Wainwright's Howgills & Dales
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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.
Combining part of Wainwright’s Walks on the Howgill Fells and Walks in Limestone Country, this trail celebrates the best of these areas. From Kirkby Stephen to Settle, our 68 miles (109km) journey goes through quiet, picturesque countryside and over a number of key peaks, including The Calf, which is the highest point in the Howgills, Middleton Fell, Ingleborough and Pen-y-ghent.
- Follow in Wainwright’s footsteps
- Scale The Calf of the Howgill Fells, Middleton Fell, Ingleborough and Pen-y-ghent
- Admire waterfalls, rare butterflies and even a money tree
- Explore history along the route including iconic railway viaducts, lime kilns and tales of witches
- Traverse the spectacular Smardale Gill Viaduct and be amazed by the much-photographed Ribblehead Viaduct
- 7 nights’ Full Board en-suite accommodation with all meals
- The services of an experienced HF Holidays’ leader
- All transport to and from the route is provided on walking days
- Social activities in the evening
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
Kirkby Stephen to Ravenstonedale
Our first day is a relatively easy start, through farmland and along a disused railway line. We begin in the charming old market town of Kirkby Stephen, then head south around the 'Poetry Path', before heading west past the Settle to Carlisle Railway and into Smardale. We walk above Scandal Beck, passing over the spectacular Smardale Gill Viaduct and on to the old Smardale Bridge to Ravenstonedale. 9 miles (14.5km), with 1,000 feet (300m) of ascent.
Ravenstonedale to Sedbergh
Today is more challenging in terms of distance and ascent. We head west on lanes and through farmland to the foot of Bowderdale. We gradually ascend into the heart of the fells, to reach the summit of The Calf - the highest point of the Howgill Fells. We then head across the top of the Howgills and walk down to Sedbergh. 12 miles (19.5km), with 2,000 feet (610m) of ascent.
Sedbergh to Barbon
Leaving Sedbergh on foot we wind our way nearby the Rivers Dee, Rawthey and Lune. After a short section of Roman Road to Fellside, we begin our steady ascent of Middleton Fell. From the highest point of Calf Top, on a clear day, there are great views east down into Dentdale and west as far as Morecambe Bay. We continue along this excellent broad ridge above Barbondale to Eskholme Pike and down to Barbon. 11½ miles (18.5km), with 2,100 feet (640m) of ascent.
Barbon to Ingleton
Today we enter Limestone Country. Heading up Barbondale, we turn south towards Bull Pot Farm in an area famed for its extensive potholes and underground cave systems. Passing by Ease Gill Kirk (a small limestone ravine) we reach a more pastoral landscape. We meander beside the Leck Beck (a tributary of the River Lune) down to the quaint village of Leck. Passing the hamlets of Ireby and Masongill, we reach Ingleton. 11 miles (17.5km), with 1,250 feet (380m) of ascent.
Ingleton to Horton in Ribblesdale
Today we enjoy a section of the Ingleton Waterfalls Walk, beside the River Twiss and up to Twistleton Hall. We then take an old Roman Road, under Twistleton Scar, to Chapel le Dale. We scale one of the famous Yorkshire Three Peaks – Ingleborough. We should be afforded stunning views of the much photographed Ribblehead Viaduct on the Settle to Carlisle Railway. We cross the limestone pavement of Sulber Nick and on down to Horton in Ribblesdale. 12 miles (19km), with 2,200 feet (660m) of ascent.
Horton in Ribblesdale to Settle
We climb the whaleback ascent of our second Yorkshire Peak – Pen-y-ghent. From the summit we head south along a section of the Pennine Way and on to Stainforth, before taking in charming views of the Catrigg Force waterfall. We walk by Jubilee Cave (noted for its prehistoric remains) and under Attermire Scar to reach our journey's end in the picturesque railway town of Settle. 12½ miles (20km), with 2,250 feet (685m) of ascent.
The itinerary may be subject to change at the discretion of the leader with regard to the weather and other external factors
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|
20 Aug 2016, 8:53 a.m.
No review provided
overall organisation (hotel, walks )
16 Aug 2016, 10:39 a.m.
Booking was easy over the phone. I would only comment that the walk's itinerary did not come until I phoned and asked for it. (I had paid the balance!) Itinerary arrived the next day then another one about two days before the holiday.
The holiday was excellent. The leader was very good, leading the party with confidence, keeping in mind the capabilities of the party. It was good to have his local knowledge. The H.F centre was well run with any needs catered for particularly dietary ones. Room comfortable and warm. Food and packed lunches V.G.
31 Jul 2016, 4:35 p.m.
Excellent guide and hotel
Excellent guide and hotel
29 Jul 2016, 4:31 p.m.
Well organised and managed throughout
8 Oct 2015, 2:25 p.m.
The greatest holiday I've ever had.A wonderful experience!
Chris Seddon is the finest leader in HF!
6 Oct 2015, 11:38 a.m.
Superb walking led by fully trained, competent leader
6 Oct 2015, 10:51 a.m.
Very good guesthouse and food.
This was the Wainwright Howgills and Dales Trail. Very successful.
7 Sep 2015, 7:42 p.m.
Always live up to expectations. Only the weather is left to chance!
Apart from one day when the walk was disappointing, it was a great holiday.
6 Sep 2015, 6:53 a.m.
everything is well organized
in general good in particular the first day was very annyoing with many stops after a few hundred yards and information about "sheep stones" I didn't enjoy this and I did not expect so manye talks on a trail. Around noon we still have been in Kirkby Stephen, the starting place.
The third day was a nuisance and a waste of time. 7 miles through boring fields on a path wich was not well used and almost not marked so that we had to stop at each fence and stile to wait for instructions to continue.
HF really should make sure that the guides now the walks they are supposed do lead and offer the guides possibiliteis for a recce. It is always very annyoing when the guide doesn't know a walk. Of course they always manage to find the way but it is not fun to stop again and again to look for signs and so on.
5 Sep 2015, 5:54 p.m.
No review provided
A great holiday at a great location
Read more reviews from feefo
Dates & Prices
|Date||Description||Nights||Brochure price||Buy today for||Book|
|3 Jun 2017||SDLWH - Wainwright's Howgills & Dales - Sedbergh||7||£839.00||£734.00||Book Now|
|29 Jul 2017||SDLWH - Wainwright's Howgills & Dales - Sedbergh||7||£839.00||£734.00||Book Now|
|26 Aug 2017||SDLWH - Wainwright's Howgills & Dales - Sedbergh||7||£839.00||£734.00||Book Now|
|9 Sep 2017||SDLWH - Wainwright's Howgills & Dales - Sedbergh||7||£839.00||£734.00||Book Now|
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