Boots & Beer Walking Weekender Ravenstonedale, Howgill Fells
With Mark Reid FRGS – author of The Inn Way guidebooks & Mountain Leader
Ravenstonedale is a picturesque village that lies nestled on the edge of the magnificent Howgill Fells with the Westmorland Plateau stretching away to the north. The Howgill Fells form a compact area of high hills and deep valleys in the western Yorkshire Dales, where wild fell ponies graze across the open hills, which are free from fences and walls, making this an ideal area for hillwalkers. Ravenstonedale boasts many attractive houses, a small village green and a lovely pub. In the heart of the village stands St Oswald’s Church, where you will find the remains of a 12th century Gilbertine Priory.
The Black Swan Hotel is an award-winning country inn (AA Pub of the Year), and is noted for the quality of its food, ales and atmosphere.
Mark Reid has written several books about the Yorkshire Dales, including The Inn Way… to the Yorkshire Dales, and so knows the surrounding fells, hills and dales like the back of his hand.
PHOTOS from our most recent Yorkshire Dales weekend – June 2019
Walking Weekender based from: Black Swan, Ravenstonedale
When booking accommodation, please mention the Walking Weekend as the rooms have been reserved for us.
Friday evening (9pm) – Meet at the Black Swan for our ‘icebreaker’ pub evening, where you can relax, socialise and meet your fellow walkers, choose your level of walk for Saturday and Sunday. Friday and/or Saturday evening meals will be pre-ordered before the weekend. These meals are optional and are not included in the price.
Arriving early on Friday? Your guides will be eating at the pub at 7:30pm on Friday evening – you are most welcome to join us for a meal; just let us know so we can add you to our table.
Saturday evening (7:45pm) – Meal at Black Swan (optional), followed by a fantastic Pub Quiz Night with Mark Reid as your quizmaster! Prizes for the winning team.
There will be a choice of guided walks on Saturday and Sunday, with Mark Reid and Richard Tarran (who have exceptional local knowledge). The precise routes will be determined just before the weekend, taking into consideration weather conditions etc. You will be able to sign up for your chosen walk at the Friday evening ‘icebreaker’, where you will also be able to discuss the walks with Mark Reid.
Saturday (9:30am) – choice of adventurous or leisurely walks, with routes across the dales, fells, hills and moors. Routes will include Green Bell, Randygill Top, Grere Fell, Crosby Garrett Fell and Smardale Gill – superb walks full of interest and variety. Return back to the pub late afternoon to recount your day’s adventures.
Sunday (10am) – choice of adventurous or leisurely walks, with lower level valley and hills routes. Return back to the pub mid afternoon for a final drink before bidding fond farewells… until the next Walking Weekender!
Choice of walks: We will offer a choice of adventurous or leisurely walks on both days. Saturday is a ‘full day’ from 9:30am until 5pm, whilst Sunday is a ‘half day’ from 10am until around 3pm. We will either split into two groups from the start, or we may walk as one group during the morning and then offer ‘longer’ or ‘shorter’ routes after lunch.
Ravenstonedale facilities & accommodation
How to get to Ravenstonedale
Ravenstonedale is situated along the A685 between Jct 38 of the M6 and Kirkby Stephen. The nearest train station is at Kirkby Stephen (3 miles).
Ravenstonedale is a beautiful village with a pub, a couple of B&Bs and campsite.
Ravenstonedale offers a range of accommodation, including…
Black Swan Hotel
West View B&B
Lytheside Cottage B&B
Stouphill Gate B&B (1.25 miles from the Black Swan)
High Greenside Farm B&B (1 mile from the Black Swan)
Low Greenside Campsite (1 mile from the Black Swan)
MARK REID is the author of 17 walking guidebooks including ‘The Inn Way’ series. He is a qualified Walking Group Leader, Hill & Moorland Leader and Mountain Leader, and has an unrivalled knowledge of the history and geography of the North of England. Mark has a BA (Hons) Geography degree from the University of Lancaster and is a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society (FRGS). Mark Reid has walked over 21,000 miles of footpaths over the past 23 years, and has taken over 11,500 people out walking in the countryside. Mark has appeared on ITV YORKSHIRE on the TV walks series ‘A Breath of Fresh Air’ along with ITV weatherman Jon Mitchell, as well as ITV1’s The Dales.
Experience & fitness
- No walking experience required. Full guidance will be given.
- A reasonable level of fitness is required as the natural environment can be demanding at times. All walks may include uneven ground, rough terrain, stiles, stream crossings, fields, valleys, moorland, hills, pathless hillsides, paths and tracks, lanes and country roads as well as a number of ascents and descents; we may experience adverse weather conditions. A typical day’s walk across the Howgill Fells.
- We can provide full outdoor walking gear, including waterproof jackets, trousers, fleeces, rucksacks, gloves and hats. Please provide boots.
- We are fully qualified, insured and first aid trained Mountain Leaders.
- So far, we have taken over 11,000 people walking in the countryside, and have a wealth of experience dealing with all ages and abilities.
- Part of the attraction of hill walking is the challenge of tackling different terrains, landscapes and weather conditions. Every effort is made to minimize potential hazards; however, the very nature of hill walking involves a certain level of unavoidable risk or accident and/or injury. By taking part in this activity, you are aware of and accept these risks.
- Our full Terms and Conditions can be found on here
* The choice of walks is dependent upon there being more than 10 participants taking part in the weekend; if there are less than 10 participants then there will be one walk per day (full day’s walk on Saturday and shorter walk on Sunday, finishing mid afternoon).