Cotterdale to High Seat

Featured Mountains

Wild Boar Fell from High Seat
A surprisingly remote part of the Dales. Much of this walk was via little or no clear path, and we only passed one other person all day.
Length of Walk: 13 miles
Time Taken: 5 hours
Highest Point: 2329 feet
Total Ascent: 1844 feet
Ease of Navigation
Ease of Terrain
Suitability for Wheelchair or Pram


Nearest to start point. At righthand bend before dropping down into Cotterdale Hamlet

Parking Day Rate

At time of walk. 0.00

Nearest Shop

you will find a selection of shops in Hawes

Nearest Pub

you will find a selection of pubs in Hawes

Nearest Toilet

no facilities

Challenging Terrain

There are sections of this walk that involved lengthy navigation over peat hags and uneven ground. This can be tiring if not used to it. Consider this before attempting this walk.

I really enjoyed this walk. Lots of variable terrain and beautiful views, although it was quite challenging at times.

Be aware that some of the walk is over Black Grouse Conservation areas and so, especially if in nesting season, ensure your dog is kept on a lead.

Full description of walk after the map:

High Seat from Cotterdale

After leaving the car we headed down the hill towards Cotterdale. Once past the farm buildings we followed the footpath sign right, over acouple of fields. In the middle of the second field pass through a gate onto the river bank and continue to the bend in the river where you will find stepping stones to cross.

From here the path crosses gravel tracks a number of times as it gradually climbs up to the top of the ridge. We elected to take the track from the second crossing, as it was headed to the same point.

At the top of the ridge, you will find some pools of water, head right here, keeping to the higher ground where possible. Eventually you will find yourself on a faint path, navigating the length of the ridge.

Follow this path over Bubble Hill, and Little Fell (Sails and Ure Head) before dropping to cross some peat hags. once you get to a fence, keep this to your left, and follow it to a corner, where you will find a kind of gate and a style.

Cross the style so the fence is now on your right and follow it to the top of Hugh Seat. Continue along the fence to a cairn where rough ground lies to your right, and you will see a tall cairn beyond it. There is a faint path heading this way, if you can follow it, if not head for the tall cairn. There is a stone shelter immediately before it although this is not obvious until close.

From here you will see the summit cairn of Archy Styrigg, if visibility is poor, it is generally directly beyond the tall cairn and shelter.

Beyond the summit of Archy Styrigg, you will see High Seat in the distance, one more descent and climb to reach the highrest point of the day. The path here seemed much clearer.

The views from here are incredible and not really hinted at before arriving at the summit.

From the summit of High Seat, retrace your steps to the style below Hugh Seat, and instead of returning the way you came, keep the fence to your right and head down towards some pallets erected as grouse shooting posts. As you near them you wil lsee a style to cross and then follow the line of shooting posts, keeping the fence to your left. This is uneven and potted with peat hags.

Keep the fence to your left and proceed up the hill, this is quite tough going and a little demoralising after having completed your goal of High Seat, but keep going, its worth the effort.

Finally you will see a dirt/gravel track the other side of the fence when you reach the 2nd (or 3rd?) corner, and simply follow the track all the way down almost to Cotterdale!

Just as you near the hamlet, the track comes to a t-junction, bear right, before entering via a gate into the field on your right just before crossing the river. This path will take you back to the start of your walk.

Show me more walks from

Leave a Reply

Leave a comment

Sign up for our Newsletter

Get the latest news on walks

About MJS Walking

I started walking again as i approached my 40th birthday. The thrill of reaching the peak of a mountain and the panoramic views is such inspiration. Before i knew it i was walking the Pennine Way, which sparked a whole raft of long distance walks. 

With time i hope to capture some of them and share the experience with you.

Recent Posts

North East
MJS Walking

The Pennine Way

My first Long Distance Walk. The Pennine Way spans the Pennines from Edale in Derbyshire to Kirk Yetholm in Scotland.

Read More »
41 Peaks
MJS Walking

Yocken-thwaite Moor

We thought we would try and squeeze this in an evening walk as we had seen an extended dry period, and the summit is well known for its challenging terrain due to the peat hags and boggy ground.

Read More »