41 Main Street, Sedbergh, LA10 5BL [view on map]

015396 21770


Books – specialises in local subjects, children’s, mountain and walking guides.

Boots and essential walking gear at discount prices, e.g. Goretex walking boots from £65.

Sleepy Elephant shopSleepy Elephant specialises in high quality affordable walking boots and other hiking equipment along with collectable books and a selection of gifts and cards.

The shop occupies the ground floor of what once may have been an old ‘tower house’ which, as the former chemist’s shop, was the subject in 1998 of the BBC Television series ‘The House Detectives’ when it was speculated that Bonnie Prince Charlie might have hidden there in 1745.

The choice of name ‘Sleepy Elephant’ was inspired by a reference in A W Wainwright’s book ‘Walks on the Howgill Fells’ where he describes the Howgills as “likened to a huddle of squatting elephants” (often misquoted as “a herd of sleeping elephants”).

The Manager, Carole, was Director of Blacks Leisure from 1973, involved in their Outdoor Activities, and became the only lady Ski Rep in the country, specialising in selling Boots. She retired to Sedbergh and, following on from Foot and Mouth, opened a shop with her friend, dealing with books and gifts.

Things then developed and she branched out on her own dealing with outdoor wear, but specialising in selling walking boots. Thanks to her contacts, she prides herself on being able to offer high quality goods, of well-known brands, but at a cheaper price because they are not the latest model.

She also prides herself, due to her experience over the years, on being able to help her clients find a boot that fits well and is comfortable when walking the Fells. Her present shop has been in existence for six years and she has a number of satisfied customers returning for more boots and advising friends to come especially to Sedbergh buy their boots.

Boots and Walking Essentials

Sleepy Elephant shop interiorSleepy Elephant supplies a wide range of walking boots in sizes from 3 to 13 from famous brands including Zamberlan, Aku and Brasher, with many of them at factory outlet prices.  It also offers a surprising range, considering the size of the premises, of outdoor clothing ranging from Weird Fish to Point 214, and some comfortable socks to go with the boots.

Bargains can often be found in the wide range of useful walking equipment including jackets, gloves, socks, hats, trekking pants, walking poles and local O S maps.

Collectable Books

The wide range of special interest and collectable books to browse includes:

  • Local subjects
  • Old UK mountain guides, titles by John and Eliza Forder,  A Wainwright etc.
  • Titles by John and Eliza Forder etc.
  • Collectable children’s books, from the 60s and earlier, including Richmal Crompton, Enid Blyton, W E Johns, Angela Brazil, Beatrix Potter and A A Milne
  • Fiction and non-fiction books and sets from the Folio Society
  • Performing arts, poetry and literature

Gifts and Cards

You will find a constantly changing range of gifts, including notebooks, diaries, useful bags and accessories.

The range of greetings cards includes hand made cards from pre-1950s book illustrations and other cards, including some quirky or off-beat ones.

Sleepy Elephant is also the main local supplier for Sedbergh Soap Company’s luxurious range of toiletries made from natural and organic ingredients.