Sallows and Sour Howes Trail runningWalking

These two lesser heights, loitering at the tail-end of the Froskick-Ill Bell-Yoke ridge, are easily overlooked. Yes, you could save them for a damp day when clag covers the higher tops. You could treat them as “quick fix” hills, the route being both short and easily accessed from the motorway. But that wouldn’t do justice to a pleasant outing, with lovely views up the Troutbeck valley and over the full length of Windermere. The Dubbs Road, leading into Garburn pass, offers easy travelling over 90% of the route. In fact the Dubbs is a BOAT, a Byway Open to All Traffic, but I wouldn’t recommend doing that to your car’s springs. Or the trail. The descent is a gem, down a tiny crest of the sort of outcrops a small child could practise scrambling on during a family picnic.

Troutbeck from the Garburn pass  © Norman Hadley
Troutbeck from the Garburn pass
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Detailed description

NY4237500584 Park sensitively at the start of the Dubbs road, leaving plenty of access for farm, reservoir and emergency vehicles. The way is obvious, up a charming drove road, past the small Dubbs reservoir, often sailing with swans.
Dubbs reservoir  © Norman Hadley
Dubbs reservoir
© Norman Hadley, Jul 2023

NY4195702817 Keep going straight-on, but note the ladder stile on your right, just before the coniferous forest, because this is where your descent will reconnect. Converge wth the route up from Limefitt Park and slant upwards on the Garburn pass bridleway. The views up the Troutbeck valley from here are lovely.

NY4338904321 Just before the gate that marks the apex of the pass, a small stile on the right gives access to the slopes of Sallows. The first few paces are often damp. Head up a steep, steppy path through the heather, veering left at the top to visit the tiny summit with its strange, linear mound and rusted Ordnance Survey marker set into the ground.

NY4365703986 Double back and follow the curving ridgeline. You'll see that Sour Howes has a stone wall shadowing its ridge on this side, so you'll need to cross it.

NY4315404055 Thankfully a stile provides the means of crossing the wall without recourse to pole vaulting or violations of the Countryside Code. Carry on up the ridge to the summit. I say "summit" but there are several candidates in this strange, hummocky landscape. The central one, with the 483 spot-height, seems to be the recognised favourite. Continue down a series of knobbles, over a stile. If there's a child in the party, or you just have a playful imagination, you can liken these to scales on a dragon's back. Look for the markers you spotted at point (2). You'll drop off the last dragon-scale to the right and the ladder-stile (which doesn't have a ladder on this, the uphill side) should be obvious.
The Coniston grouping from the Dubbs road  © Norman Hadley
The Coniston grouping from the Dubbs road
© Norman Hadley, Jul 2023
Retrace your steps back to the start.

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Further Routes

by Norman Hadley

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