Baugh Fell

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Baugh Fell
Mouse Syke - - 554186.jpg
The slopes of Baugh Fell from Grisedale
Range: Yorkshire Dales
Summit: 2,224 feet SD740916
54°19’11"N, 2°24’2"W

Baugh Fell is a large, flat-topped hill in the northern Pennines, in the north-westernmost parts of the West Riding of Yorkshire and close to the edge of the Yorkshire Dales National Park, immediately to the east of the Howgill Fells and to the north of Whernside, the highest of the Yorkshire Three Peaks, in the West Riding of Yorkshire.

The lie of the land

Baugh Fell is bounded by Garsdale to the south and by the valley of the River Rawthey to the west; on the north-eastern side it adjoins Swarth Fell and Wild Boar Fell. The fell sprawls over a wide area of moorland, roughly 17 square miles in size, with generally steep slopes on the Garsdale side and gentler slopes to the west.

The Rawthey rises high up on the summit plateau (where it is called Rawthey Gill) and initially flows north, before turning south to form the hill's western boundary. The eastern limit of the fell is marked by Grisedale Beck, the main tributary of the Clough River which flows through Garsdale.

The summit plateau is L-shaped, incised in the middle by Rawthey Gill, and measures some two and a half miles from end to end. The rock of the plateau is millstone grit, with sandstone and limestone on the flanks, while the Dent Fault ends on the western slope.

The highest point is known as Tarn Rigg Hill, a summit of 2,224 feet and is in enclosed ground (now with open access), but the trig point stands close by on Knoutberry Haw (SD731919) which is only six feet lower and provides excellent views of the Three Peaks, the Howgill Fells, the Lake District and surrounding countryside as far as Blackpool Tower on a clear day.

Better views down Wensleydale and the Eden valley may be obtained from Grisedale Pike (SD756925), a slight projection on the eastern flank of Baugh Fell just over a mile from the summit.

There are five small tarns, called the East Tarns, grouped together on the eastern part of the plateau just to the north of the summit of Tarn Rigg Hill. The West Tarn, meanwhile, lies at the north-western end of the summit plateau at SD730937, and is difficult to find on the almost flat top because it nestles in a slight hollow, even though it can be seen from the trig point. It may be located from the latter by following the western rim of the plateau, overlooking Sedbergh, the West Riding’s uttermost town, until two cairns point the way to the tarn.


Although there are no public rights of way to the summit of Baugh Fell, most of the fell is uncultivated moorland and as such is designated as access land under the Countryside and Rights of Way Act 2000, allowing walkers freedom to roam. There are several bridleways giving access to the open fell from the Rawthey valley to the west, while a public footpath from Uldale to Grisedale forms the northern limit of Baugh Fell. There is also open access from Garsdale Foot and West Hind Keld on the south-western slopes, from Grisedale on the north-eastern slopes, and from parts of Fell End on the north-western slopes. There is no public access from Garsdale, though some landowners might allow walkers to pass through cultivated land with permission. From the east the Grisedale road give access to the moor near Riggs giving an easy to follow route up to the trig point by simply following the wall. Once on the open fell there are no established routes to the summit, since the slopes are mostly gentle.

Baugh Fell does not share the popularity of the nearby Lake District or the Yorkshire Three Peaks, and even on bank holiday weekends it is mostly unfrequented.

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