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Gragareth, Green Hill, Great Coum & Crag Hill from near Leck Fell House (Updated 24/3/22)
Gragareth, Green Hill, Great Coum & Crag Hill
from near Leck Fell House
As high as possible on the road to Leck Fell House. There are two parking areas in the last 700 m before the house (actually a large farm). From Cowan Bridge on the A65 between Ingleton and Kirkby Lonsdale, turn off for Leck and follow the narrow road up for a long way. It becomes a rough track just before Leck Fell House.
15 km About 5 hours
Gragareth, 627 m, SD 687 792.
Green Hill, 628 m, SD 701 820.
Great Coum, 687 m, SD 701 835.
Crag Hill, 682 m, SD 692 833. OL2 Yorkshire Dales: Western Area
Gragareth is the highest point in Lancashire. Prior to local government reorganisation in the 1970's, Coniston Old Man was the highest point but that is now in Cumbria. This is essentially a high moorland walk over fairly easy terrain although there are a few wet and mossy sections. The walk is linear so the outward route is retraced back to the start. There are excellent views to Ingleborough, Whernside, The Howgills, Baugh fell and Wild Boar Fell. Many Lakeland fells are also well seen including Scafell and Scafell Pike. Navigation is relatively straightforward even in mist. The ridge walking starts and finishes at trig points, there is a wall along the crest and there is a path almost all the way. The general rule is to stay close to the wall on the crest as this avoids the worst of the wet ground apart from one short section on Gragareth which is described below.
(1) Continue up to the end of the tarmac road just short of Leck fell House. Go through the obvious gate on the right to start on a green lane/track. One can leave it almost anywhere and ascend up but it is probably best to walk up the lane until level with the end of the last building. A faint path slants up then ascends more directly avoiding the worst of the boulder fields. Soon reach the three cairns known as The Three Men of Gragareth. There are now other cairns nearby and another trio further to the N. From the Three Men, a more obvious path leads up gentler slopes heading roughly E. A small cairn is passed just before reaching the trig point which seems to be the official summit of Gragareth, 627 m. However, if one continues towards the wall along the crest, the path passes between two low mounds. There is a tiny cairn on the left mound which might be higher (very little in it) than the trig point.
(2) Reach the wall along the crest and follow the path N. Reach a stepped stone stile over the wall just before a fence. Ignore this stile and cross the fence by a simple wooden stile. The worst of the wet and mossy ground lies ahead so make a large sweep to the left until one can rejoin the wall. Continue down to a shallow col then up on to Green Hill. This has a cairn, which may be at the highest point, but it is about 50 m to the left, W, of the wall and is very small but is the most likely summit of Green Hill, 628 m.
(3) Continue down to another shallow col then a longer rise leads up the easy S ridge of Great Coum. Once the flatter ground is reached, cross the wall by a stile but still stay close to it and soon reach another stile over a wall going off right. Not far over this second stile is the medium cairn which is the summit of Great Coum, 687 m. A tall pillar cairn may be seen well off to the right of the wall continuing along the crest to Crag Hill.
(4) Retrace to get on to the other side of the wall running along the crest and continue, roughly W, across a very shallow col, until the trig point can be seen over the wall. Continue on for a short distance until reaching a low fence which plugs a gap in the wall. This can be stepped over and the trig point soon reached which is the summit of Crag Hill, 682 m.
(5) Retrace the outer route back over Great Coum, Green Hill and Gregareth to reach The Three Men of Gragareth. In mist, take a bearing for the Green Lane as drifting S will mean going through boulder fields. Once on the lane, walk back to the start.
(a) This walk took place on 3rd November, 2015.
(b) With a helpful driver, one could be dropped off near Leck Fell House and picked up either in Kingsdale, Dent, Barbondale or Bullpot Farm if walking off the S ridge of Crag Hill. With a bicycle, there are options from Kingsdale but this would mean missing The Three Men of Gragareth.