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Limestone trails around Dent

Limestone trails around Dent

Pictures from a short walk this time taken last year when we spent a couple of days walking the Limestone trails around Dent.

Beginning from the small town of Dent, our walk took us up a narrow wooded ravine, where we rose to meet an ancient packhorse trail. Followed by a long sweep around and down across hills and farmland to meet the River Dee guiding us gently back to Dent. Having walked the Dales Way a year earlier we were already familiar with the area of Dentdale and looked forward to revisiting some familiar locations.

Limestone trails around Dent

Dentdale is subtly different from many other dales in having most of the fields separated by hedgerows rather than drystone walls. This practice still goes on and provides a different aspect to the landscape. There are plenty of drystone walls around, but mixed with the gentle hedgerows the landscape has a softer feel to it. Seen with the gentle colours of the day created by the soft May sun barely breaking through the wispy clouds and the rolling landscape is simply magical.

An old shepherds hut that has seen better days (above)

Dentdale sits towards the north-east of the Yorkshire Dales National Park and is an area (like most of the North) that enjoys four seasons almost everyday of the year. The shepherds hut above has certainly felt the impact of the weather. I rather liked the rich oranges of the rusting steel roof contrasting with the more subtle tones on the wooden shed and landscape beyond.

The Old Oak (above)

I’m amazed this old oak tree was still standing. Over the years the ground around the base of the tree has clearly been washed away to expose the root system. I have to wonder mow much longer it will last. Fortunately it’s not in Sheffield though; they’d have had it chopped down years ago!

Occupation Road heading across South Lord’s Land and into Barbondale

After the steep climb out of Dent we set of along Occupation Road; but not before taking advantage of the conveniently placed bench at the top of the hill. The Occupation Road is an ancient highway dating from 1859. Sweeping gently south across the moorland fell-sides it’s an absolute delight to amble along.

Stone Rigg to Combe House

Leaving Barbondale the route takes a gentle slopping downhill journey across the craggy hillside to the derelict remains of Combe House. From here the view down and along Dentdale is wonderful. The path is easy and dry along the limestone chippings and the gradient is gentle. What more could you ask for on a country walk.

River Dee

Nearing the end of the walk the path joins the Dales Way (south bound) and follows the river back to Dent. This is a pleasant spot to stop and enjoy the peace for a few minutes; we also stopped here a year earlier when we walked the Dales Way.

Circular Saw and a Dry Stone Wall

Again I was captured by the stunning colours in the rust of this old circular saw and the warmth of the stone wall behind. This was almost all that remains of an old saw mill in the wood south of Dent.

The Long Wall

The long drystone wall stretching of into the distance. This is taken from the southern slopes of Dentdale looking north. The farmland in the valley of Dentdale can be seen in the distance with the hedgerows marking out the fields.

Stream bed

Up on the moorland there is evidence of many streams. Most were running fairly low at this time of the year. The limestone bed of this stream caught my eye as it meandered into the distance.

The limestone buildings of Dent

A mix of whitewashed and cobbled limestone buildings give this place a cosy feel. It feels almost like a seaside village to me with similar vernacular details in the design of the buildings. However, that probably says more about my own experience than it does about the village.

A bit about the village

Dent is a village and civil parish in Cumbria, England. It lies in Dentdale, a narrow valley on the western slopes of the Pennines within the Yorkshire Dales National Park. It is about 4 miles south east of Sedbergh.

Dent was the original site of the Dent Folk Festival; now the Dent Music and Beer Festival at the end of June. The first event was held in 2009 and was hailed as a great success.

Dent railway station, on the Settle and Carlisle Railway, is about 4 miles above the village at Denthead. Despite its name, it’s actually in Cowgill. Nearby, the railway goes over a viaduct. It is the highest mainline station in England at 1150 feet above sea level.

Also near dent is the Dent Brewery, an independent microbrewery in Cowgill.

The long distance footpath the Dales Way passes through Dent following the banks of the River Dee.

Picturesque street with the typical whitewashed limestone and grey slate buildings (above).

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Limestone trails around Dent

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