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At the eastern edge of the Howgill Fells, the shapely peaks of Kengriff and Yarlside stand a lonely vigil. Set in stunning surroundings, they have all the very best qualities you would expect of the area, but for some reason they tend to get a little bit overlooked. This is perhaps down to the fact that they are a bit out on a limb and slightly disjointed in terms of ridge walking. For those who don't mind a little extra re-ascent and are happy to tick just two peaks in one outing a walk over these hills is a sheer delight.
The walk starts with a gentle warm up along an elevated fellside terrace that traverses around Wandale Hill. This gives access to the refreshingly lonely valley head of Adamthwaite. From here a stiff ascent leads onto the lofty summit of Kensgriff. A whole new set of views down the remote valley of Bowderdale opens up and stays with you as you make the descent, then further ascent over to Yarlside. The views from Yarlside into the interior of the Howgill Fells are simply stunning and if you haven't already had lunch, then the summit is the place to do it so that you can sit down and take in your surroundings. A simple but steep grassy descent then leads down over Ben End to the valley road.
4 - 5 hours
1. Cross Handley's Bridge over the River Rawthey and follow the track on the other side southwest (up hill) to Narthwaite. Pass the buildings and join the bridleway which is then followed north east across the lower slopes of Wandale Hill to Adamthwaite.
2. Follow the bridleway through the farm and at the road head turn left and join another bridleway which is followed to a slightly boggy and expansive col at the head of the valley.
3. Descend slightly to the banks of Backside Beck. Cross this and then climb west, then southwest, up on to the summit ridge of Kensgriff. Follow the rounded crest of the ridge southwest to the summit.
4. Descend the steepening slopes southwest to a narrow col on the northwest side of Yarlside. Continue southwest over the col and climb the steep slope onto Yarlside. The summit lies south down the main ridge.
5. Head south southeast off the summit down to the lower subsidiary summit, then turn east and descend the steepening ridge to Ben End. An easy rounded ridge then leads southeast to a bridge over the River Rawthey. Cross it then turn left on to the A683 which is then followed carefully back to Handley's Bridge.