Remote Yet Close – The Quiet Places (2 days/3nights)
Introduction (2 days/3 nights)
Starting from Garnett Bridge we make our way up Longsleddale, the far Eastern edge of the Lake District. Unspoilt and remote Longsleddale, with no way through for traffic, was the inspiration for John Cunliffe’s Postman Pat. Following the winding River Sprint along the narrow valley it is easy to picture the quiet twisting road, stone walls, green fields full of sheep and the characterful houses of this children’s TV series. In this beautiful, wild and unfrequented corner it is possible to escape the crowds, enjoy solitude and reflect upon life.
Above Sadgill, with Postman Pat’s recognisable humpback bridge, the road ends and the valley sides steepen dramatically as we climb the upper reaches of the Longsleddale. A good path climbs gently past small waterfalls to the top of Gatesgarth Pass with glimpses of Haweswater down below. From the pass we take an easy track to the summit of Harter Fell (2539ft) – one of Alfred Wainwright’s favourite mountains.
…on Harter Fell, the ground suddenly collapses in a tremendous wall of crags, falling swiftly to the head of Mardale amongst wild and romantic surroundings – one of the noblest mountain scenes in the district.
In these high and noble places, where the space between man and God feels small, we can leave the everyday things behind and feel a connection with something greater, something beyond our understanding. After a time to rest and reflect we continue our mountain traverse to Nan Bield Pass. Returning to the beautiful Kentmere valley by the Ull Stone, which according to legend is half a dice thrown there by an angry giant, and hidden Kentmere reservoir.
One day’s exposure to mountains is better than a cartload of books.
What to Expect
Our itinerary includes 2 days walking and 3 nights accommodation. A brief route is provided below with an estimate of the miles walked each day.
- Start – Meet in Natland, Kendal at your holiday accommodation.
- Day 1 – Garnett Bridge to Kentmere (via Longsleddale) – 8 miles (13km)
- Day 2 – Kentmere to Kentmere (via Gatesgarth Pass, Harter Fell, Nan Bield Pass and Kentmere Reservoir) – 10 miles (16km)
- Day 3 – Finish – Depart from Natland after breakfast
Fitness and Experience
During this pilgrimage we walk 8-10 miles per day on good paths and tracks. On day 1 there is one easy climb but otherwise the gradients are generally flat and gentle. On day 2 we gradually ascend Gatesgarth Pass (1200ft) before climbing easily to the summit of Harter Fell (600ft).
The Gatesgarth route is particularly easy: a hands in pocket stroll with no steep climbing, the top being reached with surprising lack of effort. Nonagenarians will find it eminently suitable.
This is not a strenuous walk and no mountain experience is necessary. We will walk at a comfortable pace with plenty of time to enjoy the quiet valleys and magnificent mountain scenery, unwind and reflect. If you are walking fit and can carry a small daysack with your food, water and waterproofs you should be able to complete this journey.
If you would like to include an additional day(s) walking please let us know as we have some great thoughts on how to extend this pilgrimage. We hope to provide a personal and tailored service so please discuss your requirements.
Your guide is Lathan. Lathan has over 35 years walking experience, is a qualified Mountain Leader and holds a current mountain first aid certificate.
Transport and Meeting
This walking holiday starts and finishes in Natland, Kendal. We will all meet in Natland in the afternoon at your accommodation where we will get to know one another, discuss the walk and talk about the days ahead.
The nearest international airports to Natland are Glasgow, Glasgow Prestwick and Manchester.
For those of you travelling by public transport we also include pick-up and drop-off at Oxenholme railway station or Kendal coach station. Oxenholme lies on the Main West Coast Railway Line providing direct links to London, Glasgow, Manchester Airport and Windermere. Oxenholme railway station is less than a 5 mins drive from your accommodation – so just let us know what time you will arrive.
During this walk you will stay in our comfortable accommodation in Natland and travel each day to the start and finish of your walk. Travel to and from the walk is included in the holiday.
The cost of this fully guided walk is £429 per person.
We require a deposit of 50% at the time of booking and the balance is usually due 2 months before the walk starts.
During 2021, the maximum group size is 2. Young people are welcome but under 18 years of age must be accompanied by a parent or guardian.
To book your walking holiday please contact us with your preferred dates and the party size. We will then confirm availability and forward payment details.
Updated 18th January 2021
We are currently working as normal, whilst doing all we can to maintain social distancing, minimise transmission risks and respect those around us. We are operating in line with government guidance and advice from the British Mountaineering Council and the Mountain Training Association.
If we need to cancel your holiday because of changes in the government Covid-19 guidelines we will provide you with a full refund or help you organise alternative dates. We hope this gives you peace of mind.
The World Health Organisation provide useful advice on how to protect yourselves and others from Covid-19.