Cross Keys Inn, Temperance

Cautley Spout

"A mountain waterfall, dark crags and grassy riverbanks"

Set amidst the lonely Howgill Fells, this is one of the most spectacular spots in the Yorkshire Dales National Park. To the left rears the stern, dark Cautley Crag, backed by the peak of Great Dummacks. Yarlside rises on the right with Ben End set below. At the end of the valley, forming a lengthy cascade down the fellside, is Cautley Spout, a waterfall, which drops in several steep sections about 700ft high in total, though the highest single leap is about 90ft. The falls drop into Cautley Holme Beck, which then joins the River Rawthey.

The wide valley bowl into which the waterfall tumbles was formed mainly through the action of glaciers thousands of years ago, at times when the climate of the Dales was much cooler. There have been at least three Ice Ages during the past 500,000 years. During each the valley was filled with ice, which scoured the floor and trimmed back the fellsides. The most recent Ice Age, during which most of the country was covered by ice, ended about 12,000 years ago.

In more recent times the valley was home to bronze age settlers, and remains of their stone built houses and stock pens can still be seen. The rounded fells are now home to sheep, mainly from the indigenous Rough Fell breed and to fell ponies. This is common land and is used for stock grazing by local farmers and has never been enclosed.

Sedbergh (pronounced Sedber)

A tiny market town 4 miles south from the Cross Keys. Prior to 1974 Sedbergh was in the northwestern extremity of the West Riding of Yorkshire. Following the boundary changes it is now part of Cumbria even though it is in the Yorkshire Dales National Park!.

Sedbergh is dominated by the Howgill Fells and its public school, which was founded in the early 16th Century. Its many famous old boys include Adam Sedgwick the geologist and later, Will Carling the one time England Rugby captain.

St Andrews church in Sedbergh has a 15th century tower with other parts dating back to Norman times as well as many other periods in between. To the eastern end of the town is the motte and bailey site of Castlehaw.

Many good walks on the Howgills start and end in Sedbergh or at The Cross Keys and maps and guidebooks are readily available.

Other points of interest in the town include the school library, which dates from 1716. Brigflatts, just outside Sedbergh to the South is one of the earliest Quaker Meeting Houses in the Country and well worth a visit as is Farfield Mill arts and heritage centre on the road to Garsdale.

Currently Sedbergh is hoping to become a "book town" we await further developments on that front.

Further a field at Kendal can be seen the Quaker Tapestry, a chronicle of Quaker life through the centuries with 77 panels of community embroidery, you can also see the unique "Quaker Stitch" in action during one of the many demonstrations. In the opposite direction at Hawes you can find the home of Wensleydale cheese and tour the factory then head into the dales and take a trip on the newly reopened Wensleydale Railway.

Click here to return to the top