LOVELY GREAT HIKE YORKSHIRE DALES CHALLENGE WALK
With Mark Reid FRGS – author of ‘The Inn Way’ & Mountain Leader
Lovely Seat – Great Shunner Fell – Hugh Seat – Little Fell – Sails
33 km (21 miles) – 950 metres of ascent – 11 hours
The Lovely Great Hike traces a high-level route around the high moors, hills and fells on the watershed between Wensleydale, Swaledale and Mallerstang, as the upper reaches of the Eden Valley are known. This long distance challenge walk starts and finishes in the lovely town of Hawes in Upper Wensleydale.
We also visit the source of the River Eden, which flows westwards into the Irish Sea, and the River Ure, which flows eastwards into the North Sea – truly the watershed of England!
THE LOVELY GREAT HIKE
The Lovely Great Hike is a 21 mile route with 950m of climbing that will take around 11 hours to complete. Essentially, the route follows the moors, hills and fells on the high moorland watershed between Wensleydale, Swaledale and the Upper Eden Valley (Mallerstang), including…
1. Lovely Seat – 675m
2. Great Shunner Fell – 716m
3. Hugh Seat (source of the River Eden) – 689m
4. Little Fell (source of the River Ure) – 667m
5. Sails – 666m
From Hawes, we head northwards to the village of Sedbusk, from where there is a climb up onto Stags Fell before we go ‘off piste’ across open heather moorland (passing beautiful gritstone crags and a mosaic of moorland colour) to reach the summit of Lovely Seat, where there is a seat made out of stone! We then drop down to the Buttertubs Pass, before climbing up across open moorland again to the summit of Great Shunner Fell, the 3rd highest fell top in the Yorkshire Dales. We then head westwards across more open moorland via the mysteriously named Market Place, which is just a rise of remote moorland, before reaching Hugh Seat and the source of the River Eden. We then turn south along the moorland watershed of England to reach Little Fell and Sails and the source of the River Ure, before dropping down into beautiful Cotterdale and back to Hawes.
It is a demanding walk that requires a good level of fitness and so must be approached with preparation and training, but it is also a rewarding walk that will be remembered for many years for its variety of incredible views, amazing landscapes and diverse terrain. Much of this walk follows indistinct paths across exposed, open moorland and fells; some sections are pathless across rough, open and boggy ground.
This is a wild and remote challenge walk, away from the crowds.
Mark Reid knows the Yorkshire Dales like the back of his hand and will guide you around this route (whilst also sharing his knowledge of the area), so that you can forget about navigating and concentrate on enjoying the walk instead!
This guided walk is designed for solo or small groups of walkers who want to take on the Lovely Great Hike, but don’t want to worry about route finding.
- Fully guided walk with Mark Reid (Mountain Leader)
- Experience the comaraderie of walking a challenge route with other like-minded walkers
- Discover the history, heritage, flora and fauna of the Yorkshire Dales
- Share your sense of achievement with your fellow walkers
- Small group sizes – maximum 8 people per walk
- You are GUARANTEED not to get lost on our guided walk!
OUTLINE OF THE DAY
7:30am: Meet at Hawes. Weather forecast, gear check & briefing.
7:45am – 7pm: Fully guided walk around the Lovely Great Hike challenge walk
7pm: Debrief back at Hawes, then head home
NB: Distances, heights and finish time are approximate. The route may vary on the day, given weather, terrain and group needs.
YOUR GUIDE - MARK REID
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 has walked over 28,000 miles of footpaths since 1997, and has taken over 17,000 people out walking in the countryside – he’s been an Outdoor Professional for 26 years! 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 & INFORMATION
- No previous hill-walking experience is required as full guidance will be given.
- This is a long distance challenge walk that covers 33 km (21 miles) in a single day, with 950m of ascent that will take around 11 hours to complete. It is a long and demanding walk, with rough terrain in places as well as sustained ascents/descents and exposed moorland. Some of the route is across pathless heather moorland, with peat hags, stream crossings, boggy ground, rocks and rough terrain, which is exposed to the elements.
- A good level of fitness and stamina will be required to complete this walk; preparation and training will be necessary.
- Successful completion of this walk will depend upon your own level of fitness, stamina and preparation, as well as good fitting boots and no minor injuries along the walk, such as blisters, pulled muscles or sore knees etc. By taking part in this guided walk, you understand and accept the risks involved in undertaking a long distance challenge walk. Participation of this guided walk is no guarantee of successful completion.
- We are fully insured (public, civil & professional indemnity insurance)
- All of our instructors are fully qualified and experienced Mountain Leaders
- So far, we have taken over 17,000 people out walking, and have a wealth of experience dealing with all ages and abilities.
- Part of the attraction of valley, hill and mountain 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 and mountain walking involves a certain level of unavoidable risk of accident and/or injury. By taking part in this activity, you are aware of and accept these risks.
- Our walks are suitable for all ages. Under 18s (minimum age 14) may attend if accompanied by a parent or legal guardian. The child must be accompanied at all times during the walk by their parent/legal guardian.
- Terms and Conditions