potentially boggy paths en route to Thorns Hall. 11 miles (17.5km) with 1,600 feet (480m) of ascent.
Group I: Smardale and Green Bell from Ravenstonedale
Easier Walk: Starting from Ravenstonedale we go over Smardale Fell to Smardale Hall. The return to Ravenstonedale is along a track-bed of the old Darlington to Barrow-in-Furness railway line and through a nature reserve. 7 miles (11km) with 400 feet (120m) of ascent.
Medium Walk: Today we will follow a circular route from Newbiggin-on-Lune over Nettle Hill to Crosby Garrett, returning via Smardale Hall and Smardale Bridge. 9 miles (14.5km) with 1,000 feet (300m) of ascent.
Harder Walk: From Ravenstonedale we climb over Knoutberry and Green Bell to Randygill Top and then Hooksey back to Ravenstonedale, via the attractive village of Newbiggin-on-Lune and Smardale Bridge. 11 miles (17.5km) with 1,900 feet (570m) of ascent.
Group J: Potholes, limestone scars and waterfalls
Easier Walk: We take a short walk to view the iconic Ribblehead viaduct on the Settle-Carlisle railway, before our transport drops us at Ingleton for a circular woodland walk alongside the Rivers Twiss and Doe. We use a trail, which although steep in places benefits from steps and walkways, past spectacular waterfalls. 5 miles (8km) with 600 feet (180m) of ascent.
Medium Walk: Starting from Ribblehead Station we pass under the viaduct before traversing the magnificent limestone pavements of Twisleton Scars and along the River Doe into Ingleton. 8 miles (13km) with 600 feet (180m) of ascent.
Harder Walk: After a possible short detour to Ribblehead Viaduct we pass through Ingleborough Nature Reserve and start a steep ascent of Park Fell, to then pass Simon Fell en route to Ingleborough summit. An initially steep descent passes Crina Bottom to reach Fell Lane and on into Ingleton. 8 miles (13km) with 1,700 feet (510m) of ascent.
7 night holiday:
Walks F-J: Fri 28 Oct (Free day on Monday)
5 night holidays: 4 days of walking
Walks A, B, C, D: Sat 7 May
4 night holiday:
Walks H, I, J: Mon 31 Oct
3 night holidays: 2 days walking
Walks F & G: Fri 28 Oct
Terrain and transport
Easier Walks follow good riverside and field paths. Medium Walks are on moorland and valley paths. Harder Walks head over high moorland.
On some days the walks start or finish at Thorns Hall; on other days we use hired transport at the start and/or end of the walks. The cost of all transport to and from the walks is included in the price of your holiday.
Each seven night holiday has a day without any organised walks, so you can explore the Yorkshire Dales independently.
The atmosphere is relaxed and friendly. There is normally a good mix of ages, of new guests and 'regulars' from Britain and overseas. On our Guided Walking for Solos holidays, the holiday is especially for single guests.
In the evenings
Your leaders will inform you about the choice of walks for the next day and answer any questions you may have. After a sociable evening meal you could join in an organised activity such as a quiz or a talk about the local area, relax in the bar or use the Country House facilities.
Sedbergh sits at the foot of the Howgill Fells, a peaceful corner of the Yorkshire Dales National Park.
The centre of Sedbergh is just a few minutes walk from Thorns Hall. The town has a range of facilities including a small supermarket, post office, newsagent, pubs and a bank. Now famed as England’s ‘book town’, Sedbergh has many second-hand book shops and a good range of pubs and cafés. A wider range of facilities are available in the larger town of Kendal, about 10 miles away.
During your visit to Thorns Hall you may enjoy visiting the following places of interest:
Hawes & Wensleydale
A 30 minute drive through the Yorkshire Dales will take you to the small town of Hawes. Visit the famous creamery that produces Wensleydale Cheese. You may want to continue through the valley of Wensleydale, well known as the setting for All Creatures Great & Small. www.wensleydale.co.uk
The market town of Kendal, about 20 minutes' drive from Thorns Hall has a good range of specialist shops.The excellent Museum of Lakeland Life and Industry is also worth a visit. www.lakelandmuseum.org.uk
A 40 minute drive will take you to Lake Windermere, gateway to exploring the beautiful scenery of the Lake District National Park. Here you could take a steamer trip on the lake, or visit the visitors centre at Brockhole. www.windermere-lakecruises.co.uk or www.brockhole.co.uk
Situated near Kendal, about 25 minutes' drive from Sedbergh. Sizergh Castle is a fine medieval house, surrounded by beautiful gardens. www.nationaltrust.org.uk/sizergh
Visit this stately home, famous for its magnificent formal garden and its topiary displays. Levens Hall is south of Kendal, about 30 minutes' drive from Sedbergh. www.levenshall.co.uk
Settle to Carlisle Railway
Ride England’s most scenic railway through the Yorkshire Dales from Garsdale station, about 10 miles from Sedbergh. Heading south you could cross the famous Ribblehead viaduct and visit Settle, Skipton and Saltaire. Heading north you could head to the small market town of Appleby, or the border city of Carlisle. www.settle-carlisle.co.uk
Thorns Hall, Cautley Road, Sedbergh, Cumbria, LA10 5LE.
It just got easier to get to Sedbergh
Our own station transfers: We offer a reduced price taxi transfer between Oxenholme railway station and Thorns Hall every Saturday and Wednesday (Friday and Monday in the low season). The pickup is at 4.15pm from Oxenholme, the Lake District railway station. On departure day the transfer will get you back to Oxenholme station by 10.00am. The transfer is £5 return, but a place must be reserved in advance by calling our Reservations team on 0345 470 7558.
By train: The nearest train station is Oxenholme, the Lake District, on the main line between London and Glasgow. For train times and general rail enquiries visit www.nationalrail.co.uk or call 03457 484950 (from outside the UK call +44 20 7278 5240).
By taxi: If you can’t meet our station transfer, the 10 mile journey from Oxenholme station to Thorns Hall can be made by taxi. Taxis cost approx £23 per journey. Every year we negotiate a pre-booked rate for these journeys. Details of our current recommended taxi company and rates will be sent to you with your booking. We recommend pre-booking your taxi and the taxi company will arrange shared taxis wherever possible. The return taxi journey can be arranged on your behalf by the Thorns Hall Manager.
By car: Leave the M6 at junction 37 and follow the A684 for 5 miles to Sedbergh. On reaching Sedbergh follow the road to the right into Finkle Street (avoiding the main street), then almost immediately turn left at a small roundabout into Back Lane. At the next mini-roundabout bear left onto the A683 following signs to Kirkby Stephen. Thorns Hall is a further 100 yards along the road on the left. Look out for our sign. A large car park is available in the grounds with free parking.
To help you plan your journey, use www.traveline.info
|Date & Rating||Customer Review||HF Holidays says|
17 May 2016, 3:12 p.m.
Well organised. Nothing was too much trouble. Thorns Hall is a great place to relax in the evenings and all the staff were brilliant. Thanks.
Good group of people and good choice for walks.
Super food and a lovely room. Even the weather was good.
Very impressed with The Howgills
3 Jul 2015, 8:19 p.m.
staff and leaders very helpful and friendly
Disappointed that the party night on the last evening of SOLO holidays has been done away with. No doubt you will say a survey has shown that this form of entertainment is no longer popular with guests. You should survey SOLO guests - there is a lot of disappointment with the "last supper". We have enough to eat.
3 Jul 2015, 7:09 a.m.
quality & variety of food excellant
Walks very good. Easier walk on last day so short that it was pointless as the wait for the coach would have been hours so no one went on this !
2 Jul 2015, 8:57 p.m.
All went smoothly.
A lovely premium room; fantastic food; top class leaders; friendly staff; and great company. Only the weather could have been better for June!
2 Jul 2015, 1:29 p.m.
Very good indeed
HF Feedback form returned by post
29 Jun 2015, 10:35 p.m.
guided walks were well run
An interesting talk on Stone walling
29 Jun 2015, 9:43 a.m.
Fun, well-organised, excellent walks, good accommodation, top-quality food, experienced leaders who organised a good social programme.
A great holiday. I'll be back..!
Thank you for reviewing your recent Walking Holiday in the Yorkshire Dales. We're really pleased that you enjoyed your HF Holidays experience. We look forward to welcoming you back again soon.
HF Holidays Ltd.
24 Apr 2015, 1:53 p.m.
Usual high standard of accommodation & service.
Newly refurbished room, great company, leaders, staff & food. No complaints.
23 Apr 2015, 8:17 p.m.
Service was fine
To many old people on the holiday,. Need to encourage more middle age / younger people. Leaders were brilliant. Dave Beasley was very aware of the capabilities of the people on the walk. Excellent leader with John and Mike.
Thank you for your comments.
I was pleased that, overall, you enjoyed your holiday with HF.
We are always striving to encourage different age groups on our holidays and will continue to do so. I am sorry that on this occasion you were disappointed.
I do hope that we will be able to welcome you on another HF holiday in the future.
Customer Relations Manager
22 Apr 2015, 4:47 p.m.
A consistently high standard over all UK holidays
A very enjoyable holiday, despite the weather!
Read more reviews from feefo
Dates & Prices
We're sorry, there are no dates available for this holiday at the moment. Please check out our other tours and breaks or call our team on 0345 470 8558 to be notified of new dates as soon as they become available.
Prices are per person
- Standard single room: (2016) £8 per night; (2017) no supplement
- Premium single room: £15 per night (2017 only)
- Premium twin/double room: (2016) £5 per person per night; (2017) £10 per person per night
- Non-member associate fee: (2016) £5 per person; (2017) £10 per person