Sat in splendid isolation between Garsdale and Uldale, Baugh Fell dominates the landscape, providing amazing unrestricted views from the summit. This high moorland plateau is peppered with gills, the most impressive of which is Rawthey Gill, which heralds the start of the fledgling River Rawthey, as it makes its way towards Sedbergh via numerous plunge pools and cascading waterfalls.

Distance: 10.4 miles / 16.7km,  Time: 6 – 8 hours, Maps: OS Explorer OL19

WARNING: This walk is for experienced and adventurous walkers only. Some sections of the riverside path are steep and slippery, and on the open fell the ground is pathless, featureless and very boggy in places. The route includes crossing the river twice and ascending Rawthey Gill which may not be possible after rain. Navigation on the open fell will be difficult in mist. Choose a clear day in a dry spell!


Park in the layby just off the main A683 approximately 1.5km east of the Cross Keys Temperance Inn. From here cross the road and walk on the right hand side to a field gate at the start of a rough track known as the ‘The Street’ (the line of the old Roman road). Head south west up the track for approximately 700 metres until you reach a junction with a bridleway. Turn left onto this bridleway and follow it as it crosses the fellside eastwards towards the River Rawthey. Just opposite Needle House a track drops down to the left to cross the river by a footbridge. Pause here to look at the deep pools and cascades beneath the bridge, then return to the valley track and continue upstream to reach an old quarry. Watch out for red squirrels in this area.

Once past the old quarry the waterfalls of Uldale Force come into view. Continue heading up Uldale alongside the River Rawthey. The path now becomes increasingly narrow and precarious, at times crossing steep ground high above the river. Eventually the main waterfall comes into view. The path seems to disappear in a steep grassy area. If you wish to view the fall close up then scramble down slightly. The path reappears and works its way into the gill bed at the base of the fall. Return to the grassy area and climb steeply upwards to an area of recent tree planting. Continue up the valley above the fall until you reach a wire fence. Follow this down to a gate at river level.

Follow the riverbank until it enters another gorge. Cross the river just before a fence and go through a gate into the gorge. After walking some distance on the north bank it is necessary to cross back to the south bank. Where the gorge narrows a steep little path climbs out of the gorge onto the fell. Return to the river back past the gorge and continue until you reach a junction of streams at the foot of Rawthey Gill. Turn right here gradually climbing following the bottom of the steep-sided gill, bypassing a small waterfall by scrambling up the steep mossy left bank, until you reach Baugh Fell’s summit plateau at Gill Head. The trig point at Knoutberry Haw is located 300m to the south west in front of the dry-stone wall, and not easy to spot from a distance.

From the Knoutberry Haw trig point head north following a vague path to pass to the west of West Baugh Fell Tarn, which marks the start of the descent. From here head north east then north west and follow the broad gentle ridge down towards the base of Bluecaster Fell. Turn north to regain the bridleway near an area of shake holes and follow it back to the start of the walk at Rawthey Bridge.


This route description is only to give you information and ideas and its accuracy cannot be guaranteed. Please satisfy yourself that the route is suitable for everyone in your group. Remember that fells can be cold, windy and misty so carry a proper paper map, clothing and refreshments. Check the weather forecast and make sure someone knows where you are going, and when you expect to be back. Click here for more information about mountain safety.