The quiet market town of Sedbergh, nestling at the foot of the Howgills, is England's first Book Town offering a treasure trove of secondhand and collector's books, enhanced by two major book festivals every year. Sedbergh lies at the foot of the Howgills and at the hub of several valleys that converge near the town. A good network of footpaths and bridleways allows easy access to the Howgills and exploration of Dentdale, Garsdale and the Rawthey and Lune valleys. All the reserves and natural features listed can be easily accessed by public footpaths.
There are a variety of events taking place in and around the Sedbergh area. From arts and culture exhibitions to artisan markets, check out what is on during your visit and browse the events of most interest to you.
Norse settlers arrived in the 10th century, penetrating up the valleys in search of suitable grazing grounds for their livestock. Their traditional longhouses, often sited next to watercourses, are the forebears of many of today's Dales farmhouses and can be identified by names ending in ‘thwaite' (‘clearing') or ‘scales' (‘summer dwelling').
The name ‘Sedbergh' is derived from the Norse ‘Set Berg', meaning ‘flat-topped hill', a possible reference to the defensive structure at Castlehaw.
Sedbergh is mentioned in the Domesday Book so a settlement must have existed here before the Norman Conquest. On their arrival, the Norman barons established control by constructing a defensive motte and bailey at Castlehaw (SD 662 923), and later founded the two churches dedicated to St Andrew at Sedbergh and Dent.
In 2003, with a number of bookshops, writers and a printer's finisher already based in the town, Sedbergh took the bold step of becoming a Book Town - an initiative that has attracted even more secondhand book sellers to the town and generated two book festivals, along with various workshops and seminars on the theme of writing and books.
A former spinning and weaving mill of 1837, now converted into an Arts and Heritage Centre on four levels with an emphasis on textile design and production. The lower floor holds two working Dobcross looms that produce a range of attractive blankets, travel rugs and throws.
st gregory's church
The Meeting House at Brigflatts was built at a time when Quakers were being cruelly persecuted for their beliefs. It dates from 1675 and is the oldest Meeting House in the north of England.
dent heritage centre
The story of working lives and traditional customs in bygone Dent is vividly brought to life at this recently opened heritage centre. There are hundreds of domestic artefacts and traditional farming implements to be seen, many of which are displayed in re-created farmhouse rooms.
A remnant of ancient woodland flanking the sides of Settlebeck Gill that is being allowed to regenerate naturally. The steep notched valley provides a sheltered environment for a rich ground flora and bird life and is within easy walking distance of Sedbergh.
dent meditation centre
A smaller henge approximately 400 metres away, dating back to around 2000 BC. A flat central platform is surrounded by a circular ditch and an earth bank. A place of stillness for anyone to use for meditation or quiet reflection whatever their faith or belief. The Centre also offers weekly group meditations, instruction in meditation, and a range of courses offering experience and understanding of different traditions and ways of seeking.
the sedbergh embroidery
In 1993, a group of embroiderers collaboratively designed and created an intricately embroidered canvas panel depicting the history and heritage of Sedbergh. The completed panel is on display in the library, with a second embroidery due to be completed shortly.