Stage 6: Newbiggin-on-Lune to Appleby-in-Westmorland – hiking a Dales High Way
Alex Langfield planned a hike.
October 22, 2020
The final stage through the verdant Eden Valley, whilst still beautiful, is the shortest on a Dales High Way. With the big hills of the Dales and the fells of the Howgills behind you, there’s less elevation to contend with. The one significant ascent is to the extensive and unspoilt limestone pavement of Great Asby Scar, before you end your epic journey in the Eden Valley at Appleby-in-Westmorland.
Follow the High Land road out of Newbiggin, heading north west and intercepting a track that will take you to the minor road between Raisbeck and Little Asby, just to the south of secluded Sunbiggin Tarn. At the tarn, a track heads north towards the south facing escarpment of the Orton Fells.
Once the scarp is breached, you’ll discover Great Asby Scar. It’s a remarkable expanse of limestone pavement covering 15 square miles (39km) and a designated nature reserve inhabited by various rare ferns. Bleakly barren yet beguiling, its elevation means you’ll get splendid views back towards the Howgills and west over the Shap Fells to Lakeland’s Far Eastern Fells.
A long descent brings you into the village of Great Asby. The Three Greyhounds pub may be able to cater for you, though it is often closed at lunchtime during the winter months. Hoff is the next settlement you’ll come across after a delightful amble alongside Scale Beck via the small waterfall of Rutter Force. If you were unable to gain sustenance in Great Asby, Hoff’s New Inn serves food all day from Wednesday to Sunday. Upon arriving in Hoff, you’ll have now officially left the Yorkshire Dales National Park.
The route follows Hoff Beck before turning north east just before Bandley Wood and making a beeline for the end point of Appleby-in-Westmorland. The sight of its red sandstone castle ushers in the very final stages of what has been a truly epic trek. There is no shortage of amenities in Appleby but bear in mind that the town gets incredibly busy when the famous horse fair comes to town in early June.
Having completed this inspiring journey in parallel with the magnificent Carlisle to Settle railway line, it makes sense to hop on the train at Appleby station and relive the journey in reverse, opening up whole new vantages and adding to your appreciation of this spectacular part of the UK. From here it takes around two glorious hours to return to Saltaire and another twenty minutes from there into Leeds.
October 30, 2020