This is an excellent 9.5 mile walk for those parked or staying in the Sedbergh area as use can be made of the Western Dales Bus Saturday service to reach Dent Station or Cowgill and walk back at leisure. This is one of the less demanding of the local hills and provides a good alternative when some of the other fells are shrouded in mist as Rise Hill is often clear. The walk could be done in either direction. Allow 4.5 hours plus refreshment stops.

Map of walk from Dent via Rise Hill

Download this walk as a printable PDF file (2 pages, 233 KB)

Take the morning 564A bus from Sedbergh to Dentdale, alighting at either Dent Station or Cowgill Church. From Dent Station proceed down the steep Coal Road to Lea Yeat admiring the views down Dentdale en-route. At the T junction turn right for 400m or so towards Cowgill Church. Turn right just before the church and follow the dead end road which becomes a bridleway to cross Docra Bridge. The bridleway passes a barn and zig-zags steeply uphill, the climb becoming more gradual after a while with views across to the recent starting point at Dent Station. The bridleway climbs still upwards and passes a wood on the right and through a gate at the top of Black Hill. Near the crest of the hill look for sign post and a stile on the left, in the corner of the pasture.

A scene on the walk from Dent Station to Sedbergh via Rise Hill A scene on the walk from Dent Station to Sedbergh via Rise Hill

Turn left to pass over the stile now following the shoulder of the hill upwards with a plantation to the right. After a while the path crosses to the right hand side of the wall and then after another stile emerges on Snaizwold Fell with a limestone outcrop. Continue for several miles in a westerly direction with the drystone wall on the left. The going is very easy with one boggy patch as the top of Aye Gill Pike is approached. The path crosses several broken down walls. At Aye Gill Pike (556m) a stile has been installed to reach the trig point on the other side of the wall. The views on a fine day are excellent with most of the surrounding peaks and the Howgills in view.

A scene on the walk from Dent Station to Sedbergh via Rise HillA scene on the walk from Dent Station to Sedbergh via Rise Hill

A scene on the walk from Dent Station to Sedbergh via Rise HillA scene on the walk from Dent Station to Sedbergh via Rise Hill

Now re-cross the stile to regain the path and continue in a westerly direction descending all the time. Cross three relatively new stiles (taking care as the steps on one of these are badly spaced) and note a lone tree on the left hand side. Just after this point there is an option to return to Dent using the bridleway which turns left approximately 200m further on from the tree and descends via Hacra and High Hall (see route description below). Otherwise, continue straight on, the path slightly veering away from the drystone wall and following Holebeck Gill for a short while. The path climbs slightly over rough open pasture before descending onto a stony track and through a gate at Side Farm. Passing through the gate, walk along the farm access track which quickly becomes a metalled lane passing several cottages and farmhouses. After ½ mile the lane merges at the main road from Hawes to Sedbergh.

Turn left along the main road taking care as there is no footway until near Pinfold caravan site. Cross New Bridge over the River Rawthey and immediately on the other side there is a gate leading to a footpath which parallels the road this emerging at the rear of Settlebeck School. Turn left and walking along the footpath to the rear of the school pass through a gate at the Vicarage and turn right up the access drive emerging at Back Lane and the end of Sedbergh Main Street.

Option to return via Dent

.After the solitary tree turn left down the bridleway and about 200m after a gate and as the track bears right turn left through a stile, across a small stream and crossing rough pasture in a south-easterly direction to the far corner. The path turns slightly right emerging on elevated ground with a few trees to the left. Now descend towards a ford across a beck. The path now descends steeply with the beck on the right all the way to Hacra and a gate. Shortly after the gate turn left through a sheep enclosure. Cross a succession of four fields in a south-easterly direction and through a small copse looking for a helpful waymarker. Pass through the stile and bear slightly left towards a barn. Just after the barn look for a stile on the left of the track (as the track runs out). Now cross four fields in succession emerging at High Hall.

A scene on the walk from Dent Station to Sedbergh via Rise HillA scene on the walk from Dent Station to Sedbergh via Rise Hill
Pass through the gate and around High Hall to follow the access track down to meet a lane. Turn left along the lane and after 200m or so carefully look out for a small stile on the right (easily missed). Passing over the stile now follow the River Dee the short distance to Church Bridge. Cross the bridge and follow the road into Dent. The bus returns from opposite the bus shelter near the car park.

For details of the Saturday and summer Sunday buses please see the printed timetable or visit

Remember that whilst this is a moderate fell walk the terrain is variable and there is a degree of exposure. Suitable footwear and waterproofs should always be taken together the appropriate OS Map. Always follow the Countryside Code.

For further walks from the Western Dales Bus please see

Note: Whilst the author has endeavoured to ensure the details are correct no responsibility can be accepted for any error or omission contained herein. Walks must be undertaken at the individuals own risk.

© John Carey 2015